Copyright DeLoG

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


DeLoG Global Seminar Series: Localising the post 2015 Development Agenda: The Local Public Sector's Role in achieving Development Goals in Health and Education

The 4th session of the DeLoG Global Seminar Series took place on the 14th October 2014 at the GIZ premises in Bonn, Germany. Themed local-ising the post 2015 development agenda, the session addressed the local public sector’s role in achieving development goals particularly in health and education. Dr. Jamie Boex, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute in Washington D.C. presented the preliminary analysis of the ongoing Local Public Sector study (LPS) conducted by the Urban Institute on behalf of DeLoG and supported by GIZ, MAE, SDC, UNDP and UNCDF.

The study focuses and seeks to primarily answer questions such as the effectiveness of local governments vis-à-vis direct funding from central governments but also the magnitude of local public sectors and their composition in health and education. Another key research point is the question on which mechanism is more effective in localizing public services and supporting the achievement of development outcomes. It preliminarily concludes that locali-zation of public services involves more than local government spending since local govern-ments in the countries under research only account for a mere 35% of localised spending. Also, the results of the study point to a positive correlation between local spending and sector outcomes which according to Jamie Boex is not necessarily a proof of causality between the sectors

›› Related information can be found here



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 sessions at the 7th World Urban Forum on 'Localising the post 2015 development agenda'

Medellín, Colombia

On the 4th day of the World Urban Forum, DeLoG organised two one-hour events discussing the role of local governments in achieving development goals. Jochen Mattern, the coordinator of the DeLoG  Secretariat, facilitated the meetings. As an introduction to the sessions, Kodjo Mensa Abrahma from UNDP and Joe Hooper from UN-Habitat presented the upcoming UN-led consultations on the role of the local level in the MDG and post 2015 process. Further, Sara Hoeflich (UCLG) representing the Global Taskforce of Regional and Local Governments for post 2015 and towards Habitat III (GTF) explained that the GTF will be co-facilitating the consultation on localising the post 2015 agenda. She highlighted the strategic partnership between GTF and DeLoG through facilitating inputs and expertise.

In this regard, initial results of a DeLoG study on the role of the local public sector (LPS) in achieving development goals were presented. Over the last year, detailed data on the local public sector has been collected in 15 countries, including the amount of each country's decentralised spending on education and health. Jamie Boex from the Urban Institute, who is leading the study, revealed in his presentation a correlation between the amount of spending channeled through the local level and the improvement of education. Furthermore, the presentation showed a consistent negative correlation between local spending and health threats, i.e. the more public funds are spend at the local level, the fewer children under 5 die.

However, Mr. Boex underlined that, at the current point in time, it cannot be assured that these are causations and not mere correlations. To prove this, the analysis of more samples is necessary. It is envisaged to include data from additional 15 countries currently collected by DeLoG members. Final results are expected in summer 2014. The study will feed important empirical evidence into the work of the GTF and the above mentioned consultation process.

Related links:

›› Find out more about the LPS study



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. 


The Local Public Sector's Role in Achieving Development Outcomes

Data collection for study on the local public sector's role in achieving development goals advances

In collaboration with the Urban Institute’s Local Public Sector Initiative, DeLoG has launched an ambitious cross-country research project in October 2013: The Local Public Sector's Role in Achieving Development Goals. While the local public sector (LPS) is increasingly recognised as crucial for improving public service delivery, empirical evidence linking decentralisation to improved development outcomes is rather erratic. DeLoG aims to bridge this knowledge gap by engaging in an empirical stock-taking exercise on the local public sector's role in achieving development goals. In collaboration with France, GIZ, SDC, UNDP, UNCDF, and other development partners, detailed information is being collected about the role of local governments in the delivery of public health and education services in 40 countries. For this purpose a standardised LPS Country Survey was developed. Initial findings from the data collected so far suggest that better sectoral development progress is made in countries where a greater share of resources is spend at the local level in either a devolved or deconcentrated manner. In contrast, when local public services are funded directly by central governments, it appears that there are no associated improvements in development outcomes. Initial findings of the study therewith form an evidentiary starting point to promote the more prominent inclusion of local governments in development interventions. 

Related links:
›› All study documents and supporting materials can be found here
›› For more information visit the Urban Institute Website