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Evaluation as a Pathway to Transformation for a Sustainable Future

Hi everyone, Indri here from THINK-Research Team.

If you follow account, you might know that we joined the Transformative Conference and contributed as one of the speakers in Global Just Transition. In this blog, I want to share one of the sessions of the Transformative Conference. It's a privilege for us to be one of the committees and can access free conference materials. You can find the conference details in this link: I joined three sessions and my first session is Evaluation as a Pathway to Transformation for a Sustainable Future.

There were three reading materials given in this session. In this blog, I want to write about one of them: "Embedding evaluation in national plans and policies to foster transformative development".

If we see the title, we might think about three things:

  1. Evaluation

  2. National Plans and Policies

  3. Transformative Development

Based on this reading material, Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) is an important tool to assess the progress of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) of each country. You can find many blogs on this website related to SDGs. This is one of them: As we know that every country has their own national targets, plans, and policies related to SDGs achievement. For example, in Indonesia, the government has different targets and policies under the Ministry of National Development Planning and Ministry of Forestry and Environment. However, an evaluation is needed to assess the progress and result of their actions to achieve SDGs. Under the VNRs approach, national responsibility for evaluating sustainable development is primarily tied to national follow-up and review processes. Presenting their VNRs at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) meetings like policy dialogue or ministerial meeting is one of a number of activities countries can undertake as part of these review processes.

You might know that there are a lot of reports that can show you the progress or transition of transformative actions of many countries in achieving SDGs. Indonesian achievements of SDGs at the global level include submission of its VNRs in 2017 and 2019 in the series of HLPF at the United Nations (UN). The United Nations assessed Indonesia's 2017 VNRs as one of the six the best VNR in the world. Therefore, Indonesia was invited by the United Nations to participate in Investment Fair 2018 to discuss various projects for achievement

SDGs with international investors. VNR Indonesia in 2019 also got award from the United Nations especially for the Goal 16 report on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions because Indonesia compiled this report seriously applying the principle of inclusiveness (BAPPENAS, 2020). At the national level, 19 SDGs have now been established at SDG Centers in several universities spread across several regions in Indonesia Indonesia. Until mid-2020, as many as 27 provinces have had plans Regional Action of SDGs with 11 provinces of which have submitted reports monitoring and evaluation SDGs regional actions.

So, the importance of VNRs as an approach to evaluation is twofold: 1) VNRs are a means of reporting on the technocratic challenges associated with monitoring, measuring and setting indicators, and 2) importantly, they are the vehicle for reporting on national progress toward realising the SDGs and their targets. At the HLPF, countries are encouraged to report on the challenges they face in implementing the SDGs, how they are addressing those challenges and how they are tracking progress toward the targets. So, the evaluation will result in three main things: targets achievement, barriers and challenges, and transitional actions.

I will stop here and will continue to write about SDGs evaluation on my next posts. Thank you for reading!

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