About the Voluntary National Review

As part of Agenda 2030, the UK is reviewing its progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. This website will share information about the Voluntary National Review and invite people and organisations to share information about their projects that contribute to the UK’s delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals.

What’s happening

The UK is reviewing how it is progressing towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

What does that mean

The UK was at the forefront of negotiating the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda – the global framework for tackling the most pressing global challenges of our time. The Government will present a Voluntary National Review showcasing the UK’s work to deliver the 17 Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations next year.

The Voluntary National Review will consider what programmes and policies are contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals, take stock of progress that has been made and understand better what more needs to be done. It will also aim to reflect the work that is going on by people, organisations and groups across the UK.

The UK’s Voluntary National Review will:

  • set out the UK’s contributions towards all 17 Sustainable Development Goals;
  • be underpinned by data; and
  • demonstrate both the UK’s domestic and international activity.

We will be submitting the Voluntary National Review to the United Nations, ahead of the High Level Political Forum in July 2019.

More information can be found in our Fact Sheet.


Here is a list of key activities and deadlines for the UK’s Voluntary National Review:

  • Ongoing engagement to inform initial drafting between October and December
  • Case studies of how people and organisations are contributing to delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through the Voluntary National Review website (see information below on how to do this), if possible by 11 January 2019
  • Roundtable events with different groups of stakeholders on emerging messages and key findings in the new year (precise timing to be confirmed)
  • Submission of a main messages document to the UN by 17 May 2019
  • Submission of the full report to the UN by 14 June 2019.
  • Presentation of the Voluntary National Review at the ministerial meeting of the UN High Level Political Forum from 16-18 July 2019
  • The first Head of Government-level review of the Sustainable Development Goals at the UN General Assembly in September 2019

If you have a query about a particular Goal and chapter in the UK’s Voluntary National Review, please get in touch at SDGs@dfid.gov.uk, specifying which Goal(s) you wish to discuss and we will direct you to the relevant department(s).


Past events

  • 28 June 2018 - Lord Bates attended UN Global Compact Network UK’s SDG Roadshow 2018 in London

  • July 2018 - Lord Bates, and Cabinet Office Minister, Oliver Dowden MP, attended launch of UKSSD report ‘Measuring Up’

  • 31 July 2018: DFID hosted civil society event to speak with stakeholders on Voluntary National Review process

  • 16 October 2018: DFID officials spoke at Scotland’s National Review on the Sustainable Development Goals event in Glasgow hosted by Scotland’s Sustainable Development Goals Network (hosted by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations) .

  • 19 to 20 October 2018: Lord Bates attended the P4G Summit in Copenhagen which aimed to develop and scale public-private partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • 30 October 2018: DFID updated BOND members at BOND Town Hall meeting

  • 6 November 2018: DFID and Department Digital for Culture Media and Sport officials participated in a roundtable in Bristol with UN Global Compact and local businesses on Voluntary National Review. DFID officials also presented at a UN Global Compact Event in Bristol.

  • 13 November 2018: DFID Secretary of State spoke at All Party Parliamentary Group for the Sustainable Development Goals Event alongside Richard Curtis.

  • 16 November 2018: The Home Office hosted a civil society workshop on Goal 16

  • 22 November 2018: Lord Bates will attend the opening session of the Commonwealth Heads of National Statistics to discuss the use of data to monitor the Sustainable Development Goals

  • 22 November 2018: DFID officials attended a UN Global Compact Event in Manchester

  • 27 November 2018: Lord Bates and DFID officials attended One Youth Ambassadors Event exploring how young people can contribute to the SDGs.

Upcoming events

  • Early 2019: DFID hosting Goal 17 (partnerships) workshop and roundtable discussions

  • Early 2019: Roundtable events with different groups of stakeholders on emerging messages and key findings in the new year

Tell us what you are doing

People in the UK are doing a lot. We know this. We would like you to tell us more about it. We are keen to hear about projects at the local level that are helping to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. In the Voluntary National Review, we would like to showcase several examples of the great work being done across the country by different groups.

How do you do this

Complete the survey.


e-mail: the engagement form to sdgs@dfid.gov.uk by 11 January 2019 to inform preparations for the review. We will still seriously consider material submitted after this deadline. A final deadline will be advertised in due course. We value all contributions received and will do our best to reflect as many inputs as possible in the report.

To ensure that we fully understand how your project is delivering the Goals, we recommend that you use the full word limit in the form / questionnaire.

What happens once you have submitted the form

If you are submitting your example by filling out our short survey, when successfully submitted you should see a “thank you” page, which confirms we have received it. If you are submitting your example by email, when successfully submitted you should receive an auto-reply as confirmation that it has been received. We will not be able to use all of the examples sent to us but we value all contributions. Responses submitted will not receive a bespoke written reply.

Data Protection

Information will be handled in line with the Department for International Development’s Personal Information Charter and Privacy Notice available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-international-development/about/personal-information-charter. Responses may be shared with officials within other public bodies involved in the preparation of the UK’s Voluntary National Review. Examples of these public bodies appear at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations.

Background to the Sustainable Development Goals and Voluntary National Review

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global framework for tackling the most pressing challenges of our time including conflict, health and well-being, climate change and gender equality. The SDGs apply to all countries – they are inclusive and ambitious – and aim to leave no one behind.

The UK played a vital role in ensuring the successful adoption of these goals. The UK helped secure a dedicated goal on gender equality and one on promoting peace, security and good governance.

In March 2017 the UK government published a report which summarised key programmes and policies that contributed to the Goals - Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ways in which individual departments are supporting the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals are also identified in published Single Departmental Plans.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for reporting the UK’s data for the global indicators to the UN. You can find their data hub here – including which indicators the UK is currently reporting against.


Please send any queries about the process or Goal specific questions to SDGs@dfid.gov.uk.

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