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The Development Partners Working Group on Decentralisation and Local Governance - DeLoG

DeLoG Publication Launch: Localizing Public Services and Development: The Local Public Sector's Role in achieving Development Goals in Health and Education

On the 29th of January 2015, the DeLoG / Urban Institute Publication on Localizing Public Services and Development was launched at UN- headquarters in New York City. The launch, hosted by UNCDF and UNDP, took place within the framework of the 5th session of the Global Seminar Series (GSS).

Patrick Keuleers, Director and Chief of Profession, Governance and Peacebuilding Team, BPPS, UNDP and David Jackson Director Local Development Practice Area, UNCDF gave the introductory note which was followed by the presentation of the study by Jamie Boex, Senior Research Associate at the Urban Institute and lead author of the study. Amita Gill, UNDP local governance specialist moderated the lively discussions, before Kodjo Mensah-Abrampa, Policy Advisor on Local Governance and Urbanization, UNDP, summarized experiences and lessons to take away from the study.  

The study, based on 29 completed country surveys from developing and transition countries around the globe was supported by BMZ, GIZ, MAE, SDC, UNDP and UNCDF. It focuses on the effectiveness of local governments vis-à-vis direct funding from central governments as well as on the magnitude of local public sector and its composition in health and education, in order to examine if and through which mechanisms is localizing public services more effective to accelerate the achievement of development outcomes.

Generally, the study draws a positive correlation between localized sectoral spending and sector outcomes in health and education. However, the health and education sectors –even in the same country- often rely on different combinations of decentralization. Further, it became clear that localization of public services involves more than local government spending since local governments only account for about one third of localised spending. That means that previous research, by focusing exclusively on devolved expenditures, may have overlooked up to two-thirds of all local public sector spending in health and education. 

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Learn4Dev In-Country Course in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

The last in country-course this year, jointly organized by the DeLoG and the Ministry of Interior, Security and Decentralisation in DRC and supported by Belgian Development Agency (BTC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union was held from the 9th-11th December in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. The seminar which attracted around 100 participants, aimed at contributing to the debate on the role and implementation of decentralization in the DRC. Participants were carefully drawn from government institutions at all levels, non-governmental organisations as well as from the academia.

At the end of the workshop, the participants compiled a final declaration that contained recommendations on how to move forward the decentralisation process for central, provincial and local government institutions as well as for development partners and civil society organisations. The document was presented to the minister of interior security and decentralization in the DRC on 19th December 2014.

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DeLoG 9th Annual Meeting, Sweden

Themed “Decentralisation & local governance: delivering development outcomes, strengthening democracy”, DeLoG held the ninth annual meeting in Visby, Gotland, Sweden, hosted by ICLD and SIDA. Around 40 participants from 21 member and partner organisations attended the meeting in the medieval heart of Visby. The meeting was running parallel to the Swedish week of Democracy ‘Almedalen’ with over 30.000 visitors and 3.000 events.

One of these events was the DeLoG open session depicting the role of the local level in the post 2015 agenda where panelists from SIDA (Stina Kaltrun), the Hunger Project Sweden (Sara Wettergren) and the Urban Institute (Jamie Boex) discussed around local democracy and poverty reduction. During other sessions, the upcoming study on “the local public sector’s role in achieving development goals.” was discussed as well as the ongoing global consultation on “localizing the post 2015 agenda.”  Further thematic sessions discussed measuring the impact of decentralization reforms, decentralization in fragile environments, gender in DLG and new technologies to improve urban services. In addition, an open learn4dev meeting took place with the upcoming e-learning course and the new DeLoG Webinar Series. The annual meeting concluded with suggestions on DeLoG’s work-plan for the up-coming year



Regional Seminar on National Monitoring and Evaluation Systems of Decentralisation Reforms in francophone Africa

Yaounde, Cameroon

Seven francophone countries met from June 17-19 in Yaounde, Cameroun, to foster better understanding of the achievements and stumbling blocks linked to organisation, elaboration and utilisation of national M&E systems. DeLoG had conceptualized and initiated the seminar, organized by the GIZ Decentralization and Local Governance Programme (PADDEL) in Cameroon.

Government officials and decentralisation programs’ staff presented and discussed their respective M&E systems for decentralisation reforms. With decentralisation policies in place and legal frameworks adopted, experience exchange concentrated on challenges and risks encountered while elaborating and executing implementation mechanisms and packages of instruments. Practical steps for the way forward were designed for the respective countries.

Establishing national M&E systems is a long term undertaking. Development Partners’ support is necessary for ensuring technical input and resources. Effects of synergy, harmonization and alignment might lead to the dissolution of the significant number of competing parallel systems and approaches and therewith to economies of scale.



DeLoG Open Course in Vienna: Enhancing Development Effectiveness in Decentralisation and Local Governance (DLG)

As part of its joint learning efforts, DeLoG organised a 3-day open course on enhancing development effectiveness in decentralisation and local governance. Hosted by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) the course took place in Vienna from March 25th - 27th 2014.

33 participants from the headquarters and field offices of a variety of organisations, namely, ADA, Austria, Care Austria, the Institute of Advanced Studies Vienna, BMZ, GIZ, Sida, Sweden, UNICEF, SDC, Helvetas Switzerland, UNDP, VIDC and the NGO Horizont 3000, joined the course to discuss conceptual and practical issues revolving around the nexus between Aid Effectiveness & DLG.

Thematically, topics discussed included development effectiveness, sector decentralisation, systemic approaches as well as joint support options. Political economy and equitable, gender sensitive governance were focal themes throughout the whole course. A special regional focus was placed on South-East Europe. The course therewith provided an opportunity for practitioners working in the region to share their experiences, discuss challenges they face and identify possible solutions. Initial feedback suggested that participants especially valued the opportunity to get in contact with practitioners from other organisations working in their country or region as it may foster future collaborations.