The benefits of producing a local review are numerous and are reaped at multiple levels. Local reviews provide a space for local and regional governments to report and share their progress on attaining the Sustainable Development Goals, the challenges they encounter and their future plans for implementation. Identified as an effective vehicle for driving meaningful engagement, VLRs are critical in promoting inclusive processes that allow for improved coordination around data collection and resource mobilization in tackling local challenges and priorities. In 2019, ECA supported five local governments in conducting their VLRs. In Uganda, Ngora District was supported to carryout VLRs. The process of VLRs has been started in 13 other districts and conducted in 4 others. Their experiences clearly demonstrated the value of such reviews. At the national level, VLRs provide valuable inputs towards national review preparation and enhanced vertical coordination between national and local processes. National Sustainable Development Goal Coordination Framework helps to cement this interaction. In implementation monitoring and follow-up, VLRs contribute to promoting transparency and accountability at the local, national, regional and global levels. In doing so, VLRs enable multilevel governance in the implementation, follow-up and review of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Therefore, in March 2023, the National SDG Secretariat Started the VLR processes in the Districts of Gulu, Mbale and Tororo through entry meetings, rollout of the VLR guidelines and training on the conducting of the VLR process.

The major objective of the field activity was to prepare the district officials to conduct Voluntary Local Review in their districts to assess and as well highlight the progress by the district in achieving the Sustainable development goals and the commitment to leaving no one behind. The specific objectives were; To review the level of implementaion oif the 2030 Agenda and the Agenda 2063; To encourage and build the capacity of the Local Governments to conduct Voluntary Local Reviews; To increase learning from best practices and local action through the National Voluntary Reviews; and to inform development policies through the recommendations made by the Voluntary Local Reviews.

In Mbale, Gulu and Tororo, the process of engagement included entry meetings with the district political and technical leadership. During the meetings, the participants were taken through the Voluntary Local Review Guidelines, how to conduct VLR, lessons and best practices from other districts that had done VLR such as Ngora District. Other activities included the dissemination of the SDG materials and the administering of data Collection tools on SDGs and the Agenda 2063. Preparation process was highly inclusive and participatory, various key stakeholders were involved in the process in order to ensure that relevant and reliable information was given. In other districts i.e Dokolo, Kole, Lira, Bugiri, Bugweri, Jinja, Bulambuli, Sironko, Kapchorwa, Butaleja, Soroti, Omoro and Oyam, IEC Materials were disseminated and data collection tools on SDGs and Agenda 2063 administered.

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