In the past years, VVSG has actively worked on localizing the SDGs in Flanders, providing municipalities with materials and inspiration on awareness raising and policy planning. With success: 178 out of the 300 Flemish municipalities have now integrated the SDGs into their multi-annual policy plans (2020-2025).
At the end of November, two CIB members joined the evaluation team of the Flemish Association of Cities and Municipalities (VVSG) to Benin, for a peer evaluation of their ongoing programme with the Beninese association of municipalities and a city-to-city link programme. The peer evaluators returned enthusiastically to their own association or municipality. After all, it was a great opportunity for the peer evaluators to learn from the way municipal international cooperation is organised by other actors.
As you might recall, last years’ CIB annual meeting saw a discussion on monitoring and evaluation of programmes of CIB members. In that discussion, the idea arose to organize a peer evaluation for one or more of our programmes, in view of the mixed experiences with external evaluators.
This week is the first edition of the VVSG's Week of the Sustainable Municipality.
For many municipalities in Flanders (Belgium) sustainable development is not an empty term. That’s clear from the firm commitment to climate neutrality in Leuven, smart mobility through cycling in Bonheiden and embracing of diversity in Malines. These are only a few examples of the many local practices in perfect alignment with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. This international agenda previously affected municipalities through the North-South policies, but goes much further and deeper now.
Sustainable what? That’s still a common reaction when the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are mentioned. Familiarising people with these global goals for sustainable development is a crucial first step towards taking action, but also in creating a support base for policy measures that contribute to the SDGs. All over the world, local authorities and organisations are working hard to raise awareness on the SDGs, as in order to attain them, everyone must be on board.
After launching a declaration of municipal engagement for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2016, the awareness raising campaign of the Association of Flemish Municipalities (VVSG) in Belgium really kicked off in 2017.