Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities

OECD Programme on a Territorial Approach to the SDGs




A role for Cities and Regions to leave no-one behind

The OECD has developed an ambitious programme to support cities and regions to develop, implement and monitor strategies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Approved in 2015 by the United Nations, the SDGs set the global development agenda for the next fifteen years, stimulating crucial actions for humanity and the planet. The 17 goals are action oriented, global in nature and universally applicable. They aim to reach environmental sustainability, social inclusion and economic development in both OECD member and non-member countries.

Cities and regions have a crucial role to play in SDG achievements although the 2030 Agenda was not designed specifically for or by them. Most underlying policies and investments are a shared responsibility across levels of government. It is estimated that 65% of the 169 targets underlying the 17 SDGs will not be reached without proper engagement of and coordination with local and regional governments. 


The programme seeks to support interested cities and regions in fostering a territorial approach to the SDGs by;

  • measuring where they stand vis-à-vis the national average and their peers; 
  • engaging a multi-level dialogue with their lower and upper levels of government to build consensus on who can do what, at what scale and how; and 
  • sharing best practice and lessons from international experience.


5-year Stocktake Brochure | Project flyer ¦ OECD Impact story ¦  Roundtable on Cities and Regions for the SDGs



OECD Toolkit for A Territorial Approach to the SDGs

In A Territorial Approach to the Sustainable Development Goals, the OECD proposed a Checklist for Public Action to guide policy makers at all levels of government to implement a territorial approach to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The corresponding toolkit is designed as a user-friendly one-stop-shop gathering lessons learned from cities across the globe, proposing a How-To Guide for interested SDG champions, showcasing localised data and indicators, and providing a self-assessment tool for cities and regions looking to embrace the localisation path.

The toolkit offers:

  • takeaways and lessons from ten policy dialogues conducted so far on A Territorial Approach to the SDGs.
  • recommendations under each of the five components of the Checklist for Public Action, with 50 examples of how cities, regions and countries implement the recommendations.
  • a self-assessment framework for cities and regions to analyse conditions for the implementation of a territorial approach to the SDGs and the extent to which local, regional and national governments are following the Checklist's recommendations .

In addition, two-page snapshots illustrate the performance on the SDGs of cities and regions involved in the policy dialogues with the OECD.

Discover the OECD Toolkit for A Territorial Approach to the SDGs

Explore the Snapshots



Policy Dialogues - Who are the Pilot Cities and Regions?


Measure the distance to the SDGs 

SDGs tool 600

Click here to measure the distance to the SDGs in regions and cities.



Blog Posts

For more information please contact Stefano Marta


Synthesis ReportFebruary 2020

Policy Highlights

2022 SDGs Covid

The Sustainable Development Goals as a Framework for COVID-19 Recovery in Cities and Regions


Toolkit SDGs



 Meet the Pilot Programmes


A Territorial Approach to the SDGs in Rhine-Neckar, Germany

A Territorial Approach to the SDGs in Viken, Norway

A Territorial Approach to the SDGs in Kópavogur, Iceland

A Territorial Approach to the SDGs in Bonn, Germany

En Route to Achieving the SDGs in Cities and Regions - An OECD Data and Visualisation Tool

HLPF Side-event - A Role for Cities and Regions to Leave No-one Behind




SDG Summit 2023 , New York, United States, 18-19 September 2023

High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, New York, United States, 10-19 July 2023

6th Roundtable on Cities and Regions for the SDGs, Brussels, Belgium, 20 April 2023