IFLA has produced a series of materials about libraries in Voluntary Reviews, including analysis of their inclusion in reports to date, an overall briefing, and a month-by-month guide to participation.

A key feature of the United Nations 2030 Agenda are Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs). These are an opportunity for countries to report on their progress towards delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals, and for their peers to ask questions and make suggestions.

Engaging in the process of preparing VNRs is not only an opportunity for libraries to receive recognition for the work they are doing, but also to seek new commitments and to broaden their networks. Successes strengthen the field as a whole, by providing references.

How to engage in Voluntary National Reviews?

Find out more about what Voluntary National Reviews are, why they are relevant for libraries, and an overview of how to get involved in our briefing (updated for the 2022 reviews).

SDG Voluntary National Reviews: What they are and why should libraries engage

Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) are a way for UN Member States to report on national progress towards the SDGs. They should be prepared in consultation with all actors, including civil society (and so libraries). They are an opportunity for libraries to highlight their contribution to development ...

Exámenes Nacionales Voluntarios de los ODS Qué son y por qué deben participar las bibliotecas

Los Éxamenes Nacionales Voluntarios permiten a los Estados Miembros de la ONU informar sobre su progreso en la implementación de los ODS. Deben prepararse en colaboración con todos los actores, incluida la sociedad civil (y, por lo tanto, las bibliotecas). Representan una oportunidad para que las...

IFLA also provides a month-by-month guide to engaging in the SDGs. This is available in English and Spanish.

Libraries Engaged in Voluntary National Reviews — Part 1: Find out who’s in charge

The first step towards engagement in a Voluntary National Review is to find out who is responsible for leading it. Each government needs to identify a focal point, who can both coordinate within your country, and be in contact with the United Nations. Most of the time, the name or organisation with ...

Participación de las bibliotecas en los VNR Parte 1: Averigüe quién es el responsable

El primer paso para participar en un Examen Nacional Voluntario es averiguar quién es el responsable de llevarla a cabo. Cada gobierno debe identificar un punto focal que se encargue de la coordinación dentro de su país y que esté en contacto con las Naciones Unidas. En general, la persona o el ...

Libraries Engaged in Voluntary National Reviews — Part 2: Prepare your stories

The second step towards engagement in a Voluntary National Review is to prepare materials that you can use in your advocacy. A key ingredient of this is stories which explain how, in human terms, libraries deliver development.

Participación de las bibliotecas en los VNR Parte 2: Prepare sus historias

El segundo paso para participar en un Examen Nacional Voluntario es preparar material que pueda utilizar en la promoción y defensa de su institución. Un ingrediente clave son las historias que explican cómo, en términos humanos, las bibliotecas contribuyen al desarrollo.

Participación de las bibliotecas en los VNR Parte 2: Prepare sus historias

El segundo paso para participar en un Examen Nacional Voluntario es preparar material que pueda utilizar en la promoción y defensa de su institución. Un ingrediente clave son las historias que explican cómo, en términos humanos, las bibliotecas contribuyen al desarrollo.

Participación de las bibliotecas en los VNR Parte 3: Prepare sus datos

El tercer paso para participar en un Examen Nacional Voluntario (VNR) es vincular las historias que ha recopilado con hechos y datos. La Agenda 2030 incluye 231 indicadores vinculados con las diferentes metas. Algunos de estos indicadores, como los índices de alfabetización y de personas con acces...

Libraries Engaged in Voluntary National Reviews — Part 4: Present your materials

The fourth step towards engagement in a Voluntary National Review (VNR) is to present the information you have gathered – data, stories, background information – in a way that will be most effective in encouraging your government to include libraries. In order to get the team preparing the VNR i...

Participación de las bibliotecas en los VNR Parte 4: Presente su material

El cuarto paso para participar en un Examen Nacional Voluntario (VNR) es presentar la información que ha recopilado —datos, historias, antecedentes— de la manera más eficaz para alentar a su gobierno a incluir a las bibliotecas. Para despertar el interés del equipo que prepara el VNR, será i...

Libraries recognised in Voluntary National (and Local) Reviews so far

There have now been six rounds of Voluntary National Reviews, with well over 200 now published, covering all but a few countries around the world.

In addition, the concept of Voluntary Local Reviews is becoming more and more popular, acknowledging the key role of local authorities in delivering so many of the Sustainable Development Goals.

IFLA has analysed the reports published, with publications for reports between 2016 and 2020 (below), and then articles in 2021, adding insights for national and local reviews.

References to Libraries in UN SDG Voluntary National Reviews

Over the last five years, 168 different countries have presented Voluntary National Reviews on their work to deliver the SDGs. The latest IFLA analysis highlights the example they offer of recognising libraries as partners for development.

New IFLA analysis has looked across the 199 available rep...

Libraries in Voluntary Local Reviews (2016-2020)

A new IFLA report highlights greater understanding of the contribution of libraries to delivering the UN 2030 Agenda among local governments, in a wider range of areas, than in national reviews of SDG implementation.

Based on an analysis of the 70 Voluntary Local Reviews published on United Citie...

In addition to this work, we have also collected the experiences of libraries involved in VNR processes, to learn about the benefits that this has brought them.