SDG progress reports are not achieving the expected results, and their quality has been deficient in LAC

Feb 2, 2024

About the Event

Voluntary National Reports (VNR) are the primary tool established by the 2030 Agenda to monitor the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the national level. They are voluntarily conducted by States and presented to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) when deemed appropriate.

Cepei found that VNRs are not achieving the expected results, and their quality has been deficient throughout the region. The path towards the SDGs shows setbacks and adds to the need for more progress; they reach only 75% of the agreed targets. Javier Surasky, Director of Research, stated, “The quality of the Voluntary National Reports submitted in 2022 and 2023 are uneven, but in all cases, there are opportunities for improvement not restricted by the availability of resources but by the working mentality”.

In the case of Mexico, the SDG VNR Quality Tracker found that the country’s three VNRs -2016, 2018, and 2021- submitted scored 51.48, 52.12, and 60.71, respectively. It means the first two are in the medium-low quality range while the last is medium-high. Seven of the ten areas analyzed by the tracker reflect an improvement between the first (2016) and the third report (2021). The progress is highlighted mainly in the national implementation measures, the coverage of the report, and the participation of stakeholders in the construction of the VNR.

Visit the SDG VNR Quality Tracker to identify key elements in VNR construction and learn about examples of good reporting practices.

Six years remain to achieve the 2030 Agenda. There is an urgent need to improve the quality of the VNR. Improving the data quality that underpins the reporting process is essential to accelerate the SDGs, foster joint learning, and implement efficient and effective data-driven actions.

Voluntary National Reports: A Quality Approach

The 2030 Agenda constitutes a common compact towards sustainable development. Cepei shares three key points to improve the quality of reporting to accelerate progress on the SDGs at the national level:

1.  The voluntary national review is the primary process for monitoring the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

2.  The success of the SDG monitoring system at national, regional, and global levels depends on strong Voluntary National Reports.

3.  Improving the quality of VNRs strengthens transparency and accountability.



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