How to engage in a voluntary national review? Find out in our new civil society quick guide

30th October 2018

With voluntary national review season underway, Together 2030, Cafod and Uniting to Combat NTDs are launching a quick guide to support civil society in navigating this key process for the follow up and review of the 2030 Agenda.

Underpinned by principles of inclusion, participation and transparency, voluntary national reviews (VNRs) can help civil society to shape and influence decisions that will affect the realisation of their goals and concerns.

From calling on governments to undertake a VNR, to planning engagement, participating in consultations and ensuring follow up, there is a key role for civil society to play at every step of the way. The quick guide lays out why and how to engage and includes tips and tools to guide partners throughout the process.

A key benefit to participating in VNRs is that they can open new channels for engagement with governments and build a platform for regular exchange around the implementation of the sustainable development goals. Diego Martinez-Schutt, Policy Analyst, Cafod:

“In many countries, we’re seeing good examples of new platforms for dialogue between civil society and governments. It is encouraging that governments are actually listening but we’re still far from seeing comprehensive civil society engagement in all countries. For civil society partners trying to influence the 2030 Agenda, VNRs are an excellent place to start.”

VNRs should be inclusive of all stakeholders, ensuring the voices of the poorest and most vulnerable are heard. Marc Wormald, Policy Advisor, Uniting to Combat NTDs:

“People living with neglected tropical diseases are some of the most marginalised people in the world. With the SDGs, in particular 3.3, countries around the world have shown their determination to fight and eliminate these diseases. And yet significant achievements in this fight often go unreported. For those of you working to ensure the most marginalised are not left behind, engaging in a VNR is an opportunity to report achievements – and challenges – and to encourage further investment in approaches that evidently work.’”

VNRs can also facilitate stronger civil society coordination thanks to the need for discussion, joint planning and aligned messaging. Andrew Griffiths, Head of Advocacy, Sightsavers, and Together 2030 Co-Chair:

“Our new quick guide lays out the key steps and strategies for successfully engaging in VNRs. Working with civil society partners is essential. Not only will this increase your chances of successfully influencing the VNR process, it will enhance and reinforce relationships with your colleagues and peers. As ever, collaboration is key!”

Download Voluntary National Reviews – a quick guide for civil society in English (PDF 1.6Mb), French (PDF 1.6Mb) or Spanish (PDF 1.6Mb)

Visit the new VNR section of the Together 2030 website which will be kept up to date with all the latest info and resources.

Find out about Sierra Leone national civil society coalition’s experience of engaging in the country’s 2016 VNR in a blog by Edward Massaquoi’s blog, Mutual respect and common interests – working with parliament to progress the 2030 Agenda in Sierra Leone

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