Los Angeles joins NYC, Bristol in publishing Voluntary Local Review

Written by Jay Neuner

LA’s VLR report.    Source   : City of Los Angeles

LA’s VLR report. Source: City of Los Angeles

Los Angeles has joined the likes of New York City and Bristol, UK in publishing its own Voluntary Local Review (VLR). The review was presented at the July 2019 High-level Political Forum (HLPF), hosted at the United Nations in New York. 

Mayor Eric Garcetti highlighted in his introductory note that this report presented not only a means of showing LA’s progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but also “an opportunity to ask for help with what is not.” LA’s hope to garner insights and lessons from other urban areas working on the SDGs comes as no surprise, given its work with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Local Data Action Solutions Initiative (SDSN LDA-SI).

As part of the LDA-SI, the City of Los Angeles joined a cohort of grantees from Aruba, Brazil, Colombia, India, and the United Kingdom (specifically, a team from Bristol that contributed to that city’s VLR). These grantees shared with one another their approaches to localizing the SDG indicators in their regions. The grantees derived this work in part from previous indicator alignment conducted in Baltimore, New York City, and San José (all in the USA) through SDSN’s USA Sustainable Cities Initiative. LA’s work under the LDA-SI grant was cited in the VLR as part and parcel of the City’s monitoring work on the SDGs.

The Voluntary Local Review is not a requirement of cities, unlike the Voluntary National Review (required, periodic reporting on SDG progress from those countries committed to these lofty goals). But with cities like LA, New York, and Bristol leading the way, the VLR is evolving from a de rigeur output to overwhelming evidence of how critical subnational monitoring and effort is to achievement of the SDGs worldwide.

For more on the value of subnational monitoring, dive into the work of our Local Data Action Solutions Initiative.