(I had the opportunity to attend a session Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) during recently held #EvalColombo2018. Florence Etta facilitated the panel comprising of Oscar A. Garcia, Soma De Silva, and Stefano D’Errico)
I did not know much about the VNRs. After the session I decided to read about the VNRs. Here is what I have read including what I learned from the panelists. Thanks a lot to all the four in the panel and those who responded during Q&A from whom I learned!
What are VNRs? VNRs serve as a basis for international review of progress of SDGs. As stipulated in paragraph 84 of the 2030 Agenda, regular reviews by the HLPF are to be voluntary, state-led, undertaken by both developed and developing countries, and involve multiple stakeholders. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/vnrs/ Stefano said that –VNRs can help track the country’s theory of change. Read his blog https://www.iied.org/evaluations-reviews-assessments-are-key-embedd... Briefing papers on VNRs IIED and EVALSDGs are publishing a series of briefings about evaluation designed to help promote effective conduct and use of evaluation in SDGs implementation, follow-up and review. They are a must read!
Few good practices are there The paper at http://pubs.iied.org/17446IIED/analyses 43 ‘Voluntary National Reviews’ (VNRs) of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sporadic good practice is emerging, such as: linked National Evaluation Policy and action planning (Nepal); recognition of the SDGs’ complexity when considering evaluation (Czech Republic); learning through evaluation (Ethiopia and Kenya); and drawing on findings from past evaluations (Belize).
What are the challenges?
What is the way forward?
How will I apply this learning? Communities particularly youth have a role to play
A large part of my work is with communities where I am trying to build ownership, action and self assessment by communities on how they respond to an issue.
In future, I will regularly read the VNRs of India and see how I can link with my work in communities. I have read the report from India http://niti.gov.in/content/voluntary-national-review-report I also think communities have a large role to play in SDGs. I am working with a community on Tuberculosis. In the village there was a health worker whose role was to link the villagers on DOTs treatment. I worked on community taking responsibility of its health and assess their response to health particularly TB. Community realised that the health worker being of higher caste does not visit homes of those from lower castes. People belonging to lower caste are poorer and are more likely to have TB. The community approached the local government and got a person appointed as health worker from a caste who would visit homes of all castes. Youth particularly adolescent girls have played a key role in community response to TB.
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