The Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies

The Global Forum is a network that connects the knowledge and experience of multi-stakeholder advisory commissions, councils and similar bodies for sustainable development. These bodies contribute to the national institutional architectures for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By bridging knowledge and interests of various stakeholder groups, multi-stakeholder advisory bodies foster social acceptance and cohesion within society in times of transformation. The demand for their work in facilitating negotiation outcomes cannot be underestimated.

About the Global Forum

This forum for and by national multi-stakeholder advisory bodies is as heterogeneous as the respective contexts its members are in, which vary accordingly in their institutional development, set-up, mandate and role. Constant exchange in and across working groups creates a rich marketplace of ideas, negotiation mechanisms and effective policy measures that can easily be transferred and tailored to local needs and demands elsewhere. As a demand-driven network, it constantly evolves its focus in collective processes. With its rich pool of collective knowledge, the forum effectively invites stakeholders and governments around the globe to adapt, implement and jointly accelerate the delivery of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

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.

Global Forum Network Meeting 2022:


Global Forum Network Meeting 2022 - National SDG Advisory Bodies calling to action

Report by the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE); 04.-07.09.2022 in Cape Town, South Africa

The second Global Forum Network Meeting brought together more than 30 international multi-stakeholder platforms, councils, and similar advisory bodies for sustainable development in Cape Town, South Africa. While the meeting primarily focused on know¬ledge exchange and peer learning between network members, it also gave opportunity to take a deep dive into South Africa’s journey towards implementing the 2030 Agenda. In interactive exchanges, participants discussed their daily work experiences, limitations as well as levers to overcome barriers in SDG implementation. The joint experience in Cape Town evolved into the demand for a joint call to action, based on the recommendations of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s proposals in “Our Common Agenda”. Read more about it in our latest publication on the network meeting.

Global Forum Studies

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.

Informe político: Vías para la creación de consenso
Órganos consultivos multipartitos para el desarrollo sostenible
(Mayo de 2021, PDF, 1.2 MB)

Note de synthèse: Voies pour la recherche d’un consensus
Les organes consultatifs multipartites pour le développement durable
(Mai 2021, PDF, 1.2 MB)

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.

Estudio: Vías para los órganos consultivos nacionales para el desarrollo sostenible
Estudio sobre el funcionamiento de los órganos consultivos multipartitos en la implementación de los ODS (mayo de 2021, PDF, 5 MB)

Étude: Voies pour les organes consultatifs nationaux du développement durable
Étude sur le rôle des organes consultatifs nationaux multipartites dans la réalisation des ODD (Mai 2021, PDF, 5 MB)

Global Forum Study, 2021: Pieces of a puzzle: towards national sustainable development advisory bodies

Studies & expert opinions

Study: Pieces of a puzzle: towards national sustainable development advisory bodies (Part I)

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.

Piezas de un rompecabezas: hacia los órganos consultivos nacionales de desarrollo sostenible
Comprender si los procesos y diálogos existentes tienen potencial y opciones para establecer un órgano consultivo nacional legitimado y permanente con estatus consultivo para los responsables nacionales de la toma de decisiones para los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS). (Julio 2021, PDF, 6MB)

Les piéces d’un puzzle: vers des organes consultatifs nationaux du développement durable
Comprendre si les processus et les dialogues existants présentent un potentiel et des options pour établir un organe consultatif national légitimé et permanent ayant un statut consultatif auprès des décideurs nationaux pour les Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD). (Juillet 2021, PDF, 6 MB)

Global Forum Study, 2022: Pieces of a puzzle: further steps on a journey (Part II)

Studies & expert opinions

Study: Pieces of a puzzle: further steps on a journey (Part II)

Second report on the potential for greater use of multi-stakeholder advisory bodies for the 2030 Agenda.

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 Costa Rica, Ghana, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa, Uganda and Viet Nam.

Piezas de un rompecabezas: las siguientes etapas del camino (Parte II)
Segundo informe sobre el potencial de un mejor aprovechamiento de los órganos consultivos multipartitos para la Agenda 2030. Este estudio invita a los lectores a comprender las piezas de un rompecabezas en los procesos y las partes interesadas que favorecen las plataformas nacionales de múltiples partes interesadas (MSP) para el desarrollo sostenible. Ofrece una visión general de las partes interesadas y los procesos de participación en la elaboración de políticas en Costa Rica, Ghana, Nepal, Nigeria, Perú, Sudáfrica, Uganda y Vietnam. (Marzo 2022, PDF, 11 MB).

Les pièces d’un puzzle : de nouvelles avancées vers une consultation multipartite (Partie II)
Deuxième rapport sur la possibilité d’un recours accru aux organes consultatifs multipartites pour la mise en œuvre de l’Agenda 2030. Cette étude invite les lecteurs à comprendre les pièces d’un puzzle dans les processus et les parties prenantes qui sont propices aux plateformes nationales multipartites pour le développement durable. Elle donne un aperçu des parties prenantes et des processus d’engagement dans l’élaboration des politiques au Costa Rica, au Ghana, au Népal, au Nigeria, au Pérou, en Afrique du Sud, en Ouganda et au Viet Nam. (Mars 2022, PDF, 11 MB).

Snapshots of Global Forum Projects

Snapshot of a Global Forum project, 2022: Enhancing the visibility and network character of existing organizational efforts to implement the UN SDGs

Publications & brochures

Project: Enhancing the visibility and network character of existing organizational efforts to implement the UN SDGs

Snapshot of a Global Forum project in Bénin and Togo on SDG stakeholder mapping, round table dialogues and digital visibility for accelerated SDG delivery.

This snapshot highlights the project’s results, thereby presenting its methodological concept. The implementing Global Forum working group focussed on improving the visibility and network character of existing actions for the implementation of the SDGs in Benin and Togo. They chose an approach that emphasized the potential of SDG stakeholder mapping, local round table dialogues, and digital visibility to accelerate SDG implementation at local level. The main outcome of the project is a digital map to make visible and thereby strengthen the engagement of relevant civil society organizations in the implementation of the SDGs.

Aperçu d’un projet du Forum Mondial, 2022: Renforcement de la mise en réseau et de la visibilité des efforts organisationnels existants pour mettre en œuvre les ODD

Projet: Renforcement de la mise en réseau et de la visibilité des efforts organisationnels existants pour mettre en œuvre les ODD

Cet aperçu met en évidence les résultats du projet, présentant ainsi son concept méthodologique. Le groupe de travail du Forum Mondial chargé de la mise en œuvre s’est concentré sur l’amélioration de la visibilité et la mise en réseau des actions existantes pour mettre en œuvre des ODD au Bénin et au Togo. Ils ont choisi une approche qui mis en exergue le potentiel de la cartographie des acteurs des ODD, des espaces de dialogues au sein de tables rondes locales et de la visibilité numérique pour accélérer la réalisation des ODD. Le résultat principal du projet est une cartographie numérique qui vise à rendre visible, et donc à renforcer l’engagement des organisations de la société civile (OSC) impliquées dans la mise en œuvre des ODD. (Juillet 2022, PDF, 1.92 MB)

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