Localizing the SDGs: the remaining challenge

The SDGs turned three years old this past September, and while countries maintain their commitment to the 2030 Agenda, they are experiencing different challenges to localize and integrate this global framework in their national and local decision-making. One challenge is how to achieve transformational changes in the way national institutions make decisions, devise policies, legislate, and report on sustainable development issues. Integrated thinking, cross-sectoral collaboration and coordination, both within and across institutions — as well as more inclusive mechanisms — are a precondition for this change.

This project will support this needed change by engaging in national and regional level exercises, jointly with key local stakeholders, to determine crucial interactions between SDGs. The aim will be to determine strategies and priorities that support a coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of the SDGs in Colombia, while taking socio-economic and governance aspects into consideration.

Supporting SDG integration in Colombia

Colombia has been a leader in the Latin America region and the world regarding the negotiation and formulation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, and it is currently setting its new National Development Plan. This plan is expected to fully align with the SDGs, which is why Colombia offers an appropriate context to pilot research on the integration of SDGs with national policies, and the integration of these with regional and local interests and priorities.

The project takes forward SEI’s pioneering work to understand how the SDGs interact in a given context, and how these interactions affect policy priorities. This work supports decision-makers and practitioners faced with questions on what progress on one target means for progress on other targets; how to prioritize action; and which stakeholders hold the key to progress and need collaborative involvement. This is the first time this approach will be implemented at the regional/local level.