The Development Partners Working Group on Decentralisation and Local Governance - DeLoG
Local Governments at the 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa
From 13th - 16th July 2015, the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.The conference resulted in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda that shall contribute to the financing and implementation of the post-2015 development agenda. In this document, the important role of the subnational and local level has been taken into account and is emphasised in in article 34: It is acknowledged that local governments need to be supported in mobilising revenues at the local level and that international cooperation must be scaled up for strengthening the capacities of municipalities and local authorities.
At the conference, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development and UCLG organised a side event on “A New Financial Architecture for Localising FfD: A Critical Dimension to the Implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda”. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) was represented by Stephan Ohme, Head of Unit, and contributed with an introductory speech to the side event. Stephan Ohme emphasised the need to empower local governments with sufficient competences, financial resources and capacities for local revenue mobilisation and to provide them with access to long-term development financing mechanisms.
During the discussion, it became clear that besides access to intergovernmental fiscal transfers and long-term development financing mechanisms, the strengthening of local governments’ capacities in tax collection for domestic resource mobilisation is crucial for an enhanced role of the subnational level in financing development. Therefore, innovative financing mechanisms must be established such as municipal development banks, credit pools or municipal bonds. Further issues discussed at the side event captured challenges such as the delivery of public services to informal urban settlements, the provision of resources to local governments for tackling climate change and the challenge of financing migration to urban areas.
A UCLG position paper on the role of local governments in the FfD process can be accessed here.
Learn4Dev Annual Meeting
From 15th to 17th June 2015 the annual meeting of the learn4dev network took place in East Kilbride, Scotland, co-organised by DFID and the European Commission. The focus of this year´s meeting was on learning together for sustainable development, the Post 2015 Agenda and the new challenges it imposes.
Main objectives of this year’s annual meeting were amongst others to set the direction of the network for the coming year, to carry out the processes needed for effective and continued governance of the network and to explore how organizational learning and the learn4dev network can be used to adapt to the post-2015 agenda.
Around 35 participants from learn4dev member organizations and several key note speakers took part in the very participatory three day event. The DeLoG secretariat – representing the learn4Dev Expert Group on Decentralisation and Local Governance – focused in its reporting on its latest and improved e-learning course format.
Key questions of the event, which will be further elaborated on in the
coming future, covered e.g. the engagement of new donors and south-south
engagement in learning and capacity development as well as whether the existing
expert groups sufficiently address the important issues for organizational
More information on the annual meeting can be found on the learn4dev website.
For further information, please contact Nils Huhn (email@example.com).
DeLoG at the Commonwealth Local Government Conference in Gaborone, Botswana
The Commonwealth Local Government Conference took place from 16-19 June 2015 in Gaborone, hosted by the Botswana Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, organised by the Commonwealth local government Forum (CLGF). Running under the theme “Local Government 2030: achieving the vision”, it focused on priorities for local government post-2015 to play its full part in development including improving local governance and effectiveness, promoting sustainable local development, and strategies for inclusive, resilient and sustainable cities. Amongst the over 500 participants were also the President of Botswana, Seretse Khama Ian Khama and Helene Clark, Administrator of UNDP.
The DeLoG secretariat facilitated a working session on multi-level-governance, intergovernmental relations and the role of local government associations. Speakers where Mayor Scean Barnswell, President of the Association of Local Government Authorities of Jamaica and Vice-President and of the Caribbean Association of Local Governments, Councilor Mpho Nawa, Vice Chair of the South African Local Government Association and Patrick Mutabwire, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government in Uganda. All speakers emphasized that all levels of government need to efficiently work together to enable local governments to fulfill their important role in implementing the SDGs. This requires amongst other access to financial resources and capacity development from central government and development partners.
Global Seminar Series in Brussels & Bern:
Localizing Public Services and Development: “The Local Public Sector's
Role in achieving Development Goals in Health and Education.”
On the 10th and 13th of April 2015 the sessions 6 and 7 of the Global Seminar Series took place in Brussels and Bern, hosted by the European Commission and the Swiss Development Cooperation respectively. DeLoG / Urban Institute´s latest publication on “The Local Public Sector's Role in achieving Development Goals in Health and Education” was presented and discussed at the respective headquarters with a broad range of experts from different Development Partners in the fields of local governance, public finance/budget support as well as education and health.
In Brussels, Michel Laloge, Head of Sector Local Authorities, DEVCO B2 Unit, European Commission and Jorge Rodríguez Bilbao, Quality Support Manager of the Civil Society and Local Authorities Unit, DEVCO B2 Unit, European Commission gave the introductory framework for the presentation of the study by Jamie Boex, PhD, Senior Research Associate at the Urban Institute and lead author of the study. In Bern, Corinne Huser, Policy Advisor Democratisation, Decentralisation and Local Governance, introduced the study followed by Jochen Mattern, Coordinator of the DeLoG Secretariat.
In both Brussels and Bern the presentation of the study triggered lively discussions. Questions captured issues such as the definition and variation of tiers of local government, the correlation between decision making power and development outcomes, the existence of potential thresholds for localized spending and the assessment of local institutions capacities’. Lessons to take away from the study include, amongst others, the need for practitioners and Development Partners to look at and investigate in disaggregated sector data in order to answer how much money reaches the front line. Additionally, it became once again obvious, that decentralization is not an either or debate, but a multi-level and -actor dialog on how to best allocate, integrate and spend funds and resources correctly where they are most needed: On the local level.
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.
DeLoG 9th Annual Meeting, SwedenThemed “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
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.