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How Can Local Governments Accelerate the Implementation of SDGs?

Approaching the midpoint of the 2030 timeline, merely 12 percent of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets are progressing as intended. Accelerating the implementation of the SDGs is imperative to address urgent global challenges, and cities and regions play a pivotal role in this effort. 

This is why  OGP Local, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and United Cities, and Local Governments (UCLG), have come together to support local government efforts and promote an innovative approach to face this challenge, through the campaign Building Bridges, Empowering Citizens. The campaign highlights cases where cities, regions, and/or territories are innovating public policy by using open government strategies as well as data, indicators, and stories to communicate more effectively the importance of open government in SDG local action. The campaign aims to share three main ideas. 

  • Unveil the power of open government: cities and regions leading the way!

Open government is not just a checkbox exercise. It is a vibrant strategy to enhance our cities and regions. By embracing open government principles (transparency, accountability, inclusion, and civic participation), cities and regions can harness the innovation that emerges from their communities, leading to better policy choices and improved public management. 

Why cities and regions? They are the level of government closest to people and therefore, have a better understanding of their community’s needs. This level of government is best placed to use open government principles to enable communities to collaborate to advance sustainable development. Notably, without their active engagement and coordination, it is estimated that 65 percent of the SDG targets may remain unmet. 

Explore some successful local open government stories like Kaduna, Nigeria’s initiative “Eyes and Ears to Improve Public Services”, or Aragón, Spain’s “Easy Government” to include people with disabilities in decision-making. Also Lucerne, Switzerland’s Children’s Parliament, or Imabura, Ecuador’s Participatory Budget in the Rural Parishes.

  • Accelerating the impact of the SDGs through local action powered by open government! 

Here, six actions come together to unlock the true potential of cities and regions that, driven by open government principles, succeed in driving the acceleration of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs leaving a positive and lasting impact on local communities:

  1. Amplify transparency
  2. Foster civic engagement
  3. Build an inclusive government
  4. Promote innovation in participation
  5. Respond to citizen’s feedback
  6. Facilitate city-to-city collaboration

Through these actions, cities and regions are revving up their engines and accelerating toward a future where the SDGs are not mere aspirations, but a vivid reality for their communities. 

Find OGP Local success stories of cities and regions that have achieved remarkable SDG progress through open government practices, like Shama, Ghana’s citizen participation initiative to provide drinking water (SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation) or Banggai’s mobile application to achieve minimum service for pregnant women (SDG 3, Good Health and Well-being). 

  • Fighting Corruption and Progress toward SDGs through Open Government

Corruption is a global challenge, but open government is a powerful tool to combat it. It identifies and prevents corrupt acts while fostering a culture of honesty through community oversight. Transparent procurement, citizen participation, and partnerships curb corruption, while data-driven insights empower interventions.

Cities and regions, committed to open governance, are advancing transparent, accountable, and inclusive leadership, promoting integrity and trust to drive sustainable development. 

Find case studies of cities like Madrid, Spain, Manila, Philippines, and Bogotá Colombia that have achieved remarkable action in battling corruption through open government practices.


Building Bridges, Empowering Citizens sets the stage for meaningful change in local governance, and will continue to share experiences and success stories around this journey, showcasing how open government principles are transforming cities or regions. Local stories hold the power to inspire others to become part of this transformative movement, further accelerating the pace of change.

To all those dedicated to reshaping the future of local governance, we extend a special invitation to participate in the Open Gov Challenge. This is your chance to take an active role and pledge your commitment to enhancing the impact of open government. Let’s continue building more transparent, accountable, inclusive, and sustainable cities and regions. 

Comments (1)

Julius Adegbite Reply

We will like to know how to partner with OGP to delver transparency to Local Governments in South West of Nigeria, particularly how to access the presidential awards to implement projects and programmes in this area.

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