OECD Programme Leading Development of Localized SDG Indicator Framework
Photo by IISD/ENB | Sean Wu
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OECD’s Programme on a Territorial Approach to the SDGs aims to support cities and regions to develop, implement and monitor strategies to achieve the SDGs.

The Programme recently held a Roundtable and a Technical Meeting to elaborate an indicator framework for cities and regions.

Nine pilot cities and regions are participating in the Programme and will help pilot the indicator framework.

15 May 2019: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) held a technical meeting on the localized indicator framework for the SDGs. The meeting convened as part of OECD’s Programme on a Territorial Approach to the SDGs, in which nine cities and regions in Latin America, Europe and Asia are participating as pilots.

OECD launched the Programme on a Territorial Approach to the SDGs at the 2018 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The Programme recognizes the crucial role of cities and regions in supporting SDG achievement. For example, the engagement of local and regional governments is critical to achieve 65% of the 169 SDG targets. Cities and regions are playing a critical role in climate mitigation and adaptation, and many city leaders and mayors are in a position to promote policies focused on sustainable development. Within this context, the Programme aims to support cities and regions to develop, implement and monitor strategies to achieve the SDGs.

The indicator framework will be piloted in 9 cities and regions around the world.

The Programme is supporting cities and regions to foster a territorial approach to the SDGs through three main approaches. First, the Programme measures where cities and regions stand in comparison to the national average and their peers. The Programme is developing a tailored, localized indicator framework that will be piloted in different contexts. Second, the Programme supports a multi-level dialogue across levels of government to build consensus on the roles and responsibilities of different levels of government and approaches that can be scaled up. Approaches also include peer-to-peer dialogues among cities, regions and national governments and engagement of umbrella/city networks and stakeholder groups. Third, the Programme will analyze and discuss local SDG stories and practices; identify lessons learned in terms of processes, outcomes and incentives; and share these best practices and lessons learned to facilitate broader learning on how cities and regions can support SDG achievement.

Following the Programme’s launch, it convened a first ‘OCED Roundtable of Cities and Regions for SDGs’ on 7 March 2019, in Paris, France. The roundtable brought together over 140 representatives from cities, regions, national governments, the private sector, international organizations and other key stakeholders to identify challenges and trends in localizing the SDGs. Participants shared experiences and findings from initial programme pilots and highlighted the SDGs as a tool for strategic visioning, planning and budgeting in cities and regions. Cities and regions shared how they have included the SDGs in their development plans and aligned strategies with the SDGs, and also used the SDGs to help manage complementarities and trade-offs at city and regional levels. For example:

  • In the US, the cities of Los Angeles, New York City and Pittsburgh are adopting the SDGs as a planning tool.
  • Kitakyushu, Japan is exploring the relationship between economic and environmental dimensions in building a green city with wind power generation and eco-tourism.

The roundtable supported elaboration of an indicator framework to track SDG progress in cities and regions, and recognized the role of civil society and the private sector in the 2030 Agenda.

The framework that was then developed uses the common OECD/EU definition of city and region, and aims to enable cities and regions to compare themselves with their peers and with national averages. The framework aims to maximize coverage and international comparability by building on OCED territorial statistics for SDGs, while also collecting and producing SDG indicators for regions and cities.

To provide feedback on the proposed indicator framework, experts and stakeholders gathered for a technical meeting on 14 May 2019. Participants discussed challenges related to indicator coverage, and recognized the importance of disaggregated data in identifying and addressing geographic disparities.

Next steps include piloting the indicator framework, and a Second Roundtable in September or October 2019. OECD will prepare a report on the Programme for review in November 2019, with the aim of launching the final version of the report at the World Urban Forum in February 2020.

Nine pilot cities and regions are participating in the Programme: Province of Córdoba, Argentina; Region of Flanders, Belgium; Region of Southern Denmark, Denmark; County of Viken, Norway; State of Paraná, Brazil; City of Kitakyushu, Japan; City of Bonn, Germany; Municipality of Kópavogur, Iceland; and City of Moscow, the Russian Federation. [Programme Webpage] [Programme Flyer] [OCED Roundtable Highlights]

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