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UK Voluntary National Review on the Sustainable Development Goals - lessons learnt and next steps

A lessons-learnt process is underway including an external stakeholder survey.


The UK’s first Voluntary National Review (VNR) was a key moment to take stock on SDG activity across the whole of the UK and engage more than 380 stakeholders from a wide range of sectors, groups and organisations in its production.

As follow-up to the Voluntary National Review, a lessons-learnt process is underway and DFID published an external stakeholder survey to inform the lessons learnt from the VNR process, and gather ideas on future stakeholder engagement to support the delivery of the SDGs.

There will be a phased approach to this follow-up process. The first phase will be a reflective exercise to identify the successes and challenges of the VNR process. The second phase will be a forward-looking exercise focussing on what future stakeholder engagement may look like. The second phase is expected to take place early next year.

Draft timeline

We will aim to notify stakeholders as soon as possible of updates and changes.

Phase one: Lessons-learnt from VNR process

6 November Deadline for registering to Phase 1 workshop 13 November Confirmed attendees notified via email 11 December Phase 1: Lessons-learnt from VNR process

Phase two: Future stakeholder engagement to support SDG delivery

Early 2020 Workshop(s) take place

Phase One: objective and expected outcomes

The objective of this workshop is to convene a group of diverse stakeholders to hear their reflections on the VNR process and identify lessons learnt to inform our future SDG activities. It will build on emerging themes from the online stakeholder feedback survey (which closed on 27 September) to allow for more in-depth discussions on specific successes and challenges. We will challenge attendees to think up creative solutions. The discussion will help inform and finalise the high-level summary of the lessons learnt process that we have committed to publish on GOV.UK.

Date and Time: 11 December 2019, 13:00-15:00 Location: 22 Whitehall, SW1A 2EG, London Participants: Approximately 30 participants. Stakeholders who were involved in the UK’s VNR process including representatives from umbrella groups, and marginalised groups. We would also like to involve stakeholders who were not able to contribute to the VNR (e.g. charities).

  • Coordination bodies
  • Civil society
  • Business / private sector
  • Local delivery
  • Academia
  • Charities

If you would like to register to this event, please email stating:

  • Name of organisation
  • Whether you contributed to the VNR and/or were involved in the VNR process e.g. events and submitting a case study (please be as specific as possible)
  • Your organisation’s regional cover
  • If applicable, which marginalised groups your organisation focuses on (e.g. people with disabilities, BAME people, LGBT+, faith groups, youth groups, women’s groups, elderly people)

The deadline to register for this event is 6 November 2019. Confirmed participants will be notified by 13 November 2019.

Due to limited capacity, we can only accept one participant per organisation.

Participants will be expected to have a good understanding of the VNR process and have engaged to some degree in the VNR– in the engagement events or through the online call for case studies.

Participants must note that this is a lessons-learnt event to review the process – not a substantive update and discussion on future mechanisms or UK delivery on the SDGs.

Phase Two: objectives and expected outcomes

The objective of phase two will be to convene key stakeholders to discuss what future stakeholder engagement may look like to support delivery of the SDGs, and next steps to achieve this. Discussions will build on views received from the online stakeholder survey (which closed on 27 September). We will challenge attendees to think up creative solutions, considering the opportunities and challenges. Outcomes of this discussion will be considered to inform next steps in the process for future stakeholder engagement.

Date and Time: TBC early 2020 Location: TBC Participants: Approximately 30 participants. We would like to convene a wide range of stakeholders who were involved in the UK’s voluntary national review process, stakeholders who were not necessarily involved/able to contribute but may have experience of similar mechanisms. These can be from:

  • Coordination bodies
  • Civil society
  • Business / private sector
  • Local
  • Academia
  • Charities

Registration for this workshop is not yet open. Please check this page regularly for updates.


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