information for transformational people

Strasbourg 246What if your local government budget was aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

From an article by Apolitical

Since 2019, Strasbourg has aligned its budget to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and reported on impact - supercharging sustainable changes in the process.

Local authorities are on the frontlines of taking on tough challenges and shaping a recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic that is also transformative. Strasbourg faced great challenges such as reducing emissions by 55%, as well as reducing its 26% poverty rate. With limited financial resources, each investment must be a lever for transformation and efficiency and be understandable by everyone, especially civil servants and citizens.

Since 2019, the provisional budgets of the City and the Eurometropole of Strasbourg have been mapped to the SDGs. Applying the principles of the SDGs to the budget gave greater legitimacy to its local action by breaking it down into clear objectives and by increasing the impact of each spend. 

Each department, with the support of the SDG team, links each budget line to one, two, or three corresponding targets in the SDG framework. The first target is called the "primary target" and reflects the principal purpose of the spending, which gets 50% of the money. The “secondary targets” are one or two additional impacts of the spending identified by the nature of the project. The remaining 50% is then distributed equally among all the  targets (the primary and the secondary targets).

As an example, investing in refurbishing a school first supports SDG 4.a (“Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all”). The same project aims also to improve the security of the school; it’s linked to a secondary target addressing SDG 16.1 (“Significantly reduce all forms of violence”). Finally, as the project also includes a new heating system, it’s also linked to SDG 7.3 (“Energy efficiency”).

The total amount allocated to each SDG is the result of adding the funds identified under it as primary and the funds identified under other SDGs as secondary, thus allowing to find synergies and common purpose between different projects.

This targeting method enabled the budget to reflect the holistic and interconnected nature of the SDGs. The proportional distribution of the budget across several SDGs as primary and secondary targets enabled leaders to distinguish the direct objectives and those that are achieved in an indirect way. The more trans-SDG the spending is, the more it advances Strasbourg’s progress towards sustainability.

Their approach also made it possible to draw a budgetary map specific to each city and region. Since 2019, 125 targets have been implemented, i.e, 74% of the Global Goals.

The budget alignment exercise also revealed missing pieces in the SDG framework. To make the framework relevant to Strasbourg and fully capture all investments, they had to create other goals and targets. These covered; “Access to Culture.”, "Developing physical activity to promote the development of young people, the well-being of all and the life expectancy of people who are frail or in remission from illness.”, "Develop active mobility.", "Promote the European and international influence of Strasbourg and its territory." and "Ensure public and civil security.".

The SDG mapping is presented at the time of the vote on next year's budget estimates, in parallel with the previous year's Sustainable Development Report. Thanks to the universal language of the SDGs, the annual financial priorities can be presented in a clear and analytical way to all citizens.

Read the full article here.

Retweet about this article:



From an article by Apolitical, 21/03/2023

To submit a story or to publicise an event please contact us. Sign up for email here.