Nordic municipalities are taking local SDG action  

On 13-14 October, Nordic municipalities and organisations came to Nordregio for a two-day event of peer-to-peer workshops and matchmaking sessions. Together, the representatives joined forces to establish roadmaps for different SDG partnerships over the next six months. Some municipalities will test different stakeholder engagement methods together and share best practices, others will dive into municipal processes and how to improve information-based decision-making.

The event preparation goes back to June 2022, when Nordregio sent out a survey to Nordic municipalities, asking how they are progressing with their local Agenda 2030 implementation and what kind of support is still needed.

The responses indicated a clear demand for a workshop with a hands-on approach. Therefore, the programme was tailored to avoid PowerPoint marathons but rather focused on dialogue-based workshops about selected topics. These included governance and steering, citizen and other stakeholder engagement, indicators and monitoring, climate policies and the SDGs.

Some of the tools that were explored during the workshops also included the Swedish Kolada indicator set, the SDG sensemaking tool developed by the City of Espoo and the SDG impact assessment tool from the Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development/SDSN Northern Europe.

On the second day, representatives from the municipalities were matched according to indicated level of local ‘SDG status’, and geography, and with emphasis on a balanced Nordic mix to explore potential partnerships. The sessions allowed the groups to deepen their knowledge exchange, and at the same time co-create different roadmaps for the coming six months. They committed to meeting from time to time and sharing respective learnings on ongoing SDG activities and efforts. In parallel, representatives from the Norwegian, Swedish and Icelandic associations of local authorities and regions and other Nordic networks also had a dedicated workshop to strengthen their collaboration on some joint priority areas across the countries.

Even though actors at the local level in the Nordic countries have been working with the SDGs for several years already, we are far from reaching all the targets by 2030. As we know by now, the 17 global goals will not be achieved without proper engagement and coordination with local and regional governments. This is the decade of action and not only do Nordic municipalities need support, but we must also work to strengthen regional progress, together.

Did this sound like something you missed out on? If you are interested in joining and being part of the Nordic knowledge exchange network, please get in touch with us.

The Nordic Agenda 2030 at the local level continues next year in partnership with the five Nordic associations of local authorities and regions (KS, SKR, Kuntaliitto, Samband, KL) with support from the Nordic Council of Ministers. Ongoing activities and reports will also link local and regional SDG efforts with national level implementation processes.

Meanwhile, have a look at the information that is available and sign up for the Agenda 2030 newsletter to stay up to date on the latest and invitations to Nordregio events: