Local governments associations from around the world tell the story of their VSRs


Voluntary Subnational Reviews (VSRs) are positively changing local governance for sustainable development. This is what local government associations (LGAs) from all over the world have shared in a participatory process led by UCLG aiming to ascertain the impact of VSRs. The main messages and best practices have been collected and illustrated in the document “Telling the Story: VSRs in First Person. An Insights Note of the incremental impacts of VSRs as told by the associations who produced them”

Keep reading this piece of news to have a snapshot of the most valuable findings!

The VSRs have enhanced local-national interlocution for sustainable development, bringing to the attention of the national authorities the challenges and needs experienced by local governments and their communities that require action at both the national level and from the bottom-up. As a consequence, they have often revitalized decentralization processes that were losing ground and sparked national commitments to increasing the financial resources allocated to local governments. VSRs have also represented a way of ensuring the local perspective in the Voluntary National Reviews.  Looking inwards, the VSRs have strengthened LGAs’ commitment to the 2030 Agenda, for example, by representing a first step to collect systematic data on SDG localization in a country-wide manner. Additionally, they have increased the commitment of LGAs’ members with the SDGs, becoming the ultimate localization ownership exercise and propelling synergies with the VLRs. Finally, the VSRs have ensured a whole-of-society approach from the ground up, fostering multistakeholder alliances for more transparent and accountable action, attracting international alliances and support, and increasing local governments’ and associations’ visibility.

To sum up, the VSRs are much more than a reporting tool: they emerge as pivotal tools and processes for research, learning and advocacy. Together with Voluntary Local Reviews, they have been recognized by the UN as an essential tool to show progress and foster exchange on local implementation on SDGs. It is the hope and ambition of the constituency that these policy and reporting tools be given an official status within multilateral processes such as the High-Level Political Forum.

Since 2020, UCLG has been actively supporting LGAs from around the world in the production of VSRs. This year, UCLG has taken a step forward in its efforts by launching the new VSR Action Platform, which will gather LGAs from countries reporting to the HLPF this year as well as UCLG World Secretariat, UCLG Regional Sections and partners from around the world. Stay tuned for more news!

This document has been produced by the UCLG World Secretariat with the contributions of: Hemanthi Goonasekera (FSLGA), Ladislas Ngendahimana (RALGA), Anna G. Björnsdóttir (IALA), Pok Sokundara (NLC), Ken Oluoch (CoG), Hanne Albers (VVSG), Vicky de Backer (VVP), Pheko Steve Mylon (BALA), Axel Guanoluisa (CONGOPE), Knut Hjorth-Johansen, Anne Romsaas and Bjørn Rongevær (KS), Alexandra Gheorghe (ACoR), Karen Porras (UNGL), Sabeena Gul (UCLG ASPAC) and Hendra Adi (UCLG ASPAC).

You can read the full Insights Note in the following link: https://gold.uclg.org/sites/default/files/field-document/insightsnote.pdf 

You can find UCLG’s Guidelines for the elaboration of VSRs here: https://gold.uclg.org/sites/default/files/guidelines_en.pdf