Jan 21, 2020
In the Global Goals municipal awards, the Dutch municipalities Deventer, Goirle and Oss emerged as winners in three different categories. A record number of municipalities submitted a good practice for the awards.
Increasing number of candidacies
The increasing amount of new municipalities which submitted an example of how they work with the Global Goals clearly shows that more and more municipalities are embracing the Global Goals (also known as: the UN's Sustainable Development Goals) and are taking concrete steps to realise the broad global sustainability agenda. All entries were assessed by an expert jury consisting of Ms. Sandra Pellegrom (National Coordinator SDGs at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Ms. Ali Rabarison (VNG Policy Director for Inclusive Society and Municipal Finance) and Ms. Mena Leila Kilani (Project Manager at SDG Nederland).The winners were announced by Jan van Zanen, Mayor of Utrecht and President of the VNG, during the New Year’s reception of VNG International on 17 January.
A new set-up: three categories
This year’s awards were different than the ones in past years, as they contained three categories: ‘Connector’ (how society and business have been included while working on the Global Goals), ‘Visionary’ (how the Global Goals have been implemented in municipal policies and budgets) and ‘Pioneer’ (how the Global Goals are embedded in municipalities international cooperation’s). Deventer, Goirle and Oss all won an award:
Deventer - 'Connector': Society and business
The winning good practice of the municipality of Deventer is its “Deventer4GlobalGoals group”. This is a very active group with representatives from all sectors of Deventer society, which has jointly developed a plan of approach to implement the Global Goals in Deventer. The jury was impressed by the detailed and concrete way in which the plan of approach has been given shape.
In 2019, the Deventer4Global Goals group organized, among other activities, a “Captains of Industry Dinner” for the business community about the opportunities offered by the Global Goals - a very inspiring example for other municipalities as well. Additionally, Deventer used its website to beautifully map what is happening in the area of the Global Goals in the municipality. Deventer is committed to creating 'bottom-up' commotion around the Goals in the various sectors and actively connects the Goals to what is already happening in Deventer. The jury of the awards concluded that the implementation of the Global Goals in Deventer is really all about connecting.
Goirle - 'Visionary': Policy and budget
The submission of the relatively young Global Goals municipality of Goirle showcased the municipality’s effort to link the ambitions of the coalition agreement and the Global Goals in a concrete implementation plan for the next years. The document shows how Goirle can contribute to Global Goals at the village level in a very practical way. The jury attaches great importance to the way in which Goirle makes a clear and very visible link between policy and the Global Goals in its implementation plan, making the SDGs concrete and understandable for citizens. The implementation plan also shows a link between the SDGs and policy indicators, to help determine what is needed to achieve a specific goal.
Oss – ‘Pioneer': International Cooperation
The Municipality of Oss has been a very active Global Goals municipality from the start and has one the Global Goals award in the past already. This year, the municipality submitted another candidacy, related to its internationalization policy 'Growth - from more to better'. With this policy, the municipality is yet again a true pioneer: the municipality has based its whole internationalization policy on the Global Goals. An example: In its economic relationship with the Chinese municipality of Taizhou, Oss has shifted the emphasis to the Global Goals and sustainable development. Oss indicates that they can learn a lot from China and vice versa.
During a trip from Brabant municipalities to China, the municipality of Oss, together with a delegation of representatives from the educational sector, an entrepreneur and the Platform Global Goals, planted seeds for a network for learning from each other, and working together on the Global Goals and qualitative growth. The first concrete results include a student exchange on the Goals and discussions on the sustainable restoration of architectural heritage, waste and water purification. The work of the municipality of Oss in and with China is a wonderful example of how international cooperation can be directly linked to the Global Goals, tackled together with society, and of how municipalities can strengthen each other internationally, while also working on the Global Goals.
Other inspiring good practices
A few other municipalities received special recognition of the jury because of the inspiring good practices they sent in. For example, the municipality of Rheden was praised for its evaluation methodology and the embedding of the Global Goals within the municipal organisation. The members of the jury were also particularly enthusiastic about how various municipalities, including Leeuwarden, Oldenzaal and Schiermonnikoog, involve the educational sector in their Global Goals work. All submitted good practices will soon be showcased on the website of the Global Goals.