By Johannes Butscher
The annual Voluntary National Review (VNR) process comprises the mechanism through which progress against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2030 is measured. Analysis of trends and gaps, challenges and difficulties, lessons learned and good practices are presented in the reports. In 2020, governments from 47 countries will present their VNRs to showcase their progress, amongst them Nepal.
Government reports feature the progress and advance of achieving the SGDs, often leaving or preventing any critical self-assessments and/or civil society shadow reports. Acclaimed progress must be measured against the situation of the most vulnerable. Their situation must be analyzed and understood, shortcoming identified and further steps designed to ensure the Agenda 2030 is achieved and No One is Left Behind.
The situation of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups is one of the most comprehensive and holistic measures of real progress. The government of Nepal has showcased how to Leave No One Behind in the process. In a participatory and inclusive manner with civil society, the VNR report National Review of Sustainable Development Goals on the process and achievements on the national country level was published. Crucially, NGO Federation of Nepal (GCAP Nepal) published in cooperation with the government the CSOs’ Voluntary National Review 2020. A shadow report which focuses on recommendations and suggestions to further implement the SDGs and the Agenda 2030 with particular focus on the most marginalized and vulnerable groups. This coordination showcases what a well-coordinated effort between civil society and government can look like.
Furthermore, senior government official and Vice-Chair of the National Planning Commission of Nepal, which published the VNR report, participated in the HLPF side event organized by NGO Federation of Nepal (GCAP Nepal) with the title: Leave No One Behind during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Decade of Action, a recording of which can be viewed here (translation into French and Spanish was available for the side event but are not available in this recording):