➡️ Back to the IPPN group!

Join us for the next IPPN Knowledge Café, a webinar series focused on building the IPPN members’ capacity to better understand a systems perspective on policy integration and acceleration; and integrated policy solutions, including curation of tools and resources that support the design and implementation of cross-cutting policy solutions. 

About this webinar

When adopting the 2030 Agenda, United Nations member States committed to working closely with local and regional governments on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Local and regional governments play a pivotal role in achieving the SDGs, including poverty eradication, food security, access to quality education, and water and sanitation services, and in advancing gender equality and reducing inequalities, among others. By one estimate, 100 of the 169 SDG targets will not be reached without concerted engagement and co-ordination with local and regional governments.

As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages member States to "conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven" (paragraph 79). Paragraph 89 of the 2030 Agenda calls on major groups and other stakeholders, including local authorities, to report on their contribution to the implementation of the Agenda. In this spirit, local and regional governments are increasingly carrying out sub-national reviews of SDG implementation, known as voluntary local reviews (VLRs).

While the VLRs hold no official status, VLRs can be a powerful accelerator for SDG implementation - contributing to the collection and analysis of timely, accurate and disaggregated data; bringing stakeholders closer to decision-making processes; strengthening multilevel governance; and fostering integration of the SDGs into local planning. As of June, 2022, a total of 148 VLRs have been submitted to the UN-HABITAT and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). The number of VLR submissions is growing steadily each year, from two in 2016 to 50 in 2021. A significant majority of the VNRs are at the city level, indicating a growing appropriation of the 2030 Agency by municipal authorities across the world.

This Knowledge Café will cover practical experiences and lessons learned in supporting the preparation of 2022 VLRs in several localities in Costa Rica and Cape Town (South Africa).


Welcome and scene-settings remarks, followed by a brief presentation from:

  • Friedrich Soltau, Senior Sustainable Development Officer, Division for Sustainable Development Goals, UN-DESA 

  • Ariana Rodríguez, Advisor, Resident Coordinator Office, Costa Rica 

  • Natasha Primo, Head of Organisational Research, Policy and Strategy Department, City of Cape Town, South Africa 

Q&A and exchanges with the audience!

About the speakers

Since joining the United Nations in 2000, Friedrich Soltau has worked on range of sustainable development issues, including energy, new and emerging issues, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and voluntary local reviews (VNRs). He served as a member of the core team that supported the UN General Assembly negotiations on the SDGs. More recently, Friedrich has developed activities to facilitate peer learning among countries for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, including capacity development support for voluntary local reviews (VLRs). He received his law degree from the University of Cape Town, and he also holds a Master’s in Law from the Humboldt University, Berlin, and a doctorate in environmental law from Pace University Law School, New York. He is the author of a book and several articles on climate change and sustainable development topics. 

Ariana Rodríguez is an Advisor for mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda in the UN Costa Rica Resident Coordinators Office. She has a degree in International Relations and International Cooperation for Development from the National University of Costa Rica. She has professional experience as part of the Board of Directors of civil society organizations and specialize in SDG implementation strategies with government, Legislative Assembly, civil society, local governments, and private sector, among others.

Natasha Primo joined the City of Cape Town in January 2011. She is the Head in the Organisational Research in the Policy and Strategy Department, where among others, she is responsible for overseeing and/or implementing components of the City’s research management framework – which includes serving as a research consultancy for line departments, coordinating a transversal research community of practice, and leading a transversal process for SDG localisation in the City. She led the 2021 City of Cape Town VLR Report production process. 

Connection details

Date: Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Time: 8:00 AM New York | 3:00 PM Addis Ababa/ Istanbul | 7:00 PM Bangkok

Register in two clicks https://bit.ly/IPPN_KC8 to receive the Zoom connection details.

Session materials

Watch the recording below, download the presentations attached, and find other relevant resources in the comments section.

The Integrated Policy Practitioners' Network (IPPN) is a one-stop-shop for integrated policy practitioners, operating as a knowledge hub for the global community. IPPN aims to link existing efforts on SDG integration across UN agencies and beyond, and enabling cross-pollination and learning to enhance the UN System-wide capability to practice and deliver high-quality integrated policy support. IPPN is a joint effort under the auspices of the UNSDG Task Team on Integrated Policy Support.

Browse the IPPN website: https://sdgintegration.undp.org/IPPN

Join the IPPN group on SparkBlue: https://www.sparkblue.org/IPPNgroup

Sign up to receive updates about the IPPN: https://bit.ly/IPPN_Sign-up

Any questions? Drop us a line at: ippn@sparkblue.org or ask us anything here


Comments (2)


Dear IPPN community, thank you for joining today's Knowledge Café! Please find below some key resources shared today during the event:
- Follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda at the UN High-level Political Forum:
- Global Guiding Elements for Voluntary Local Reviews: https://sdgs.un.org/sites/default/files/2020-10/GlobalGuidingElementsfo…
- UNDESA: List of VLRs and additional resources: https://sdgs.un.org/topics/voluntary-local-reviews
- UN-Habitat: Portal and resources on VLRs: https://unhabitat.org/topics/voluntary-local-reviews
-UN-Habitat: Guidelines for Voluntary Local Reviews Volume 1: A Comparative Analysis of Existing VLRs: https://unhabitat.org/sites/default/files/2020/07/uclg_vlrlab_guideline…
-UN-Habitat: Guidelines for Voluntary Local Reviews Volume 2: Towards a New Generation of VLRs: Exploring the local-national link: https://unhabitat.org/sites/default/files/2021/07/vlrguidelines_vol2.pdf
- Regional guidelines and resources:
- Africa, Africa Voluntary Local Review Guidelines: https://www.uneca.org/voluntary-local-reviews-in-africa/documents
- Europe, Guidelines for the Development of Voluntary Local Reviews in the ECE Region: https://unece.org/housing-and-land-management/publications/VRL%20guidel…
- Asia-Pacific, Regional Guidelines on Voluntary Local Reviews: https://www.unescap.org/resources/asia-pacific-regional-guidelines-volu…

Please log in or sign up to comment.