U.N. member states have said that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the historic agreement to end poverty and promote shared economic prosperity, social development, and environmental protection—will most effectively be achieved with the aid of well-designed accountability mechanisms and “a robust, voluntary, effective, participatory, transparent and integrated followup and review framework … operating at the national, regional and global levels.”
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Using accountability mechanisms to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, will require serious and strategic thinking. Accountability for the SDGs will and should be led by local and national mechanisms. These mechanisms will be driven by citizens, governments, and their own specific relationships. Regional and global accountability mechanisms can, however, act as so-called force multipliers for such national initiatives and will help states and cities achieve the 2030 agenda. To do so, accountability mechanisms and their advocates must appreciate that the greatest influence will be found in supportive and appreciative mechanisms. There is no room for punitive mechanisms at the global or regional levels. The more that global and regional tools can enhance and complement local and national accountability efforts—by enabling domestic legislative processes or citizen engagement—the greater the potential effect. Through an examination of five existing accountability mechanisms—the Annual Ministerial Review, or AMR; the Development Cooperation Forum, or DCF; the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, Article IV consultations; the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, peer reviews; and the African Peer Review Mechanism, or APRM—this report identifies two primary pathways for developing accountability mechanisms to influence SDG implementation.