Greater focus needs to be placed on solutions to financing gaps facing governments, civil society, and other stakeholders.
Political and financial investments are critical to accelerating progress on SDG 16, with development agencies, international financial institutions and international organizations having a fundamental role to play.
Multi-donor funding schemes and a greater use of innovative, institutional partnerships, in addition to Official Development Assistance (ODA), to support programmes and policies that address both the pandemic, as well SDG 16 related priorities and targets, will be critical to supporting the underlying systems and social cohesion required to “build back better”.
Further, standardizing a global approach to mapping ODA to the SDGs or their respective targets that allows for comparable monitoring may help in future alignment and prioritization of support as reflected in VNRs and NDPs. This may be particularly true for SDG 16 as an enabler of all other SDGs.
A country’s VNR, as linked to an NDP, including revised NDPs, and based on inclusive, multi-stakeholder processes, offers direction in how to best support SDG 16 implementation at national and subnational levels, including as related to COVID-19.
When designing the VNR process, immediate next steps should be identified, such as reporting back to parliament and/or the media about the VNR, as well as longer-term implementation.
Similarly, issues related to budget allocation and SDG data should be addressed both during and post-VNR. Actions not directly related to the VNR should also be considered, including peer reviews or a performance audit.