Subnational Government Global Observatories and the implementation of the Global Agendas

Local Action
Listen to Cities room

This event is promoted by the Global Observatories that – revolving around the initiatives of Local and Regional Governments – for the past few years have collected state-of-the-art information on the initiatives and activities of sub-national governments for the achievement and implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda. This event includes contributions from the Observatory for Decentralised Cooperation, led by the Barcelona Provincial Council (Spain) and the City of Montevideo (Uruguay), alongside the Global Observatory on Local Democracy and Decentralization (GOLD), the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD), the Metropolis Observatory and the Policy Transfer Platform managed in coordination with the City of Berlin, UCLG Africa and UCLG Asia Pacific's biennial assessments of decentralization and local democracy in their regions, , and the web portal, managed by UNDP, UN-Habitat and UCLG. The work of these observatories and databases provides a unique collection of first-hand information, data and knowledge on how local and regional governments worldwide are knowing, adapting, implementing and monitoring the global agendas and their goals.

The joint expertise of the participating observatories covers the diversity and complexity of the SDGs, the NUA and their underpinning issues. Over the last twelve years, the Observatory for Decentralised Cooperation has established its expertise in developing tools, training and exchange of knowledge on subnational government cooperation. It has now broadened its geographical scope and focused its work on the localisation of the 2030 Agenda. GOLD publishes every three years its flagship publication, the GOLD reports, exploring trends in decentralization and multilevel governance from all over the world and its contents has contributed to the New Urban Agenda. It also presented a report from subnational governments on the state of implementation of SDGs at the UN HLPF in 2017. The IOPD collects information on citizen participation and local and regional governments' innovative initiatives to defend and improve the quality of local democracy. It organizes an international Conference yearly, promotes cooperation and grants an Award of local best practices in participatory democracy. At the end of 2016, Metropolis launched the Metropolis Observatory. Together with the 'Policy Transfer Platform', they are developing key tools for learning and sharing initiatives on specific models and experiences, as well as on metropolitan governance. The Metropolis Observatory is led by the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, while the City of Berlin is in charge of the Policy Transfer Platform. This event is a unique opportunity for fostering and promoting new partnerships and alliances, aiming to improve data collection, monitoring reporting capacities and institutional dialogue for subnational governments, cities and territories globally. The Barcelona Provincial Council and the Observatories all contributed to the implementation and follow-up of the NUA and the SDGs. Participation, partnership and a strong alliance with local authorities and communities are now more important than ever to fulfil that commitment, and help subnational governments truly achieve these global goals locally.


  • Barcelona Provincial Council
  • Metropolis
  • UCLG
  • UCLG Africa
  • International Observatory Participatory Democracy
  • City of Montevideo