October 2016: The UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments launched an engagement platform, ‘Localizing the SDGs.’ The knowledge and information-sharing platform provides practical tools designed for local and regional governments (LRGs) and other stakeholders interested in contributing to the implementation and review of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the local level.

The platform aims to provide practical direction in assessing, planning, implementing and monitoring local policies related to the SDGs. The platform features sections for: discovering tools; contributing documents; sharing stories; discussing issues and ideas; and posting events. It will be continually updated with new tools and resources.

The tools section includes resources related to each stage of the SDGs process: initializing the process, such as through awareness raising, diagnostics, strategies and plans, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E); enabling institutional arrangements for SDGs implementation, such as tabs on multi-level governance, territorial and multi-stakeholder approaches; accountability; development cooperation effectiveness; and capacity strengthening. Each section describes the tool’s use and aims, and provides links to relevant resources, such as handbooks and other relevant publications. Users can also search for resources by tools, type, actors, region, and language on the library tab.

Discussion space allows users to exchange ideas and experiences, as well as to hold moderated discussions. A moderated discussion led by UNDP asks: “One year after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, has the message reached the territories?’ Users can also suggest topics for future discussions, and upload and share their own experiences and tools.

UNDP, UN-Habitat and the Global Taskforce previously collaborated on efforts to localize the SDGs including through a dialogue process in 2014 that considered how the 2030 Agenda would be implemented at the local level and what local governance processes, institutions, mechanisms and tools and other means of implementation are needed to achieve the SDGs. This work resulted in a publication, ‘Localizing the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Dialogues on Implementation.’ In 2015-2016, the organizations developed a toolbox to support local stakeholders working to implement the SDGs at the local level. The organizations launched the platform at the World Summit of Local and Regional Governments, which took place in advance of the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III). The Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments is hosted by the United Cities and Local Governments World Secretariat.

“Local actors have a key role to play in translating the SDGs into reality and the platform will be a useful resource for them in this process,” said Barbara Pesce-Monteiro, Director of the UN and UNDP Office in Brussels, Belgium. “To ensure that the SDGs contribute to a substantive improvement of people’s lives, sharing best practices as well as challenges is key.”

‘Localizing the SDGs’ is available in English, French and Spanish. [Localizing the SDGs Website] [UNDP Press Release] [YouTube Video on Localizing the SDGs] [Global Taskforce Website] [Localizing the Post-2015 Development Agenda]