UN, GALGA & partners commence VLR exercise in Gambia

Jan 17, 2022, 1:15 PM

A three day inception workshop on the Voluntary Local Review (VLR) is currently underway at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center. The exercise is supported by the United Nations.


Three Local Government Authorities; Kanifing Municipal, Brikama and Kuntaur Area Councils will be piloting the project which will include assessing the progress of implementing Sustainable Development Goals in their Local Government Areas.

The VLR is an initiative that has proven useful for cities and regions to foster the localisation of SDGs and demonstrate their capacity and commitments towards the 2030 agenda.

To steer the exercise, an inter-institutional committee was formed, with The Gambia Association of Local Government Authorities (GALGA) serving as the secretariat. Its activities would include reviewing the piloted LGAs’ progress in undertaking the VLR and preparing them for improved service delivery to their residents.

Landing B. Sanneh, President of The Gambia Association of Local Government Authorities (GALGA), encouraged the three piloting councils to demonstrate strong commitment throughout the exercise to ensure its sustainability, from which the rest of the local councils could benefit, in his statement at the workshop opening ceremony.

Dr Desta Tiruneh, WHO representative in The Gambia said the VLR is an important exercise that would allow the review of the activities of the three piloting local councils in relation to the SDGs. He said the exercise is a process that would promote and accelerate efforts towards the attainment of the SDGs. 

Considering the current local development challenges, particularly with the advent of Covid 19, conducting a VLR will provide valuable information and potentials for increased productivity of the LGAs and reposition them to meet the demands of the time. 

Amson Sibanda, Chief, national strategies and capacity building branch, division for SDGs of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) said the VLR process can facilitate new innovative means in addressing challenges to SDGs in countries undertaking VLRs.


Mr. Sibanda said most African countries started conducting their VLR exercises in 2020 which UNDESA has been supporting. “We are committed to supporting the VLR of the pilot councils in The Gambia and we have reserved resources for supporting local partners in this process.”

Director of planning and development at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Alhagie Fadera said The Gambia would be submitting its VNR for the second time, using it as an opportunity towards achieving the SGDs.

“We are pleased that together we will be able to produce tangible VLRs as SDGs are concerned and once we are able to successfully deliver on this, we are hopeful that this can be extended to other Councils.

Mr Fadera assured that The Gambia government would provide all the support and the conducive environment for the implementation of the activity. 

Since the commencement of the VLR, some local and regional governments have shared their progresses in localising the SDGs by producing VLRs, which complement the information and data on SDG implementation provided by national governments in their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).

Presenting on the benefits of VLR and VNR, Aji Sainabou Jallow of the Directorate of Development Planning at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs said the reviews aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 agenda.

She observed that the three councils that would be participating in the VLR will help in the successful implementation of the VNR which enables dialogue between different stakeholders, local agencies and levels of government.

By Amadou Jallow

Program & Communication Officer GALGA

Read Other Articles In Headlines
Mama Kandeh v4
Kandeh calls on Gambians to take back their country
Mar 8, 2021, 12:53 PM

Newly re-elected party leader and secretary general of The Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC), Hon. Mamma Kandeh has called on Gambians to take back their country to be free from man-made uncertainty that Gambians are facing.

Nani Juwara
NAWEC MD assures reliable, stable energy supply
Nov 6, 2020, 11:15 AM

The managing director of the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), Nani Juwara has said that despite the challenges, he is optimistic of providing more reliable and stable energy supply in the country than in the past.

MFDC releases 7
MFDC releases 7 Senegalese soldiers
Feb 15, 2022, 11:57 AM

The MFDC rebels yesterday handed over the seven Senegalese soldiers who were held captive after a scuffle on 24 January 2022.

Karen Bass
Gambia seeks U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass’s support for truth, justice in Gambia’s death
Jun 15, 2020, 12:16 PM

The Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Dr. Mamadou Tangara, solicits support from Congresswoman, Karen Bass. US lawmaker is the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and also the Africa Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the United States Congress.