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Deadline: 16 October 2017
Title: Consultant

Please send expressions of interest and a CV to Fraser Reilly-King by 9am on 16 October 2017.

For a full Terms of Reference, please download the attachment.

The report will aim to provide recommendations for improving the VNR process and reports and help strengthen the accountability around the implementation of the SDGs.

Bond, the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, the International Forum of NGO Platforms, Together 2030 and WWF UK are seeking a consultant to analyse and produce a report on the Voluntary National Reviews on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals presented to the 2017 High Level Political Forum.

In 2018, governments will convene in July for the Third Meeting of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Implementation of the SDGs is well underway, and the HLPF is the main global venue for governments, civil society and other stakeholders to share what they are doing (or not) to implement and monitor the goals – both at a procedural and substantive level. The Forum is mandated to carry out regular, inclusive, State-led and thematic reviews of the implementation of Agenda 2030, with inputs from other intergovernmental bodies, regional processes, major groups and other stakeholders. To date, 64 countries have presented voluntary national reviews (VNRs).

Parallel to these VNRs, civil society organizations and coalitions from different countries have also produced their own reviews and analysis, assessing government’s implementation of the SDGs and reporting on that implementation. They represent an essential complement to the official processes – in particular given the limited dialogue that several governments have pursued with domestic civil society around their respective VNR process.

Much inspiration can be drawn from both national and CSO reports in terms of best practices (by governments and civil society) that could be replicated in other countries by CSOs to advocate for better and more inclusive implementation of the SDGs.

CSOs globally may not be sufficiently aware of best practices in different countries or where and how they can encourage their governments to improve their VNRs. With over a third of UN Member States having already presented at least one VNR, it is time to take stock.

Goals and objectives of the research

To document and analyse the VNRs and a sample of civil society reports produced in 2017 for the HLPF, with a view to providing recommendations for improving the VNR process and reports and strengthening the accountability around the implementation of the SDGs.


  • To analyse the VNRs and a sample of civil society reports produced in 2017 to assess and compare how different governments are using the VNR process as a tool to account for national implementation of the SDGs.
  • To provide concrete examples, across a range of domains, of best practices in terms of engagement, (implementation) and monitoring by governments and civil society with regards to the SDG agenda, with a view to offering inspiration and leverage to CSOs in different countries to improve practice in their respective countries.
  • To use this comparison to make forward-looking recommendations, including on how to improve the reporting by country governments at the HLPF, using the voluntary common reporting guidelines as a “floor” for the comparison (leaving room to go above and beyond the guidelines).


Assess the 43 voluntary national reviews and a sample of CSO reports produced in 2017, including drawing on publications that have already done some of this analysis, to draw out best practices on a number of key dimensions of the 2030 Agenda. This assessment can be done against the Secretary-General’s Voluntary Common Reporting Guidelines for VNRs, using the latter as a “floor”. The analysis could present the findings in a comparative table, draw out common themes, and can also use the findings to identify areas where the guidelines themselves may be falling short.

See Full Terms of Reference

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