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Evaluation: a missed opportunity in the SDGs’ first set of Voluntary National Reviews

At the 2016 UN High Level Political Forum, 22 countries presented Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) — status reports on their efforts to implement national-level follow-up and review frameworks for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). VNRs are meant to cover the status of the 17 SDGs in each reporting country and to provide an overview of processes planned to assess national progress towards them. This briefing reports on a review of the 22 VNRs, which focused on how each addressed the role of evaluation. It found that most VNRs show little awareness about just what evaluation is and how it could be used to support the 2030 Agenda. Many more countries will soon be presenting their VNRs. The recommendations presented here can strengthen and improve future reporting on VNRs.

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Evaluation processes will play a key role in national and global review systems for the Sustainable Development Goals. IIED and EVALSDGs are publishing a series of briefings about evaluation designed to help promote effective conduct and use of evaluation in SDGs implementation, follow-up and review.

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Effective evaluation for the Sustainable Development Goals