Local and regional governments at the heart of the Global Agenda 2030
Description/achievement of initiative

The partnership was established to join forces to make the 2030 global agenda a reality at local level. The process was aimed to consider the issue of local implementation alongside the definition and negotiation of the SDGs and to further facilitate and accompany the local implementation process now that the New Development Agenda is set. Its approach to localization goes beyond national or regional implementation to understand how the new agenda will be implemented locally, and what will be the local implications for local communities. The initiative is the follow up of UNDG consultations on the SDG Means of Implementation during 2014. It is articulated around a knowledge platform www.localizingthesdgs.org, and related awareness raising and training activities, targeting local and regional governments, and their partners.

Implementation methodologies

The negotiation of the SDGs started in 2013 with a participatory process that gathered relevant stakeholders to discuss the nature of the new priorities to eradicate poverty and provide opportunities for all. A key issue was the need to ‘localize’ the framework, assessing the local impact of the SDGs and ensuring a local dimension. In 2014, UNDP, UN-Habitat the GTF were appointed to lead the dialogue on the implementation of the Post-2015 agenda at the local level. Local and national consultations took place in 13 countries together with a number of regional and global consultation, resulting in a strategic global coalitions of partners – LRGs, CSO, United Nations agencies, etc. The Dialogues resulted in key messages underling the importance of LRGs in promoting sustainable development and in guaranteeing social inclusion, national ownership and institutional accountability. The results showcased how the new Agenda could not be locally implemented without the leadership of LRGs. A final report, including recommendations and suggestions to facilitate the road ahead, was developed and shared in international events and policy discussions and presented to key decision-makers of the Post-2015 framework. The relevant actors involved in the Dialogues expressed the need to be equipped with strategies, mechanisms and capabilities to translate the key outputs of the process into substantial development plans. Therefore, the partners have developed a methodology and a Toolbox for localizing the SDGs www.localizingthesdg.org. The Toolbox provides support by setting advocacy arguments and concrete mechanisms to address common global development challenges related to SDGs implementation at the local level. It focuses on main conceptual areas (multilevel governance, local strategic planning, monitoring), that constitute the base for the local implementation of the SDGs. The Toolbox proposes an articulated set of tools able to support local stakeholders and their networks, under the leadership of LRGs, in their advocacy and during the design and implementation of development policies in their territories, in coherence with the SDGs. The elaboration of the Toolbox has been carried out through a preliminary identification and review of existing toolkits and mechanisms and has been informed through technical participatory workshops at different levels (local, national and global in different regions of the world). The inputs obtained from these participatory sessions are systematized by the team and integrated in the Toolbox process. With the launch of the knowledge platform, a strong communication strategy is in place to reach out and involve a diversity of partners. The toolbox is designed as a “flexible” instrument, to be adapted to each national situation in line with the outcomes of the participative elaboration process. The toolbox addresses both the North and the Global South contexts The capacity development activities are led with a training of trainer logic, targeting primarily national and regional local government associations, for them to train subsequently their members.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

The process has involved Local and National Governments, but also representatives of civil society, academia and the private sector. The dialogues aimed to be open and inclusive, providing national and local governments and other local stakeholders with a platform to formulate ideas on how to implement the post-2015 agenda in their own words. The toolbox gathers papers, tools, best practices and innovative solutions for the localization, identifying gaps as well as alternative approaches for localizing the implementation of the SDGs in different institutional environments and circumstances, underlying the universality of the Goals. These contributions join the inputs gathered through Technical Participatory Workshops at different level (local, national and global in different regions of the world) that capture the different views and experiences of a selected audience of local governance stakeholders. The selection of the participants stick to a strong gender equality principle, promoting woman participation and engagement. Particularly, the participatory workshops tackle specific sustainable development aspects and will be accompanied by a facilitator to guide the process in close cooperation with the Steering Committee. The platform builds on existent experiences and it promotes examples of inspiring, replicable local solutions or tools to enable learning and upscaling of successes. All relevant actors are encouraged to enrich this global exercise by uploading and sharing their experiences and engaging in real-time discussions with all the participating partners A Roadmap for localizing the SDGs: implementation and monitoring at subnational level https://goo.gl/9oY8VK provides guidelines to support awareness-raising; sub-national advocacy in national processes, implementation and monitoring strategies. It can be adapted to specific contexts and needs of different cities and regions. It also constitutes the backbone of the methodology and training strategy. Eventually, training modules on localizing the SDGs are under development. The 1st training module is an introductory module aiming to raise awareness on key issues around the localization of the SDGs. It intends to bring the Agenda and its localization closer to the LRG representatives. It will be complemented and followed by several additional modules that will dig deeper into some of the key issues of the localization process. A second training module will aim to allow LRGs to improve their planning processes in line with the SDGs and the related targets.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

The three participating institutions have established a Steering Committee with participation of UNDP, UN-Habitat and the Global Taskforce of local and regional governments (GTF) who gathers the major local government associations and global networks (more information at www.gtf2016.org ).The Steering Committee works in close collaboration with national, regional and local governance stakeholders, taking into consideration the necessary leadership that local and regional governments need to exercise for the implementation of the SDGs at local level. In this sense, national associations of local governments are being mobilized by the GTF while UNDP and UN-Habitat are working through their national offices in the participating countries, bringing the different stakeholders together, ensuring coordination with the national level and bringing along other agencies from the UN system. UNDP and UN-Habitat Regional Centers will also be involved as they bring their experience in promoting knowledge management and exchange of experiences. Furthermore, international organizations, research institutes, academic institutions, NGOs, CSOs, the private sector, foundations and other institutions gathering relevant knowledge and experience are also invited to contribute to the process.At national level, ONE UN will lead the whole governance system in order to guarantee participation, coherence and coordination among UN entities.


UNDP, UN-Habitat and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments
Progress reports
Goal 11
Goal 17
Report on “Localizing the Post 2015 development agenda: Dialogues on implementation”
Local Governments and their associations’ capacities strengthened trough the Dialogues on Localizing the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Partnerships/Alliance for implementing of the SDGs at the local level strengthened
Toolkit to facilitate the localization of the SDGs elaborated
Publication of the Roadmap for Localizing the SDGs https://goo.gl/9oY8VK
Launch of the knowledge platform www.localizingthesdgs.org
First training module on Localizing the SDGs
Staff / Technical expertise
All partners (UNDP, UN-Habitat and the GTF) have provided technical expertise and support to the process.

Basic information
Time-frame: 2013 - 2019
UNDP, UN-Habitat and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments
Contact information
UNDP ART Initiative, UN HABITAT, Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments , UNDP ART Initiative, UN HABITAT, Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments, Johannes.krassnitzer@undp.org, gemma.aguado@undp.org; Diana.Lopez@unhabitat.org; Fabienne.Perucca@unhabitat.org; e.bilsky@uclg.org
United Nations