Workshop on supporting evidence-based Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and SDG reporting: data and statistics innovations

6 - 7 December 2023, Ankara, Türkiye   SESRIC Headquarters

The effective follow-up and review of progress made towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is essential for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. One of the critical follow-up and review mechanisms is the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) prepared by Member States to be presented at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, countries have made significant strides in enhancing their monitoring frameworks for the SDGs, leading to improved inclusion of data and progress assessments in VNRs and overall SDG reporting.

However, countries continue to highlight the challenges of limited evidence, stressing problems of data availability, data disaggregation, data collection as well as various human and financial constraints for SDG monitoring overall. These challenges have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises, such as conflict and climate change. As a result, the breadth of analysis accessible for the VNRs and SDG reporting is impacted.

To help address these challenges, tools and resources have been developed by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the United Nations system and partners related to data innovations, non-traditional data sources, leaving no one behind (LNOB), data storytelling and visualization for improving VNR and SDG reporting. This workshop on supporting evidence-based VNRs and SDG reporting will focus on data and statistics innovations and country experiences and lessons learned for enhancing data and statistics used for the preparation of 2024 VNRs and SDG reporting.

Concept Note


Resources for participants


    Session 1: Data Roadmap for developing VNRs & Lessons Learned

  • Agenda 1a: Introduction, UNSD (PDF)
  • Agenda 1b: UNSD VNR Data Roadmap (Steps 1-3), UNSD (PDF)
  • Agenda 1c: Partnerships and user engagement, UNSD (PDF)
  • Agenda 1e: Annual SDG progress report and capacity building for VNRs, SESRIC (PDF)
  • Agenda 1f: The role of SDG reporting and VNR for tracking SDG progress, Azerbaijan (PDF)
  • Agenda 1g: Lessons Learned, Egypt (PDF)

  • Session 2: Data innovations and non-traditional data sources for VNRs and SDG reporting

  • Agenda 2a: Using innovative approaches to fill data gaps, UNSD (PDF)
  • Agenda 2b: Experiences from the use of administrative data for SDG reporting, UNSD (PDF)
  • Agenda 2c: Geospatial data and Ireland's latest VNR (PDF | Video)
  • Agenda 2d: Administrative data experience in Namibia (PDF)
  • Agenda 2e: DANE's experience in the use of non-traditional data sources for the SDGs, Colombia (PDF)
  • Agenda 2f: Mobile phone data for SDG monitoring, Georgia (PDF)
  • Agenda 2g: Use of citizen data to gain insights for SDG reporting, UNSD (PDF)
  • Agenda 2h: UN Data Commons for the SDGs, UNSD (PDF)
  • Agenda 2i: Use of citizen generated data to fill SDG data gaps, Kenya (PDF)

  • Regional Commissions Information Session (Video)

    Session 3: Tools for 'leaving no one behind'

  • Agenda 3a: Mainstreaming LNOB evidence to VNRs, UN ESCAP (PDF)
  • Agenda 3b: Local-level SDG monitoring (SDG localization) – Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) and Voluntary Subnational Reviews (VSRs), UNSD (PDF)
  • Agenda 3c: Measuring the SDG leave no one behind concepts, a Namibian perspective, Namibia (PDF)
  • Agenda 3d: Nepalese experience on leaving no one behind, Nepal (PDF)
  • Agenda 3e: Counted and Visible Toolkit, UN Women (PDF | Video)
  • Agenda 3f: Human rights and VNRs- Operational common approach guidance note (OHCHR/UNDP), OHCHR (PDF | Video)

  • Session 4: How to use and present data in SDG reporting and VNRs (data storytelling and visualization)

  • Agenda 4a: Good practices in the use of data storytelling and data visualizations in VNR reports (Step 4 in Roadmap), UNSD (PDF)
  • Agenda 4b: Overall experience with data storytelling/data visualization and country examples, UN Women (PDF)
  • Agenda 4c: SDG Web Portal of Türkiye, Türkiye (PDF)
  • Agenda 4d: Brazil's SDG platform, Brazil (PDF)
  • Agenda 4e: Egyptian experience using ESCWA SDMX Converter and MARSA Platform for SDGs, Egypt (PDF)
  • Agenda 4f: Data visualization and implementation of SDG data platforms, Uganda (PDF)

  • Session 5: Overview of the VNR process at global level and next steps

  • Agenda 5a: Overview of VNR process and next steps, DESA OISC (PDF | Video)