Series of round tables


A series of virtual round tables dedicated to the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals was held on April 19-22, 2021. In view of the need to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda through the revitalization of the so-called "Decade of Action", the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Network of Development Partners on Decentralization and Local Governance (DeLoG), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly organized and hosted a series of virtual round tables on the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Asia-Pacific region. 

The round tables discussed four key factors that contribute to creating an enabling environment for SDG localization, namely: (i) Multi-level governance, policy coherence and institutional development, (ii) Funding for the SDGs at the subnational level, (iii) Data management and Monitoring of SDG localization, and (iv) Multi-stakeholder engagement, partnerships and knowledge sharing. Each of the listed factors was held in a separate panel session on each of the planned days and the number of participants in the sessions exceeded 300 people. 

The 2030 Agenda highlights the need for an inclusive and localized approach to the SDGs. Although many countries have made significant progress in integrating the SDGs into national development plans and strategies, the localization of the SDGs (LSDG) is still a challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of strengthening service delivery and the role of subnational governments in this regard. 

At the first panel session "Multi-level Governance, Policy Coherence, and Institutional Development", on April 19, 2021, the following items were discussed:
  • Existing factors, such as increasing urbanization in Asia, frequent natural disasters, and the current COVID-19 pandemic, have highlighted the importance of subnational governance (SNG) and SDG localization in the Asia-Pacific region. 
  • Localizing the SDGs requires "new thinking": policy coherence and independence of industry policies, systems thinking, innovation, multilateral agreements, and more. 
  • It is important to link / integrate a clear decentralization process together with the functional purpose and resources according to the functions. 
  • SDG localization is an iterative process that involves large-scale actions from involving the SNG in setting priorities to developing strategies and implementing them with full ownership of the SNG.
  • Localization should be an integral part of national strategies for achieving the SDGs. Voluntary subnational and local reviews make an important contribution to voluntary national reviews.

At the second panel session "Financing for SDGs at the Subnational level", on April 20, 2021, the following issues were discussed:

  • Significant amounts of public spending and investment in key SDG-related sectors (such as health, education, social protection, water, environment, and climate) are carried out by subnational Governments (SNGs).
  • Many countries lack an enabling fiscal framework for financing the SDGs. 
  • Fiscal decentralization should be improved to better align responsibilities and resources and provide more fiscal space to subnational governments. Enhanced fiscal decentralization can also help attract private sector financing.
  • Country examples: 
Kazakhstan: Integrating the SDGs into the national planning and budgeting process; a clear understanding of the financial needs associated with the SDGs; the importance of diversifying funding sources

Mongolia: (Orkhon Province): The legal framework for SNG financing needs to be refined to ensure that projects are funded from multiple sources (including the private sector)

  • Although climate finance is available worldwide, there is a lack of mechanisms to channel such funds to the local level. The need to strengthen the financial architecture, local institutions and partnerships to unlock the flow of climate finance to the local level (to support them, the ADB Partnership Program for Community Sustainability 2021-2030 has been launched). 
  • The SNG funding data provided by the OECD-UCLG World Observatory on "SNG Finance and Investment" is crucial for monitoring and reporting on SDG localization. 

Khambar Bakytgul, Director of the Sustainable Development Goals Secretariat of the Institute of Economic Research JSC, made a presentation on Kazakhstan's experience in integrating the SDGs into the national planning and budgeting process. In her speech, the speaker noted that government revenues remain the main component of development finance, the composition of financing is shifting towards a gradual increase in dependence on private finance, and domestic and international private finance is becoming larger. The speaker also presented the specifics of localization in Kazakhstan and spoke about the possibilities of the budget system at the local level, shared the main results of the Assessment of development Financing. 

At the third panel session "Data Management and Monitoring for localization of SDGs", on April 21, 2021, the following topics were presented:  

  • Overview of the OECD subnational goals and available indicators for them. The speaker presented the OECD countries visualization tool for SDG monitoring, which can be tracked on the website The purpose of this tool is to provide an opportunity for policy makers and other stakeholders to determine the distance of their region or city on the path of the SDGs in an intuitive and simple way. Madrid was cited as an example. 
  • Overview of innovative data collection technologies. The speaker presented the report of the Asian Development Bank "Key Indicators Database", which presents statistical data on the SDGs of the ADB member countries. The data for the report was collected from sources of international organizations. 
  • The Philippines has a Community-Based Modeling System (CBMS) that aims to provide policy makers with good information to track the micro-level impact of various policies, adjustments, and political upheavals. 
  • The role of civil society in localizing the SDGs in Nepal. The Government of Nepal has adapted the SDG goals and indicators. The country has an NPC agency for monitoring the SDGs in Nepal. The Agency has created a platform that tracks the country's progress in achieving the SDGs and other national development plans. 

At the final fourth panel session "Multi-Stakeholder Engagement, Partnerships, and Knowledge and Closing Session", on April 22, 2021, current and possible ways of cooperation, knowledge sharing were discussed and the results were summed up. 

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Saved: 07.10.2022

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