Second ''DeLoG in Dialogue'' Event to Present the DeLoG Strategy 2021-2024 and Inclusively Plan the Annual Meeting 2021

On 31 May 2021 the DeLoG secretariat and the Strategic Support Group invited members and partners to the second DeLoG in Dialogue to exchange on the new strategy for 2021-2024 and on the organisation of the Annual Meeting 2021.

© DeLoG

On Monday 31 June 2021 the Development Partners Network on Decentralisation and Local Governance (DeLoG) convened for a session of its new format DeLoG in Dialogue (D’n’D). As reported after the launch of the new format in February 2021, D’n’D was set up to allow the members and partners to call on the expertise of the network on short notice, to discuss relevant or urgent topics, identify synergies and pave the way for new long-term collaboration and cooperation. D’n’D offers quick access to the high-level, diverse expertise of the network.

Organised by the secretariat and by the Strategic Support Group (SSG), composed by representatives of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) and Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the second D’n’D session brought together 26 participants from diverse DeLoG members and partners. The D’n’D session’s aim was to ensure a transparent and collaborative way discussion on the development of the DeLoG strategy 2021-2024 and the organisation of the Annual Meeting 2021.

The environment and the global agenda on Decentralisation and Local Governance (DLG) have changed and adapted over the last years, so have DeLoG and its members and partners. DLG approaches are constantly evolving under the pressure of social, economic, ecological and political challenges. A globalised world relies on the wellbeing of each human being in its local surroundings and the provision of equal and secure access to public services by Local and Regional Governments (LRGs) is key. However, in many countries, LRGs lack clear functions, mandates and access to finance and are put under heavy pressure by fast urbanisation, internal displacement, migration, inequality, poverty or climate change.

This changing environment, the new challenges brought by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its extremely heterogeneous and not entirely foreseeable impacts, make strengthening cooperation, exchange and partnerships for DLG support key to addressing local needs. Digital transformation creates opportunities but also prompts a shift in how development actors and stakeholders can work together. Leaving aside the issue of ensuring equal access, distance make building trust more difficult. The challenge for DeLoG as a network and many stakeholders in the field is to (re-)build and develop new ways of exchange to identify and discuss best practices of DLG support together, in the digital space as well as face-to-face. The network also needs to ensure thematic agility and to further diversify the landscape of its members and partners, towards including more actors active in DLG from the global south.

To address these issues, throughout 2020 and 2021 DeLoG conducted a consultation process to get a common understanding of the networks added value for its members and partners and a clear vision of its future objectives. The product of the process is the DeLoG Strategy 2021-2024 aiming at developing a global partnership for “Effective Decentralisation and Local Governance Support”.

The Annual Meeting taking place in September 2021 is directly linked to the implementation of the strategy by addressing the topic of inclusive and resilient local governance through several of its enabling mechanisms. It will also be an opportunity to identify 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. Members and partners will host the opening high-level panel and the different thematic sessions, therefore ensuring that the challenges and aims of the stakeholders are given a platform.

This D’n’D allowed an inclusive discussion on the network’s future developments while taking stock of the members’ and partners’ visions and ideas. The upcoming Annual Meeting will further ensure the adoption and implementation of the strategy based on partnership and a common vision of DLG support.