Scotland's Sustainable Development Goals Network
SDG Network Scotland

SDG Network Scotland submission to Review of National Performance Framework Outcomes

June 2023 

This week the steering group submitted a response to Scottish Government’s Call for Evidence as part of their Review of the National Performance Framework Outcomes. The response was co-created by the steering group with Dr Graham Long, with additional feedback and comments provided by interested members.  

The SDG Network is supportive of the commitment by Scottish Government that ‘the National Performance Framework (NPF) is the way Scotland has localised the UN SDGs’ and that therefore the NPF has a focus on tackling inequalities and the ‘Leave No One Behind’ (LNOB) promise of the SDGs as we work together to drive progress on the SDGs in Scotland.  

Whilst the localisation of the SDGs within the NPF is welcomed and supported by the Network, we believe that the NPF could be clearer about how it is tackling inequalities and ensuring that no one is left behind. We also believe that the NPF could and should be more closely aligned with the globally accepted Targets and Indicators of the SDGs. In particular, the NPF lacks targets and agreement on these would help place indicator reporting in context and would enable aspirational and pragmatic goal setting.  

The SDG Network reaffirms the importance of Scottish Government’s commitment to the regular public consultation through the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act on the National Outcomes. This is an important mechanism which encourages public engagement with the NPF. In keeping with the LNOB promise, we would have welcomed greater inclusion of participatory engagement methods in the review process which could have increased public awareness and support for the NPF. The low profile of the NPF and the SDGs amongst the general population and within some sectors is something the SDG Network has previously identified as a challenge.  

Local Authorities are key to the delivery of transformational change in Scotland, and we believe that increased engagement here could unlock a great deal of untapped potential. Greater ownership of the NPF and the SDGs across Local Authorities and other organisations could help connect Scotland more generally with both the NPF and the SDGs thereby driving progress and performance.   

As this year’s SDGs Summit marking the historic halfway point will make clear, action on the impact of global heating and taking responsibility for historical and continued high levels of greenhouse gas emissions is integral to the implementation of the SDGs. This review of the NPF and its National Outcomes provides Scottish Government, and indeed Scotland, with an opportunity to align itself even more closely with these global ambitions, localising and embedding these as something nationally owned and implemented. 

If you are interested in joining the SDG Network Scotland, you can sign up to our Mighty Networks site – this link will take you to our network. 

By Dr Sophie Brett, Keep Scotland Beautiful

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