Urban development experts highlighted the importance of data collection and monitoring, including Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs), to improve local governance, identify development opportunities and localize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), during a session organized by UN-Habitat in cooperation with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the Middle East and Western Asia (UCLG-MEWA) and the Arab Cities Organization (ATO), in the last week June at the Eleventh Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF11) .
In the session titled “The State of Arab Cities”, participants discussed how tools such as the VLRs, which analyze the implementation of the SDGs at the local level, can address data gaps, as well as provide guidance and technical support to governments. local.
“We look forward to continuing to support data collection and analysis at the local level to achieve effective urban development that is suitable for the Arab region,” said Dr. Erfan Ali, UN-Habitat Regional Representative for the Arab Region, in his remarks. closing.
The lack of urban data collection tools is one of the challenges in advancing urban development. Addressing this challenge, UN-Habitat is currently leading the drive for VLR in the Arab region in partnership with ESCWA, UCLG-MEWA and ATO.
“The lack of data and monitoring tools hampers sustainable development. Only through accurate data, cities can assess their progress and create comprehensive plans to further achieve the SDGs”, Ing. Ahmed Sobeih, Secretary General of ATO, highlighted.
The VLR mechanism has become an essential tool for cities around the world to report and track progress on the SDGs. In the Arab region, following an inclusive and participatory approach, two cities have started developing their VLRs, namely Amman, Jordan and Agadir, Morocco, with more cities due to start the process later this year.
“VLRs of Aman seeks to strengthen monitoring mechanisms for local development and enhance cooperation with cities around the world, establishing a strategy to achieve the SDGs by 2030”, Mrs. Njoud AbdelJawad, Manager of International Relations and Department of Greater Amman Municipality Technical Support, commented on Aman's goals in implementing VLR.
Mr. Mehmet Duman, Secretary General of UCLG-MEWA praised the cities of Amman and Agadir for their successful implementation.
WUF, organized by UN-Habitat, is the leading conference on urbanization and takes place every two years. WUF11 is co-organized by UN-Habitat, the Polish Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy and the Katowice Municipal Office.
Grassroots initiatives undertaken at the local level have been instrumental in responding to COVID, protecting the environment and ensuring inclusive development across Africa.ADDIS ABEBA, Ethiopia, January 10, 2022 / APO Group / -
Five African localities have published Voluntary Local Reviews (VLR) of their frameworks and progress towards regional and global sustainable development goals. These VLRs, in Accra, Harare, Ngora District, Victoria Falls and Yaoundé, were supported by the ECA and are among a first wave of reviews at the local level conducted across Africa, with many more on the way.
Subnational governments and stakeholders play a critical role in the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the African Union Agenda 2063. Grassroots initiatives undertaken at the local level have been instrumental in responding to COVID, protecting the environment and ensuring inclusive development across Africa. As countries continue to assess their progress towards the two agendas through Voluntary National Reviews (VNR), interest in conducting this review process at the local level has grown exponentially.
These African VLRs have informed the production of the African Regional Guidelines for VLRs. These Guidelines, produced in partnership with UN-Habitat and United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-A), will be published shortly and will be used to inform future revisions.
As cities, districts and governorates become increasingly involved in these processes, the ECA stands ready to work closely with them and a coalition of other partners to advance the localization agenda for the SDGs.
The five published VLRs can be accessed here: https://www.uneca.org/?q=voluntary-local-reviews-africa