Voluntary National Reports from LAC countries need concrete actions to accelerate the SDGs implementation

Jul 31, 2023

About the Event

This year’s United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) focused on “accelerating recovery from COVID-19 and full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels.” The event took place from July 10 to 19, and four Latin American and Caribbean countries—Chile, Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Guyana—presented their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) progress and the 2030 Agenda. 

Cepei and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s New York office organized an in-person event to present the results of the VNR Quality Index, a component of the digital tool launched earlier this year—the SDG VNR Quality Tracker

The discussion addressed the main challenges and opportunities for improvement for Latin American and Caribbean countries to prepare quality reports focusing on concrete and achievable actions to accelerate SDG achievement. In addition, the think tank presented the methodology used and shared their perspectives on the importance of using data to make better decisions. 

Cepei’s analysis showed that the average quality of the VNRs submitted by the countries in the region is in the medium category (52 out of 100). This means that, although there are positive points regarding the quality of the reports, the information published could be more extensive, and data gaps still need to be closed. 

“The VNRs are the main process and tool for monitoring the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The success of the SDG tracking system at the national, regional, and global levels depends on the robustness of the reports, and so far, they have not yielded the expected results. Doing so would improve transparency, accuracy, and consistency in all areas related to progress made on the 2030 Agenda,” says Javier Surasky, Research Director at Cepei.

Main contributions

The Index, which has analyzed 29 reports, ranked the variables through an interactive dashboard. By comparing the different countries, the index observed the following information:

1.  The average quality of reports from Latin America and the Caribbean is 52.1/100.

2.  Ninety-three percent of the VNRs are in the medium-high and medium-low quality categories.

3.  There are no VNRs in the high-quality category. 

4.  The top-rated country is Jamaica. Half of the analyzed dimensions score more than 80/100 points. Only one dimension (participation of different stakeholders) is below 50/100.

5.  The VNR with the lowest ranking is Barbados (2020), as its VNR was not published, and the analysis was based on key messages only.

6.  Over the past three years, Chile has shown a steady decline in the quality of its reporting due to a reduction in the amount of data reported and a need for more alignment with the principles of the 2030 Agenda.

About the SDG VNR Quality Tracker

Since 2016, Cepei has developed a detailed understanding of the VNR process in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The SDG VNR Quality Tracker provides information on Voluntary National Reviews for decision-makers by tracking and reporting progress on the SDGs.


Photos: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung


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