The Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies

Sustainable development councils, commissions and similar multi-stakeholder bodies are an important part of national sustainable development architectures around the world, providing governments with options for action and social initiatives in an advisory capacity for the implementation of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

About the Global Forum

During the United Nations SDG Summit in September 2019, Germany, together with Finland, the United Nations and further partners established a network of multi-stakeholder advisory bodies, the Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies. Through the international exchange of experiences, collective knowledge is created to bring sustainability processes into implementation. The network members, in turn, draw on this knowledge, adapt it to their own context of implementation and create guidance and recommendation on the respective challenges and opportunities for the implementation and delivery of sustainable development.

In February 2020, the Global Forum participants met for the first time in Bogotá, Colombia and jointly developed roadmaps of actions in thematic working groups. Each working group aims at implementing activities that create space for sustainable development activities in society in their respective countries and by delivering an advisory function for SDG implementation. The overall objective of all working groups is to provide important impulses for multi-stakeholder processes for national SDG delivery through the activities outlined below. The working group activities are funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany.


The Global Forum working group, interested in the various governance mechanisms, as well as the potential for establishing and maintaining multi-stakeholder advisory bodies for sustainable development, has conceptualized and accompanied the following think pieces:

Global Forum Policy Brief, 2021: Pathways for consensus-building: multi-stakeholder advisory bodies for sustainable development

Publications & brochures

Policy brief: Pathways for consensus-building

Policy brief on the role of national multi-stakeholder advisory bodies to deliver the SDGs.

This policy brief summarizes the concrete contribution that national multi-stakeholder advisory bodies can provide in the delivery of the SDGs. It is based on the Global Forum study “Pathways for National Sustainable Development Advisory Bodies” and compiles insights from eight such bodies from all around the globe.

Global Forum Study, 2021: Pathways for national sustainable development advisory bodies

Publications & brochures

Study: Pathways for National Sustainable Development Advisory Bodies

Study on the role of national multi-stakeholder advisory bodies to deliver the SDGs.

For stakeholders interested in an SDG governance architecture with institutionalized multi-stakeholder perspectives for sustainable development transformation, this study identifies the pathways and working modes for multi-stakeholder advisory bodies. It thereby reveals that acceleration of the 2030 Agenda can benefit from institutionalized multi-stakeholder engagement to allow for continuous whole-of-society approaches that meaningfully complement whole-of-government approaches. This study is based on empirical insights from eight established multi-stakeholder advisory bodies around the world and therefore sources from a rich collection of good practices.

Global Forum Study, 2021: Pieces of a puzzle – towards transformative MSP-advisory bodies for sustainable development

Publications & brochures

Study: Pieces of a puzzle – towards transformative MSP-advisory bodies for sustainable development

Understanding the stakeholder landscape and policy processes towards establishing national multi-stakeholder advisory bodies for sustainable development.

This study invites readers to gain an understanding of the pieces of a puzzle in processes and stakeholders that are conducive for national multi-stakeholder platforms (MSP) for sustainable development. It provides an overview on stakeholder landscapes and engagement processes in policy-making in Kenya, Tanzania, Benin and Ecuador.

Recover Better Support Fund (May 2021)

The Recover Better Support Fund is a new fund, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It supports efforts designed and implemented in partner countries to recover from the health, economic, and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic with the goal of building more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable societies while advancing the 2030 Agenda. Details can be found here.

Ongoing activities in the Global Forum Working Groups

1. Multi-Stakeholder Platform Processes and Regional Cooperation for National SDG-Delivery in Africa

The working group discusses innovative approaches of how multi-stakeholder platforms (MSP) can provide for continuous and accelerated support for SDG delivery for their national governments. The working group thereby also deals with theories of change for regional cooperation to strengthen the impact of delivery through exchange and learning. The working group will implement a scoping-study to systematically assess the status quo of MSP processes and thereby give a strategic overview of the MSP architecture in the participating countries.

This scoping study will also allow for enhanced peer-learning among group members, thereby allowing the group to derive good practices, potential improvements and lessons learned to further strengthen the overall MSP processes of each working group member. The working group has recently been kicked-off through a side-event at this year’s UNECA African Regional Forum for Sustainable Development (ARFSD). Together with government representatives and academia, Global Forum members shared insights regarding the valued added of multi-stakeholder processes and regional cooperation for national SDG delivery in Africa. Watch the recording here.

Partners engaged: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda

2. SDG Stakeholder Mapping in Francophone West-Africa

This working group focuses on enhanced networking and visibility of existing organizational efforts to implement the SDGs, by compiling a verified, comprehensive and understandable inventory of all relevant civil society organizations. In order to deliver this objective, roundtables will be organized to identify a maximum of actors working on the SDGs, thereby also sensitizing participants for the 2030 Agenda, identifying their core areas of work and connecting them to each other. The involved organizations will then jointly decide and contribute to a digital mapping tool. The enhanced visibility will make it possible to uncover interlinkages between SDG stakeholders and develop innovative partnerships for further coordination and knowledge sharing.

This project will be implemented in Benin and Togo in the period from March 2021 to November 2021 and has been launched by a one-week-long thematic workshop with international partners from Germany and Canada in early February 2021. During the workshop, members of the participating organizations came together to discuss the projects objectives and engaged in interactive training sessions on the mapping exercise.

Partners engaged: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Togo

3. Governance for Successful SDG-Advisory Bodies

This working group has initiated, conceptualized and accompanied the research on success factors for multi-stakeholder SDG advisory bodies (see publications above) and governance mechanisms for sustainable development governance. In order to support all partners in the Global Forum network, this working group aimed to learn from members and provide guidance on governance aspects for successful Advisory Bodies for Sustainable Development and to extract the underlying principles of Councils, commissions or similar advisory bodies that can be of value added to a stakeholders, interested in these governance mechanisms.

Partners engaged: Canada, EEAC-secretariat, Finland, Germany, Georgia, Hungary, Denmark, South Africa, Kenya, UN DESA

4. Global City Movers – tracking progress towards a Voluntary Local Review (VLR)

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) will work in partnership with municipal governments and community organizations around the globe to advance urban sustainable development in the context of the SDGs. To take leadership at the local level, cities must localize the SDGs, by identifying local targets, taking local action, and using local, disaggregated data to monitor progress. This working group will therefore develop a community indicator platform in at least four cities around the globe, provide a series of virtual training workshops, and support the presentation of VLRs at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

This project aims to build the capacity of local leaders to use local data to inform decision making, engage citizens, and monitor progress towards community wellbeing and local sustainable development in the context of the SDGs. This will create local momentum for implementation and strengthen the exchange of experiences with peer communities in their own countries and internationally.

Partners engaged: Bosnia and Herzegovina, El Salvador, Greece, India, Kosovo, Nigeria, Tanzania, The Philippines

5. Advocating for Sustainable Development in Latin America

As there are numerous data gaps for SDG targets in the region, this working group aims to provide a tracking tool on data-gaps at national level and invite other stakeholders to provide approaches and ideas for formal and informal data to be developed and presented, if there are no official data sources available. The objective is to increase the visibility of gaps of action in the countries and motivate non-state stakeholders to constructively engage in proposals and approaches to get engaged for delivery of sustainable development. This topic will especially be addressed from the perspective of conflicting interests over natural resources and governance processes and institutions, needed to solve these conflicts.

Partners engaged: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dom. Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, México

6. Leave No One Behind! Financial Inclusion of Rural Women for Sustainable Development

The three stakeholders in Colombia, Egypt and Nigeria will collaborate in order to create a baseline knowledge product for the multiplier effects of financial inclusion of rural women and vulnerable groups for sustainable development. Multi-stakeholder advisory bodies for sustainable development can integrate various positions and perspectives into a joint and negotiated position to advice on socially acceptable options for sustainable development. Multi-stakeholder composition should reflect the social, economic and environmental reality of a country in order to provide a powerful advisory body with input legitimacy.

The present project proposal aims to leverage the instrument of financial inclusion of women and vulnerable groups in rural areas as a knowledge product, thereby advocating to generate meaningful spaces within society as well as within national sustainable development advisory bodies. Financial inclusion of women and vulnerable groups is considered as a multiplier to achieve the SDGs, gaining knowledge about how to tap this multiplier effect for sustainable development and to enhance awareness and advocacy also within the private sector for upscaling, is considered a valuable contribution to leveraging additional resources and recognition for this instrument to achieve sustainable development. As the challenges as well as the context factors for the instrument differ depending on the country context, this working group integrates and compares insights about the instrument from three different context conditions, varying in degree of being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, poverty rates and experience in instruments for financial inclusion of rural women and vulnerable groups.

Partners engaged: Colombia, Egypt, Nigeria, Vietnam