Workshop Outlines Financing, Policy Needs to Localize SDGs

Leila Mead

UN-Habitat has published a report on financing the localization of the SDGs, sharing the findings and recommendations from a meeting titled, ‘Venice City Solutions 2030 – Financing the SDGs,’ that took place from 16-17 November 2018, in Venice, Italy. The workshop outcomes will be presented at a side event on the need to fund the localization of the 2030 Agenda, during the July 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
The workshop in Venice sought to identify existing experiences, gather data and provide solutions to help finance SDG implementation at the local level. Discussion revolved around four themes: national strategies for financing SDG achievement at the local level; measuring local-level impact, and the importance of data on budget alignment and tracking indicators; the ways in which local governments are making the 2030 Agenda a reality at the local level; and dynamic local economies to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
Participants underscored the need for capable and accountable local governments. They also discussed the need for concrete mechanisms and tools of financial support and mapping untapped financial instruments or practices. Among the recommendations that emerged from the meeting, participants called for:
International organizations to link funding and financing to concretizing decentralization, and support reliable data collection and tailored indicators at the local level;
Building financial management capacities, including the ability to access loans to achieve the 2030 Agenda, particularly in less developed countries;
Further developing solidarity between local government associations, including learning from each other about how different countries, with different decentralization levels, are localizing the SDGs;
Offering ISO-style certification to entities that are implementing the SDGs;
Applying successes from the climate change process to the SDGs;
Developing dialogue mechanisms between central and local governments to achieve the SDGs at the local level;
Ensuring effective decentralization and local autonomy when deciding how to allocate resources;
More national legislation conducive to financing the SDGs at the local level;
More transparency regarding the management of financial resources;
Increasing awareness about the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, beginning with schools and primary education;
Developing data about financing and the impact of funds in the lives of people, and ensuring local data is respected by national statistic systems; and
Tracing finance by the specific indicators and areas covered by the SDGs.
The workshop’s conclusions and recommendations will contribute to the HLPF by informing reports on SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals). The HLPF will include in-depth reviews of progress on these two Goals, among others.
The workshop was hosted by the Italian Association for the Council of European Municipalities, and co-organized by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN-Habitat, the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and United Cities and Local Governments.

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