New report on applying the SDG Impact Assessment Tool in Nordic municipalities | SDSN Northern Europe
A scenic view of buildings and nature in Botkyrka municipality
Botkyrka municipality is one of the participants in the pilot project where Nordic municipalities tested to apply the SDG Impact Assessment Tool into their operations.
Foto: Holger Ellgaard

New report on applying the SDG Impact Assessment Tool in Nordic municipalities


SDSN Northern Europe launches a new report detailing the outcomes of a pilot project involving the application of the SDG Impact Assessment Tool in Nordic municipalities. The project, which ran from May 2023 to February 2024, engaged five municipalities in testing the tool's effectiveness in integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their operations.

Municipalities play a critical role in the transformation to sustainable development. This is particularly valid in the Nordic countries, given their extensive responsibilities in various societal sectors. While many Nordic municipalities and associations actively integrate the SDGs into their operations, there remains a need for practical tools and approaches.

Project description

This pilot project wanted to address this gap by allowing municipalities to test the SDG Impact Assessment Tool and share their experiences. The project builds upon positive experiences from Strängnäs municipality in Sweden, extending the tool's application to additional municipalities in Sweden and Finland: Kungälv, Tjörn, Botkyrka, and Korsholm. The participating municipalities received guidance from the SDSN Northern Europe secretariat and engaged in peer-to-peer learning throughout the project duration.

Key Messages

The findings of the pilot project underscore the potential of the SDG Impact Assessment Tool to facilitate sustainable development efforts at the municipal level. Key takeaways from the study include:

  • Participants find the SDG Impact Assessment Tool accessible and educational, encouraging structured discussions and deeper understanding of sustainable development.
  • The tool's self-assessment framework aids municipalities in uncovering overlooked connections and impacts crucial to sustainable development.
  • The tool works well for specific projects, but analysing larger datasets poses challenges, requiring careful evaluation by breaking them down into smaller parts.
  • The workshop-style assessments inspire cross-departmental dialogue.
  • The municipalities acknowledge the tool's capacity to improve governance across sectors, aiding strategic decision-making and political discourse.

The full report is available for downloading below. It is a step forward in empowering municipalities with actionable insights to drive sustainable development agendas, reflecting the collective commitment towards achieving the SDGs both regionally and globally.

About the SDG Impact Assessment Tool

The SDG Impact Assessment Tool enables organisations to evaluate their activities against the SDGs. Based on qualitative self-assessment, the tool facilitates a nuanced understanding of an organisation's impact on each goal, fostering learning and contributing to SDG alignment.

The tool is owned by Wexsus – West Sweden Nexus for Sustainable Development but it was developed in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology, the University of Gothenburg, and SDSN Northern Europe.

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