What are the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs)?

The annual Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) process comprise the mechanisms through which progress against the SDGs is being measured at both national and international level.

The Reviews are intended to track progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda, including the SDGs and targets, in all countries, in a manner that respects their universal and integrated nature and all dimensions of sustainable development. Among the principles guiding the Reviews, they must be substantive and knowledge based, with a particular focus on the poorest, most vulnerable and those furthest behind.

EDF ensures that the voice of persons with disabilities are not forgotten in the process of the Reviews of European countries. Countries present them during the three-day ministerial segment of the High Level Political Forum.

The UN handbook for Voluntary National Reviews at the Forum encourages countries to report on the progress in relation to all 17 SDGs. Where priority targets have been identified, countries can cover those in greater depth.

The Review is expected to show what steps the country has taken to implement the 2030 Agenda, including the goals and targets, and provide an assessment of the results on the ground. Implementation needs to be more visible over time and be indicative of exactly what concrete, tangible steps it has taken to ensure that the 2030 Agenda is met.

The effective implementation of the SDGs depends on their incorporation into all relevant national frameworks. The VNR needs to analyze how well such frameworks are aligned with the SDGs and determine whether there are critical gaps. Countries should be specific about the main challenges and difficulties they face in implementing the SDGs, and are encouraged to provide an analysis of the causes of these challenges and difficulties.

For more information, read EDF recommendations for our members regarding the VNRs.

You can also explore the Voluntary National Reviews database.