This page outlines a number of tools that can be used in the different phases of the process of developing a shadow report.

Outline of a shadow report

The following report outline is based on the outline of the SDG 16 toolkit of the TAP Network1. It provides guidelines of the different components that could be included in a shadow report on SDG 16.10.


  1. Executive summary

  2. Introduction
    1. Background and context to the report
    2. Overview of methodology and data collection process

  3. Review of Legal and Legislative Framework and Policies
    1. Brief introduction
    2. Assessment of frameworks and policies on access to information and safety of journalists
    3. Challenges and recommendations

  4. Review of Country-level Implementation of SDG 16.10
    1. Brief introduction
    2. Assessment of progress, presentation of data
    3. Challenges and recommendations
  5. Review of International Commitments made by country (if applicable)
    1. Assessment of progress
    2. Challenges and recommendations

  6. Civil Society participation in SDG Implementation / Follow-up
    1. Assessment of civil society space around the SDGs (and in general)
    2. Challenges and recommendations

  7. Conclusions
    1. Conclusions
    2. Recommendations

  8. Annexes
    1. List of Organizations Consulted
    2. Data Sets
    3. National Development Plans or Frameworks
    4. Other Sources (if applicable)

Shadow report checklist


  • Check if your government has volunteered for a VNR
  • Reach out to government to understand how to engage in VNR process
  • Define goal and target of shadow report
  • Allocate time and resources to the process
  • Map relevant stakeholders
  • Reach out to relevant civil society organizations and other stakeholders and form coalitions

Data Collection

  • Select indicators to monitor
  • Develop methodology and ensure that there is a shared understanding of the methodology and indicators
  • Ensure that perspectives from under-represented and marginalized groups are included
  • Verify the information received
  • Consult with other organizations and government entities where possible


  • Present information in a clear and concise way
  • Highlight positive and negative aspects of the implementation of SDG 16.10
  • Formulate constructive and realistic recommendations

Follow up

  • Ensure that the report is published online and publicly available
  • Try to participate in HLPF, through government or by organizing a side-event
  • Implement advocacy strategy to raise awareness for findings of shadow report
  • Advocate for the follow up of recommendations and commitments of VNR process

Advocacy resources

Within the pages of the Media Advocacy Resource Guide a number of useful resources are provided on the page Advocacy Tools and M&E to plan, implement and evaluate advocacy strategies and multi-stakeholder processes. The guide includes:

  • Stakeholder analysis tools
  • Guidelines on formulating an advocacy strategy
  • Management of multi-stakeholder processes
  • Guidelines of monitoring and evaluation of advocacy

Resources and toolkits on developing shadow reports

Examples of shadow reports on SDG 16.10

1For more elaborate guidelines on what to include in each section of the report, consult the TAP Network Reporting Guidelines at