Measuring the sustainable development impact of Bolivia’s Carbon Footprint Project


  • Servicios Ambientales S.A
  • UNEP DTU Partnership


Recognizing the key role cities and local governments play in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda, the Carbon Footprint Project – developed by Servicios Ambientales S.A – promotes low-carbon and climate-resilient development in Latin American cities. It does so by assessing carbon and water footprints of local governments and cities, developing City Climate Action Plans and engaging relevant stakeholders in the collective effort to reduce cities’ footprints.

In order to assess the impact of its policies and actions in relation to the SDGs, the Carbon Footprint Project applied the ICAT Assessment Guide for Sustainable Development – a methodology to help policymakers and other users assess multiple development and climate impacts across the environmental, social and economic dimensions. The methodology can help advance policies that contribute to multiple SDGs and priorities, build support for climate actions, and inform policy design and implementation to maximize positive impacts and avoid or address unintended impacts.


  • Identify and analyze the impact of the implementation of the Carbon Footprint Project in five cities across Bolivia in generating/collecting information to report their progress towards the SDGs and the Cities Readiness Indicator (CRI).
  • Develop an SDG baseline of each city to initiate their monitoring and reporting progress towards the SDGs, and align their current efforts to achieve them.
  • Provide input to inform adjustments and improve the Carbon Footprint Project’s methodology and implementation process.

Figure 1: Bolivian cities considered in the assessment


The ex-post assessment was developed according to the methodology and steps outlined in the ICAT Sustainable Development Assessment Guide. The study identified environmental, social and economic impacts mostly assessed with qualitative methods (semi-structured interviews with stakeholders) to track the progress of SDGs and CRI indicators after the implementation of the Carbon Footprint Project in five cities.

The impact categories were chosen based on the principles of Relevance, Completeness, and Comparability.

The active participation and involvement of stakeholders in the assessment was essential. The participation of stakeholders was planned following the steps and principles outlined in the ICAT Stakeholder Participation Assessment Guide and included local stakeholders who are directly or indirectly influenced by the CFP, SDGs and CRI at each city.


The impact of the Carbon Footprint Project in the five cities has been significant and beneficial, initiating the cities to begin reporting their progress towards the SDGs. The assessment showed that the five cities had not aligned and reported their progress towards the SDGs and CRI prior to the implementation of the project.

Due to the implementation of the Carbon Footprint Project, municipal governments have started to apply, at the local level, 44 SDG indicators and 9 CRI indicators.

Stakeholders became familiarized with the SDGs, their goals, targets and indicators, and the methodology to quantify them.

As a result of the assessment, the cities are advised to follow the following steps to get started with SDG implementation, reporting and monitoring in cities:

  1. Initiate an inclusive and participatory process: Raising awareness of the SDGs and engaging stakeholder collaboration to achieve the goals and targets.
  2. Set the local SDG agenda: Translating the global SDGs into an ambitious yet realistic agenda that is tailored to the local development context.
  3. Planning for SDG implementation: Deploying goal-based planning principles and mechanisms for more sustainable social, economic and environmental outcomes.
  4. Monitoring and evaluation: Ensuring that SDG implementation remains on track, and developing local capacity for more responsive and accountable governance.

Lessons learned

In order to determine the sustainable development impact of an action or policy, the participation of stakeholders at all levels and scales should be prioritized.

Overall, the ICAT Sustainable Development Assessment Guide proved to help users assess the impact of policies and actions in relation to the SDGs.

More information

For more information about the Sustainable Development Assessment Guide or any of the ICAT series of Policy Assessment Guides, please contact the ICAT Secretariat.


View the complete case study here


Image credit: Matthew Straubmuller