Localizing the Post 2015 Development Agenda

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Image Courtesy of UCLG


The post 2015 development agenda has been engaging one of the largest and longest multi-stakeholder deliberations starting from 2012. The United Nations Development Group (UNDG) estimates that almost two million individuals from all corners of the world have taken part in  the global consultation process. The multi stakeholder dialogues were conducted in two phases.The first  phase of the dialogue which was held during 2013 focused on the potential issues and areas to be included in the Post-2015 Development Agenda , the second phase, launched in April 2014, is dedicated to the means of implementation. Localizing the Post 2015 Development Agenda is among the six themes that constitute the second phase dialogue on means of implementation.

The process

Led by UN Habitat and UNDP, the localizing theme was set to garner grassroots and community support towards the SDGs. The consultation was designed to provide platforms to reflect the local dimensions of the future global development framework.

The multi stakeholder dialogue on localizing the post 2015 development agenda that began in April 2014 consisted a number of national meetings in  13 countries, four global  and five regional  level events across  all continents.  More than 5000 participant from 80 countries attended the dialogues. The participants represented national and local institutions, local and regional authorities, civil  society organizations, academia and the private sector.

The global consultation process on localizing the Post-2015 Agenda was concluded in October, 2014 with a High Level Global dialogue in Turin attended by eighty representatives of national, regional and local governments, UN agencies, international institutions, civil society organizations (including women, youth, and slum dwellers), the private sector, academia, foundations and development partners from more than 30 countries.

Result and Recommendations

The global consultations resulted a number of concrete recommendations for facilitating the successful implementation of the Post- 2015 Development Agenda at the local level. The Turin Communique, building up on the recommendations from the global consultations, declared the following consensus to further enhance and reflect the role of local and regional governments in the the post 2015 development agenda.

  • Local and  Regional Governments (LRGs)  are essential for promoting  inclusive sustainable development within their  territories and, therefore, are necessary partners in the implementation  of the  Post-2015 agenda
  • Effective local governance can ensure the  inclusion of a diversity of local stakeholders, thereby creating broad-based ownership, commitment and accountability.
  • An integrated multilevel and multi-stakeholder approach is needed to promote trans-formative agendas at the local level.
  • Strong national commitment to provide adequate legal frameworks and institutional and financial capacity  to local and regional governments is required

In light of  the above, the participants of the dialogue made the following recommendations. The participants and co-leads;

  • Call upon national governments and the UN to strongly advocate for the localization of the agenda at the  intergovernmental  negotiations and to  support the  involvement  of  local  and  regional  governments  and  local stakeholders in the intergovernmental negotiation through their representative networks, including   in the Third International Conference on Financing for Development.
  • Encourage the  Post-2015  agenda to  stress the  importance  of  establishing  environments that unlock the development  potential of local and  regional governments and local  stakeholders by  creating an enabling  institutional framework  at all  levels  and by  localizing resources and ensuring territorial  approach  for  sustainable development.
  • Further call for the redoubling of efforts to include reliable targets and indicators for the SDGs that respond to local contexts, needs and concerns, in order to foster transparency and accountability.

(Read the Turin Communique for the full list of recommendations)

How to Localize?

The next steps following the Turin Communique are  practical moves by the UN and the intergovernmental negotiations to bare in mind the role of LRGs and the notion of localization when delivering the final SDGs. A recent policy brief by Overseas Development Institute (ODI) recommends that it is advisable to keep localizing initiatives simple due to the politics and complicated process needed to finalize the SDGs ODI suggests, the UN and other stakeholders can incorporate LRGs and localize the SDGs by reflecting more on the the following issues during the intergovernmental negotiations :

  • The importance of disaggregated data should continue to be emphasized so that inequalities within countries can be monitored.
  • The role of local authorities in the implementation of the SDGs can be acknowledged and emphasized together with the fact that local authorities that have to deliver basic services in areas of high need require adequate capacity and resources to do so.
  • Programs to strengthen the capacity of local authorities could be part of a new global partnership for implementing, monitoring and financing the goals.

However, the final decision is up to individual countries to work out in their own context what ‘localizing’ means when thinking about implementation of the post 2015 development agenda. High emphasis need to be given towards coordination between different levels of government for the delivery of the goals, and ultimately the realization of the SDGs.

Sources :

‘Localising’ the Post-2015 agenda: What does it mean in practice? London, ODI

The Turin Communique

The World We Want . UNDG Dialogues on the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda, NY, UNDG

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