DeLoG Annual Meeting 2021: Inclusive and Resilient Decentralisation and Local Governance

The DeLoG Annual Meeting 2021 will take place from the 13th to the 23rd of September. This year the Annual Meeting will kick-off with a High-Level Policy Dialogue on "Inclusive and Resilient Decentralisation and Local Governance Reforms and Institutions’" open to the public. It will also be the occasion to discuss the future of the DeLoG network.

You can find the Agenda by clicking here.

The DeLoG Annual Meeting 2021 (AM) takes place during a difficult historical moment. Political and economic stability and prosperity are being fundamentally shaken and countries around the world are putting systems and values into question. It is fundamental to build institutions and approaches that ensure social, political, economic and most of all environmental sustainability and resilience. Local actors are rapidly rising to the forefront of responding to these challenges as their responsibility and impact are being given the stage they deserve. It is more crucial than ever to bring the local perspective to the policy level and to establish a stronger bridge between the different multiple levels of governance.

The 2030 Agenda calls for effective, transparent, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels (SDG 16) and encourages the creation of meaningful multi-stakeholder partnerships (SDG 17). Its core principle of “Leaving No One Behind” guides actors and stakeholders involved in decentralisation and local governance reform processes and in the localisation of the SDGs.

Over the last years, and especially since the outbreak of COVID-19, the environment and the global agenda on Decentralisation and Local Governance (DLG) have been rapidly changing. DeLoG members and partners are adapting DLG approaches under the pressure of social, economic, ecological and political challenges. Clearly defined functions and mandates as well as access to finance for Local and Regional Governments (LRGs) are necessary to enable them to fulfil that responsibility to provide equal and secure access to public services. At the same time, it is crucial to include local population, especially the most fragile and marginalised, in policy- and decision-making. Indeed, local functions and responsibilities enable local sustainability, local resilience and local regeneration. The local level is crucial for addressing challenges of peace and the prevention of violent extremism while increasing social cohesion and ensuring long-term stability and prosperity. 

Donors often support what communities and LRGs are advocating for: increase in ownership by the communities, larger investments in local capacity-building and the provision of adequate funding or access to national and international financing mechanisms for LRGs. However, there is not one uniform and long-lasting approach by donors. So, what changes and strategic shifts do donors and development partners envisage in their DLG support to effectively address the changing environment and challenges of our time? How can DLG support be adapted to effectively meet the most urgent needs of local communities? How can donors measure, enable, mobilise and adapt to what is most urgently needed? 

The DeLoG AM comes at a crucial point where these questions encounter the social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis and the clear urgency of environmental action. The AM aims to concretely identify key messages and best practices for strengthening policy dialogue on DLG, to define new topics and collaborative actions and to allow new organisations to showcase their interest to join DeLoG.

The High-Level Opening Policy Dialogue sets the scene for this year’s AM, by providing room for policy dialogue that allows members and partners to exchange on their strategies and priorities. The key question to be addressed is how the support for inclusive and resilient DLG reforms is evolving in the face of the current global challenges and what role partnerships and networks like DeLoG should play in the future. The question of the specific development of DeLoG will be raised and discussed at various points throughout the AM.

The panel will be hosted by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

To read more about the agenda and the participants, please click here.