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Localizing SDGs: Early Lessons from India



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In two months, the fourth anniversary of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be upon us. Governments, multilateral development organizations, civil society, academia, and think tanks around the world are striving to adopt better, faster and more innovative ways to achieve the Goals. India, home to one-sixth of all humanity, is alive to its role and responsibility in advancing the SDGs and unsparing in efforts to deliver on them.


Localization of SDGs is at the core of the country’s SDG implementation strategy. In the federal governance structure, the States play a pivotal role in designing, executing, and monitoring development policies and interventions. Therefore, State governments and Union Territories are the key drivers of the SDGs, while NITI Aayog and the central ministries support them in this endeavor.


State governments and UTs are taking a range of initiatives to implement and localize the SDGs:

  • Preparing Vision Documents and action plans to guide their efforts on the SDGs;
  • Setting up the Implementation and coordination structures at different levels;
  • Mapping of all development Programmes implemented in the State on the SDGs and associated targets;
  • Identifying the State-specific indicators for monitoring of the SDGs;
  • Preparing capacity building resources and tools in local languages;
  • Aligning the State budgets with the SDGs.


NITI Aayog and the UN in India joined hands to prepare this compendium of early lessons in localization of SDGs in collaboration with States and UTs.  The compendium draws upon the experiences of 36 States and UTs and presents an analysis of various initiatives related to SDG localisation, such as, institutional mechanisms to facilitate whole-of-government approaches, SDG-oriented budgeting, capacity building and advocacy, data and analytics for progress monitoring and approaches to promote inclusion.


It is an opportune moment for the global development community and other ardent stakeholders to note India’s efforts in localizing the SDGs and integrate the learning in various SDG implementation plans. This document “Localising SDGs in India: Early Lessons from India” is offered as an input in that direction.