The local and regional government networks take on the challenge of the SDGs

27 June 2017

The two-day ‘training of trainers’ Workshop on “Localizing the SDGs”, on 25th and 26th of May 2017 organized by the UCLG World Secretariat, was used to interchange about experience on localizing SDGs and to introduce the newly developed SDG toolkit.

(The full version of this article is available on UCLG website)

Dynamic methods, especially moderation and facilitation skills were practiced and fostered by all 20 participants from Africa, Asia, Middle East and Europe. The main outcome was an up-coming workshop planned with a detailed agenda and methodology.

The localization of the SDGs and the urban agenda has been UCLG motto since their formulation. UCLG through the Global Taskforce and, together with UN Habitat and UNDP agencies, has developed a series of tools for local governments and their associations. Thereby, localizing is not the parachuting of global goals into local context but it is linking UCLG own agenda reflected in the Bogota Commitment with the global agenda. Thus, making localizing an inspiring effort. As a key part of UCLG strategy on localization, it facilitates learning among local governments.


Especially interesting and motivating was the presentation of an example on implementation of SDGs in KwaZulu-Natal (the region around Durban) by Sogendra Moodley, Director of the Municipal Institute of Learning (MILE) in South Africa. There, SDGs are implemented by ensuring that the Provincial Goals and Strategic Objectives are totally aligned with the SDGs, establishing and maintaining a direct line of sight to the SDGs. Through this embedment process within the Long Term Plan and Integrated Development Plan, which drives the way the city prioritizes development, budget and measures its performance, every plan owner within the municipality is now charged with ensuring that each plan, program or project aligns with the council’s Integrated Development Plan. This is a very successful example of aligning SDGs to local and regional policies and triggered a very vivid discussion among our workshop participants.

This example as well as other achievements from the regional coordinators and work in process was for all participants and the active learning experience very valuable, especially to understand challenges and opportunities.

Najat Zarrouk, Director of the African Local Governments Academy (ALGA), presented their strategic plan 2017-2021. They tackle and address different blocks of challenges and act as a strategic lever for the professionalization and the performance at African local level. The keystone to build African Unity and driving African development through grassroots means investing in local human capital through education, training, learning, capacity building and empowering. For doing so, ALGA focuses especially on an innovative training offer through a professional Masters for local managers.

Emine Gökçe Yanik, Project officer at UCLG MEWA, presented their activities inside their organization in regards to the topic of localizing SDGs.

Arief Mulya Ramadhian, Program Development Specialist at UCLG ASPAC, explained that their work focuses on five main areas: 1) to connect local governments to development actors to explore partnership and to learn from global/regional platforms, 2) to assess rapidly on what the best way for local governments is to communicate on SDGs, 3) activities on promotion, 4) capacity building and 5) to development a roadmap on SDG goals.


A second edition of “training of trainers” was held on 15-16 of June in Spanish, together with the Province of Barcelona and hosted by CIDOB. Exercises and presentations were shorter as all participants in the previous session highlighted the need for skills for trainers, especially on moderation and presentation. Thus, this training of trainers focused more on these capacities.


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