The UK's Voluntary National Review of the Sustainable Development Goals

The UK’s 2019 Voluntary National Review of the Sustainable Development Goals was published on 26th June – the text, statistical annex and reflections from stakeholder engagements with the VNR are available for download - following the link above (pdf, 234 p). Mistra Urban Futures' Director David Simon has read it and makes the following comments.

"The report is well presented and one of the most comprehensive produced by any country to date. Particularly useful are the initial chapters, which include coverage of data availability and gaps (tellingly, obtained principally from official national and regional sources – the Office for National Statistics and governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). The section on local delivery (pp. 16-18) makes the case for the importance of urban and other local authorities in implementation and overall progress towards achieving the Goals."

"However, there is little evidence of substantive engagement with these local authorities by central government. Indeed, from Mistra Urban Futures’ comparative project across 7 cities on 4 continents, including Sheffield in the UK, we know this to be the case – and evidence to this effect was submitted to the recent UK parliamentary enquiry. Tellingly, too, the VNR chapter on Goal 11 provides only a general overview entirely from national and regional perspectives, with no evidence of urban local authority engagement. It covers data availability and the level of achievement of the respective targets and indicators, followed by sections on ‘UK action around the world’ and finally ‘Challenges and next steps’. The same stylistic and presentational features characterise all the Goal-specific chapters."

For further information, please contact David Simon, Director at Mistra Urban Futures.

Photo Sheffield: Nigel Jarvis/