Call for evidence on Scotland’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) progress

Good afternoon

We are writing to you to ask for your input into the UK Voluntary National Review (VNR, or ‘the review’) which is a country-led progress report on implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs or Global Goals).


The UN SDGs were launched in 2015 and encompass 17 Goals, each goal with a set of corresponding targets and set of indicators. The aim of the SDGs is to encourage all countries to implement the necessary transformational environmental, economic and social change to achieve peace and prosperity for planet and people.

Scotland’s National Performance Framework (NPF) is the government’s main local mechanism through which we are implementing the SDGs. The NPF sets out a vision for Scotland through 11 National Outcomes that aim to increase wellbeing for the people and places of Scotland and beyond, using a values based approach. The NPF embeds the SDGs through mapping the goals to the outcomes and aligning indicators where possible.

The UK Government is in the process of putting together its VNR which will be launched at the UN High Political Forum in New York in July 2019 and is working with the Devolved Administrations to gather their input into the VNR. Given that each of the devolved nations has a different approach to implementing the SDGs, Scotland is also exploring the potential for a Scottish Supplementary Review.

What are we doing in Scotland?

In Scotland, many groups with an interest in sustainability and development have already been engaging with national and local governments to explore what is ongoing and what can be done. SDG Network Scotland, an open coalition bringing together the voices of over 240 people and organisations across Scotland, is working in partnership with the Scottish Government and CoSLA on the review. The Network set up VNR Working Groupin September to focus on the national review. The group was joined by the Scottish Government and CoSLA, and since November has been working to consider how Scotland can contribute to the review and use this as a catalyst to widen involvement. The group is taking an approach based on openness, transparency and inclusion echoing both the Open Government principles and the UN’s principles for conducting the Review.

Call for evidence – we need your help!

This UK Voluntary National Review process gives us the opportunity in Scotland to have a national conversation about where we are on achieving the National Outcomes and the SDGs, what good currently looks like so we can learn from best practice and process, and better understand what our gaps, challenges and barriers are. We recognise that many individuals and groups have been working on sustainable development for some time; we would like to capture what efforts are underway, how they relate to the SDGs and what additionality the SDGs provide. We are keen for your views and would be grateful if you could fill in the online survey.

To support your engagement we have made the following materials available at :

  • A link to the online survey
  • A discussion paper on Scotland’s current performance against the SDGs
  • A communications pack to support us in reaching a wide audience

Who this is for: The public, in particular: those concerned about sustainable development; and relevant civil society groups, academics, businesses and practitioners.

Duration: Due to the short UK-wide window for writing the VNR, we are providing two deadlines to allow for more time.The call for evidence will last from 14th February 2019 to:

  • 27th February 2019 (deadline for contributions to UK Voluntary National Review)
  • 29th March 2019 (extended deadline to inform our longer-term discussions and a potential Scottish Supplementary Review)

You only need to complete the survey once. However, if you would like your evidence considered for inclusion in Scotland’s contribution to the UK-led Review you will need to submit this before the first deadline.

How to respond: Please submit your response using the online survey , or by downloading the alternative format online .

Enquiries: Contact SDG Network Coordinator, Paul Bradley, at Scottish Government National Outcomes and SDG lead, Victoria Loughlan, at

Thank you for joining the conversation on Scotland’s progress towards the SDGs and doing your bit to make sure there is a comprehensive review.

Scotland’s VNR Working Group