UN-Habitat's SDG Cities Goes Digital: Diagnostic Tools

 Launch of the SDG Cities Digital Tools Platform

August 9, 2023, Nairobi, Kenya

The SDG Cities Diagnostic Tools Online Platform to strengthen institutional capacity in cities goes live September 1st  2023.

In the pursuit of sustainable development, cities play a pivotal role. As the world's urban population continues to grow, the need to address the challenges of urbanization becomes more urgent. In response, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) SDG Cities Global Initiative has developed a four-track process to accelerate the local implementation of the SDGs in cities. At the forefront of this endeavour is the development of a digitized cutting-edge diagnostic tools platform, primed to empower cities to assess their own capacities. After months of hard work, in collaboration with our partner Global CEO Alliance we are pleased to announce that the first iteration of the online city self-assessment platform is ready to go live!

This is pivotal for the SDG Cities Global Initiative in our goal to be an efficient driver for SDG achievement within cities.  These digitized diagnostic tools are specifically designed to aid cities in our third track, building institutional capacity across critical domains, namely, governance, urban planning, own source revenue, and urban basic services, including urban mobility, waste management, and water and sanitation. The diagnostic tools assess the functionality of systems and the capacities of city and subnational institutions in key areas that are critical to the achievement of sustainable urban development. Relevant institutions and service providers within participating cities will access diagnostic tools. 

The online platform helps cities identify strengths and weaknesses more efficiently, increases city productivity while lowering costs, initiates data management practices enabling more accurate forecasts and improved decision-making and centres the UN’s Normative values through consistent collaboration among stakeholders. Each diagnostic tool is composed of unique assessment questions to evaluate the city's standing toward the achievement of the SDGs. Outputs from the diagnostic tools will be the reference and used to generate diagnostic reports and recommend training materials, courses, and webinars to address the identified gaps.

On the path to achieving the UN 2030 Agenda, the role of cities cannot be overstated. The SDG Cities Global Initiative with our focus on increasing access and ease through digitization offers cities a unique opportunity to bolster their institutional capacities across critical areas such as governance, urban planning, mobility, and revenue generation. By leveraging these tools, cities can identify areas for improvement, implement sustainable practices, and create urban environments that are not only resilient but also prosperous and inclusive. As cities continue to grow and evolve, the insights gained from these tools will prove invaluable in shaping a more sustainable and equitable future.