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

The development of a conceptual framework, shared vision and operational co-ordination in the field of decentralisation and local governance are the main goals of the cooperation between the Development Partners (DP), in order to enhance the effectiveness of their work. This cooperation is especially characterised by its informal character. To facilitate the exchange of information among the participants, the shared workspace provides limited access only for DP.


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. 



Two DeLoG side events on ‘Localising the Post 2015 Development Agenda’ at the 7th World Urban Forum

Date & Venue: April 10 2014 from 12.15 to 13.15 at the Urban Library and from 14.30 to 15.30 in the Green Pavilion at the German Booth – Medellín, Colombia.

At the 7 th World Urban Forum taking place in Medellín, Colombia, DeLoG organises two side events on working towards a localised post 2015 development agenda. The sessions will first give an overview of the UN-led consultation process on ‘localising the post 2015 agenda’ that is currently being rolled out by UNDP, UN-Habitat and the Global Taskforce of Regional and Local Governments for Post 2015 (GTF). Then the Urban Institute will present and discuss preliminary results of the DeLoG study The Local Public Sector's Role in Achieving Development Goals that will feed important empirical evidence into this consultation process. 

Related links:
›› Visit the WUF 7 Website


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


Localizing development: Does participation work?

DeLoG Global Seminar Series
Localizing development: Does participation work?

On October 28th and 29th, 2013 the first two sessions of DeLoG’s Global Seminar Series were held in Brussels and Bonn. The DeLoG Global Seminar Series is a format which aims at exchanging knowledge between DeLoG members, academia and the wider DLG audience. Speaker of the first two events was Vijayendra Rao, lead economist at the World Bank. His intervention covered the results of the study ‘Localizing development: Does participation work’ which he conducted together with Ghazala Mansuri in 2012. He researched if participation can be induced through the type of large-scale government and donor-funded participatory programs that have become common in the past decade.

›› read more

Related links:
›› Rao's recently published study can be found here
›› Watch the video of the book presentation at the World Bank (Nov 2012)


4th UCLG World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders

4th UCLG World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders - Rabat

The city of Rabat hosted the second UCLG World Summit of local and regional leaders, and the 4th Congress of its World Organisation, from 1st to 4th of October 2013. It was held under the overall theme „Imagine Society, Build Democracy“. With 3.700 registered participants from 124 countries it was the biggest congress so far, old and new president of the World Association of Municipalities is Kadhir Topbas, Mayor of Istanbul.
The final declaration of the summit stressed the political role of local authorities as effective promoters of peace and dialogue among people: The local sphere is where democracies are built and reinforced. It is the level which can most effectively renew the social contract between citizens and public authorities as they are best placed to identify and understand the needs of communities. During MDG implementation it was demonstrated that important progress was made where local and regional authorities were involved in this process and that that results were not as satisfactory in cases where the principle of subsidiarity was not respected.
During the first day of the congress, the „Global Task Force of Regional and Local Governments for Post-2015 and towards Habitat III” met to discuss the roadmap towards a new set of development goals and new initiatives in this respect. DeLoG will support the task force by conducting a study on possible indicators and goals that including sub-national levels. This technical input is meant to help the Global Task Force in submitting proposals for a localised Post-2015 framework. Furthermore, the Global Report on Local Democracy and Decentralization (GOLD III) titled “Basic services for all in an urbanizing world” was presented to the public.

Related links:
›› programme
›› final declaration
›› Global Report on Local Democracy and Decentralization (GOLD III)
›› UCLG Policy paper – Development Cooperation and Local Government


parallel session Rabat

DeLoG Parallel Session. 4th UCLG World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders

During the 4th UCLG World Summit, which took place at the beginning of October in Rabat/ Morocco, DeLoG hosted a parallel session on Developmental Local Governance and the Post-2015 Development Agenda. During the session the example of Brazil was presented, which already measures MDG achievement in a disaggregated manner. The goal will be to measure differences in the achievement of development goals across its territory and, hence, to be able to target the support from the national level accordingly (click here to read more). This presentation was followed by a panel discussion with representatives from bilateral- and multilateral development partners as well as government and NGO representatives. To read more on the main outcomes of the discussion, please read our 2-page summary of the session or watch the video recording of the session.

›› Read more

Watch the video of the session:


SDC and DeLog

From left to right: Kuno Schläfli and Brigit Hagman (representing SDC); Jochen Mattern and Michelle Söller (DeLoG secretariat)

Agreement signed with Swiss Development Cooperation for the co-funding of DeLoG and its secretariat in Bonn

We are pleased to announce that the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) has, as the first member agency, decided to provide financial resources in a co-funding arrangement directly to the DeLoG secretariat. On February 18th, pen has been put to paper at SDC headquarters in Bern to formalise the SDC contribution to strengthen DeLoG and its secretariat from 2013- 2015 with an annual contribution of approximately US$ 300’000. A substantive part is directed to the implementation of the DeLoG/learn4dev joint learning programme. This is an important milestone in the life of the Development Partners Working Group on Decentralisation and Local Governance (DeLoG) towards a more collectively owned and widely engaged network.

In the following, Head of SDC’s Balkan Department Brigit Hagman, explains the reasons for and the expectations of co-financing DeLoG and its activities.

›› Click here to read the interview