National Reports on 2030 Agenda - What do they (not) tell us?

SDG Wheel
SDG Wheel
Side event

The side event will present and discuss the importance of national reporting on the 2030 Agenda, both by governments (VNRs) and civil society (“spotlight” or “shadow” reports).

The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) will present key findings of its analysis of 2018 VNRs. Voluntary national reviews (VNRs) are an important innovation as a United Nations process for follow-up to the adoption of development agendas, in particular the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report analyses how countries addressed three key issues of the 2030 Agenda in the VNRs submitted in 2018: leaving no one behind; pursuing global partnership as means of implementation (SDG17); and quality education (SDG4). While the VNRs contain already many interesting examples as basis for mutual learning and sharing of good practices, the paper also identifies a need for more attention to these issues and more explicit discussions on strategies for their implementation.

Social Watch and Global Policy Forum are members of Civil Society Reflection Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that publishes the global Spotlight Report assessing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. This year’s report focuses on governance arrangements, structures and institutions, including attention to the limitations of the High-level Political Forum and the VNRs.

In the 2030 Agenda governments promised “accountability to our citizens”. Civil societies responded by multiplying their own national and regional “spotlight” reports and engaging with governments in a variety of ways about their findings. Social Watch helps to link those processes with the global follow-up and review.


Pedro Conceição, Director, Human Development Report Office, UNDP

  • Welcoming remarks and introduction

Prof. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Professor for International Affairs at the New School and Vice-Chair of the CDP

  • Presentation of findings from CDP’s analysis on 2018 VNRs, with focus on the findings on LNOB

Roberto Bissio, Coordinator of the Social Watch International Secretariat

  • Summary of findings from national and regional “spotlight reports” from civil society, including inter alia Guatemala, the Philippines and Tunisia and the regional report on the EU and its “externalities”

Barbara Adams, Board Chair of the Global Policy Forum

  • Findings from the 2019 Spotlight Report with a focus on governance challenges for the 2030 Agenda and the HLPF

Interactive dialogue with other participants.

Download the invitation and programme here.