It is widely acknowledged that the global sustainability agenda must be rooted and exemplified in the realities of each territory. To highlight this, United Cities and Local Governments works under the umbrella of the SDG framework and towards the implementation of the New Urban Agenda at local level.
The training brought together representatives from local and regional governments and their associations from Africa, Latin America, Europe, North America and the Middle East to share their experiences and visions around the localization of the SDGs. During the training all participants had the opportunity to review their understanding of the SDGs and to develop strategies to use the framework of the SDGs to better structure their knowledge management and advocacy, as well as to acquire hands-on materials to help with this. Videos and materials used in global and institutional campaigns have already been made available on this platform, and we warmly invite you to browse the many resources available on LocalizingtheSDGs.
The Madrid session started with an introduction during which all participants discussed the importance of the SDGs for local and regional governments. A mix of key inputs from experts and participants and group work provided the opportunity to demonstrate the relevance of SDGs within cities, associations and networks.
The second segment of the training covered the role of local government associations in awareness‑raising and advocacy processes. During this segment, participants explored the importance of involving stakeholders in the awareness-raising process among local and regional governments, who will subsequently have to take into account the SDGs in their daily work as well in their dialogues with society.
The third segment of the module explored the localization of SDGs and local realities. During this segment, participants looked at the importance of aligning local and regional plans with the SDGs and explored the question of financing the localization of SDGs. The segment emphasized the local dimension of the SDGs and all targets.
The last segment of the session discussed the importance of monitoring and evaluation, including the participation of regional and local governments in the national voluntary reporting system established by the UN.
In order to ensure the local SDG agenda is recognized and connected to the local level, it is crucial for partners to offer and explain the necessary tools, so that knowledge can be created, aligned and reported in the territories and, in particular, to enable it to be linked with other stakeholders’ and citizens’ involvement. Several members showed an interest in holding SDG activities and workshops in the coming months. Further, the UCLG European, Latin American and Asian Sections requested support through trainings, and some Latin American and African cities expressed their motivation to implement an SDG roadmap. Future activities of the “localizing” initiative may focus on strengthening learning and networking mechanisms among associations, partner networks and cities.