SDG 16 Reporting

A key lesson from  the Millennium Development Goals is that progress on the SDGs will rely on robust and regular follow-up and review processes. This is especially necessary for Goal 16, which is a new goal.

Both the 2030 Agenda and the Secretary General’s report on follow-up and review state that reviews should take place at national, regional and global levels, and that these processes should build on each other. Therefore, reporting on SDG 16 must occur in three stages in order to ensure that progress on Goal 16 is being measured accurately and effectively. Reviewing SDG 16 at the national level is the most essential to ensure that reporting is evidence-based and inclusive. National review processes are necessary to ensure that SDG reporting is:

  1. nationally owned: designed to meet the needs identified by national actors;
  2. nationally driven: implemented with the active participation of national actors; and
  3. evidence-based: designed and continually shaped by up-to-date information about the needs, challenges and opportunities of a specific country.

Stages of reporting exist at the:

  1. Global level 
    The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development is the recognised platform for the global reviews. It occurs annually under the Economic and Social Council, and every fourth year under the General Assembly. This high-level political event allows Member States to present the progress they have made on the SDGs through Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). Global reviews allow countries to share their experiences on the SDGs and promote collaboration amongst multi-stakeholders.
  2. Regional level
    At the regional level, reviews provide the necessary link between the national level and global level. These regional analyses also give Member States the opportunity to discuss shared challenges that exist within the same region. The platforms for regional reviews are provided by UN regional commissions. Through regional sustainable development forums, regional inputs are prepared for the HLPF.
  3. National level
    Country led reporting or national level reviews are the most important level of the review process. The VNRs provide a platform for the various entities within countries to come together to share information on the reporting and monitoring processes of SDG 16. Processes at the national level enable diverse social groups to engage in dialogue and understanding, promote whole-of-government-, whole-of-society coordination structures and help to identify reporting and monitoring mechanisms that measure the success of these efforts and provide the data that will create effective evidence-based strategies.

Photo credit: @FreyaMorales/ UNDP