Images from cities of the Local Data Action microgrants 2018-2019

In 2018, the Local Data Action Solutions Initiative (LDA-SI) selected five recipients for a microgrant program, aimed at developing sub-national solutions to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) monitoring. You can now read a synthesis report and project overviews from the grantees documenting data localization efforts in Aruba, Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Colombia, Patiala (India), and Los Angeles (the United States). Additional insights are available from the city of Bristol (England).

The program revealed a wealth of opportunities and ongoing challenges to data localization. Importantly, the experiences of the grantees revealed impact in seven areas:

  1. Broadening political support for the global sustainable development agenda
  2. Supporting national SDG monitoring initiatives
  3. Promoting action when national leadership is missing
  4. Localizing indicators while also promoting coordination and comparison across regions and cities
  5. Evaluating and expanding beyond official data sources
  6. Incentivizing relative progress
  7. Promoting inclusion

Visit to read the reports and additional insights from LDA-SI, and read on below for additional information on the program and grantees.


The Local Data Action Solutions Initiative (LDA-SI) was established as a joint effort between the Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (SDSN TReNDS) and the U.S.A. Sustainable Cities Initiative as a program with one primary objective: to identify and promote replicable methods for sub-national Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) monitoring that facilitate local action in support of the “leave no one behind” principle. A growing number of subnational actors are attempting to implement the SDGs locally and are confronting specific questions related to data collection and monitoring. With this has grown the need for real, practical lessons and guidance that can be applied to different contexts worldwide.

For this reason, LDA-SI launched a microgrant initiative to support learning from existing subnational SDG data initiatives, harnessing this tacit local knowledge and informing a learning exchange. The five grantees were chosen both for their proven ability to support SDG implementation in a specified location and for their model’s relevance and potential benefit for other sub-national SDG initiatives in the world.

About the Grantees

For Aruba, Wolfs Company built on the TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) Framework and existing SDG analysis, creating a hybrid framework to track land and marine socioeconomic and ecological indicators that align with the SDGs and that can inform SDG efforts on the island.

For Brazil, the Metropolitan SDG Observatory (METRODS) and Movimento Nossa BH implemented a collaboration with the Metropolitan Agency of Belo Horizonte, University Newton Paiva, and other local partners to identify 50 indicators and collect and analyze indicator data, supporting the achievement of SDG 11 targets in the Belo Horizonte Metropolitan Area.

In Colombia, the Comó Vamos City Network (CVCN) and Fundación Corona developed a public online data tool to track and compare SDG indicators and goals for 19 Colombian urban agglomerations (over 35 municipalities).

In India, Community Systems Foundation‘s OpenCities Institute (OCI) worked with the City of Patiala in the State of Punjab to create a proof-of-concept package for SDG localization, comprised of a model indicator framework reflecting municipal human development objectives across sectors and hosted on a prototype data dashboard.

In the United States of America, the City of Los Angeles collaborated with four universities to develop a list of locally-adapted SDG targets that the Mayor’s office will consider as it prepares a city-level system for reporting on the SDGs.

Insights were also gleaned from other project partners in the first and later stages of LDA-SI, including Bristol in the United Kingdom; Baltimore, Maryland and San José, California in the U.S.A.; and additional work in Brazil. These insights are summarized in project briefings available at