New Report reviews civil society and stakeholder engagement in voluntary national reviews and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda
Access the report here.
For the second year, Together 2030 has carried out a survey to collect evidence on stakeholder awareness of, and participation in, national planning and review around the 2030 Agenda. In 2017, the survey was conducted in partnership with the Newcastle University. The survey received 461 responses from a range of stakeholders, including national, regional and global organizations. This perceptions survey asked 20 questions in total (though not all questions were directed to all respondents). It was issued in three languages: English, Spanish and French, and was shared broadly with civil society and stakeholder mailing lists and via social media from March 3 to March 24 2017.
The main findings follow below:
- Awareness of voluntary national reviews (VNRs), and especially how to engage in VNR processes, is low. This constitutes a major barrier to meaningful participation by stakeholders, and to establishing “open, inclusive, participatory and transparent follow up processes at all levels” (2030 Agenda, paragraph 74.d). The data shows different levels of awareness in VNR countries and many variations across regions and sectors around reporting and the process for reporting. Nevertheless, the picture is not positive: one-third of respondents were unaware that their countries were undertaking VNR this year; only one in four civil society (CSO) respondents were aware of the process their governments were using to prepare their reports.
- High expectations for civil society and stakeholder participation in national reviews processes has not universally translated into genuine spaces and opportunities for engagement. At least 1/3 of the respondents did not consider that civil society and stakeholders would be able to participate, or did not know whether they could. This demonstrates, as a minimum, a lack of an optimal enabling environment for participation.
- Respondents have shown interest in engaging on national review processes via several approaches, including coordinated spaces for civil society engagement on national review processes. It is clear that stakeholders want to engage in and contribute to national processes, and do so via a range of approaches. There is a desire amongst respondents for coordination mechanisms amongst civil society and other stakeholders.
- Global awareness of national plans and the VNR process amongst civil society is limited. Whilst varying from region to region, awareness of the VNR system as a vehicle for follow up and review is far from universal. Awareness of country plans that address the sustainable development goals (SDGs) is mixed.
- The universality of the agenda is not clearly reflected in data for European VNR countries, nor on awareness of national plans in Europe, Canada and the United States. Low figures for awareness of national processes and ability to participate in European VNR countries are a concerning sign for the universality of the Agenda and for transparent, accountable governance around the SDGs in the region. All countries have committed to implement and follow up on an inclusive manner and European countries, as well as other developed countries such as Canada and the USA are not, based on this evidence, taking the lead on this.