Knowledge

 
Decentralized Governance and Accountability: Academic Research and the Future of Donor Programming

For the longest time, decentralisation was depicted as the prime solution to address both economic inefficiency and bad governance. However, while enthusiasm was high during the 1990s, recent voices have started to criticise simplistic one-solution-fits-all approaches, focusing more on the potentially negative impact of decentralisation programmes on inequality and social cohesion at the local level. The referenced study, conducted by USAID in cooperation with world-renown academic institutions, reviews experiences and research findings collected throughout the past decades with the aim of informing future development programming in this area. By analysing a diverse range of topics such as post-conflict peace building, LED, sub-national jurisdictions or the role of traditional leaders as well as considering both the practice of decentralisation and the role of aid organisations for its implementation, the study finds that cooperation between practitioners and academics can help to 1. articulate a programme theory that links specific interventions to specific measurable outcomes, 2. design an agenda for impact evaluation as soon as possible, and 3. design data collection systems and analyse results.

Editors: Jonathan Rodden, Erik Wibbels
Publisher: USAID
Publication Date: 2019
Copyright: USAID

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Sustainable Urban Development Handbook

Recognising the importance of local and regional governments for sustainable urban development (SUD), this Handbook by the EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) presents a clear and consistent account of the EU’s policies in this field. By putting forth guidelines for the development of a flexible and adaptable policy learning tool, it provides a systematic framework for implementing integrated and place-based urban strategies. Moreover, the Handbook summarises key obstacles to SDG implementation at the local level, thus providing local authorities and other relevant stakeholders with guidance on how to advance and improve SUD efforts.

Publisher: The EU's JRC
Publication Date: 2020
Copyright: The EU's JRC

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Monitoring and Evaluating National Urban Policy: A Guide

The effective implementation of National Urban Policy (NUP) requires good monitoring and evaluation in order to be able to appropriately judge successes and failures. This Guide by UN-Habitat provides a programmatic approach for establishing a database to monitor objectives, outputs and outcomes. A greater involvement of local and regional actors, as well as linking efforts to the global level are both highly recommended.

Publisher: UN-Habitat
Publication Date: 2020
Copyright: UN-Habitat

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SDG 16 in VNRs and Spotlight Reports

SDG 16 represents a necessary pre-requisite for achieving the highly ambitious Sustainable Development Goals. In this report titled “SDG 16 in VNRs and Spotlight Reports”, Pytrik Oosterhof analyses the dual role of this goal as an outcome as well as a pre-condition for sustainable development. By comparing perspectives shared by governments and civil society in their Spotlight and VNR reports presented at the High-Level Political Forum, she carves out a wide spectrum of approaches already used to implement SDG 16. Besides summarising good practices, lessons learnt as well as key recommendations, the report recommends broadening stakeholder engagement in order to turn SDG 16 into a reality by 2030.

Author: Pytrik Oosterhof
Publisher: GIZ and the TAP Network
Publication Date: 2020
Copyright: GIZ

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OECD: Cities Policy Responses

With its devastating impact on local communities COVID-19 may turn into one of the greatest economic, financial and social shocks of our time. By trying to contain the virus and providing essential services to residents, cities are at the forefront of the pandemic. This policy note describes the different COVID-19 measures taken by cities and analyses economic effects, as well as factors like density, resilience and collaboration with national governments. In addition, it carves out the different strategies implemented by cities to exit the lockdown and draws on insightful lessons learnt to provide guidance on how to improve urban resilience in future.

Publisher: OECD
Publication Date: 2020
Copyright: OECD

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State of the Voluntary Local Reviews 2020: Local Action for Global Impact in Achieving the SDGs

In order to track their progress in implementing the SDGs and plan for next steps many local and regional governments conduct Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs). This report by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies summarises their efforts and highlights different SDG initiatives from around the world. While the first part of the report focuses on inclusive processes in line with the SDG’s motto of leaving no one behind, the second part presents efforts to link local review processes to the national level and Voluntary National Reviews (VNR). This report serves as a blueprint for local stakeholders to better understand obstacles and challenges for reaching the SDGs.

Author: Fernando Ortiz-Moya, Hirotaka Koike, Junko Ota, Yatsuka Kataoka and Junichi Fujino
Publisher: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
Publication Date: 2020
Copyright: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

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The Shimokawa Method for Voluntary Local Reviews

What does the small north-Japanese town of Shimokawa have to do with “Voluntary Local Reviews” (VLR) you may ask. The answer is simple. Despite its limited budget and geographical isolation, Shimokawa has been able to successfully develop and implement a rigorous monitoring, review and follow-up process for the SDGs at the local level. This clear-cut handbook provides fruitful insights into their ten-step review process (like how to gather data or establish a platform) and provides local and regional governments with a perfect example on how to contribute to the attainment of the 2030 Agenda at the local level by use of the “Shimokawa Method’’.

Author: Hirotaka Koike, Fernando Ortiz-Moya, Yatsuka Kataoka & Junichi Fujino
Publisher: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
Publication Date: 2020
Copyright: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

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Capital Locast: Talking Local, Globally – A Podcast by UNCDF

By providing innovative local financing solutions for the world’s 47 least developed countries (LDCs), the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) aims to bridge gaps in development finance architecture at the local level. Financial inclusion, local development finance and an LDCs investment platform are part of UNCDF’s main instruments to contribute and foster a sustainable world worth living in. Through weekly episodes the first season of this podcast provides insights on UNCDF’s economic analyses and policy agenda in terms of a financial ecosystem that addresses the needs of cities and local governments.

Producer: UN Capital Development Fund
Publication Date: 2020
Copyright: United Nations

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Podcast: Four Countries Working Together to Get Climate Finance to the Local Level

IIED’s ''People, Planet and Public Finance” podcast addresses questions such as ''How can countries ''green” their budget?” or “How much do people spend in reaction to climate change?”. This particular episode examines how NGOs and governments in Senegal, Mali, Tanzania and Kenya cooperate to get and improve their access to local sustainable climate investments. During the podcast newly developed processes and mechanisms for climate financing of IIED and IED Afrique in Senegal are presented.

Speakers: Emilie Beauchamp and Bara Gueye
Producer: International Institute for Environment and Development
Publication Date: 2020
Copyright: International Institute for Environment and Development

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UCLG Africa Report on the Impact of the Pandemic on the Financial Resources and Capital Expenditure of LRGs

Published by United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) in English and in French, this report tries to anticipate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on capital expenditures of local and regional governments. In this context the report recommends re-examining the financial relations between local and national governments to identify steps toward stabilising local economies. In order to improve crisis response, the report suggests investing in decentralisation processes to get a better understanding of local realities and enable more tailor-made local approaches. The report’s overall aim is to contribute to urban resilience and support the creation of stronger (financial) institutions.

You can find the English version here

Publisher: UCLG Africa
Publication Date: 2020
Copyright : UCLG Africa

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