Scotland's Sustainable Development Goals Network
SDG Network Scotland

December update: Scottish approach to the national SDG review

Firstly, thanks for an excellent year, all the contributions you’ve made and the support you’ve given me, too. Find our year in review moment here!


Our second update looks at forming the Scottish approach to the National Review on SDG progress and wider implementation of sustainable development in Scotland. Visit here for our first update on the UK approach.

Why the review is important

The UK Voluntary National Review (VNR, or ‘the review’) on SDG performance is more than simply reporting on progress. It provides the perfect opportunity to start a conversation with citizens and organisations to build greater engagement and action around the SDGs and add to the existing movement on sustainable development.

The Network’s Review Working Group

Scotland’s SDG Network set up an open (anyone can join) Working Group in September to focus on the national review, which will be reported on in July 2019. The group was joined by the Scottish Government, and since November it has been working to consider how Scotland can contribute to the review and use this as a catalyst to widen involvement.


UK developments

Our latest update on the UK Government’s approach to the review revealed limited opportunity for the voice of devolved nations and indeed even less for non-governmental stakeholders to come through. Whatever form the review takes, Scotland must still make the most of the opportunity.

Scotland’s approach 

The lack of clarity over the review has meant that steps have been taken in Scotland to ensure that, whatever the outcome, Scotland will be in a position not only to report on SDG progress but begin the conversation on engagement and action. The partnership approach the Network and Government are taking means that the evidence and information will be publicly available for civil society and others to act on this. You can read and comment on the working delivery plan we’re using. 


Engagement  – your input

The SDG Network’s review group sees its initial engagement as the start of a conversation. We’ve set up this page to crowdsource ideas and information openly and reach out to a much wider group of people and organisations across Scotland. We’ll come back to this in January to facilitate initial discussions, but we’re asking people to respond to three questions by adding their contributions to the boxes.

Why this approach

If the review is to be more than a box ticking exercise, it should be used to drive engagement and action. We want to make this initial discussion as deliberative and participative as possible, ensuring that anyone can contribute to planning for Scotland’s contribution to the review on SDG progress and the delivery of the SDGs more generally.


By collecting and hosting your input online, we hope to facilitate further discussion with Scotland’s SDG Network and other groups and use this page to support wider engagement plans for the SDGs in Scotland. We also see this as a useful tool to share learning with local and national civil society groups and governments.


It’s 2:40pm on 21st December and I’m sure you have other things on your mind. I hope you will consider this between now and early January, when we will return to facilitate input and discussions through the forum and other channels. By all means, go ahead and add your contributions!


By Paul Bradley, Scotland’s SDG Network Coordinator

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