Informing, Enabling, Mobilising, Adapting for Inclusive and Resilient Decentralisation and Local Governance Support

DeLoG members and partners will convene for the network’s second virtual Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting 2021 will address how decentralisation and local governance (DLG) support can be more inclusive and resilient.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for effective, transparent, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels (SDG 16) and encourages the creation of meaningful multi-stakeholder partnerships (SDG 17). The commitment to ‘’Leave No One Behind’’ (UN, 2015) represents the shared framework that guides actors and stakeholders involved in decentralisation and local governance reform processes and in the localisation of the SDGs.  

Local governments are the best equipped to react to crises and shocks and are at the forefront of protecting citizens and providing multi-faceted responses and services. 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. While DeLoG members and partners support the central position of local institutions and actors in fostering peace and sustainable development, over the last years, and especially since the outbreak of COVID-19, the environment and the global agenda on DLG have changed. Develo DLG approaches have been adapted under the pressure of social, economic, ecological and political evolutions. One of the biggest challenges for both development actors and local governments is how to support inclusive and therefore resilient communities in this constantly changing context.  

Resilience is often defined as the ability of “individuals, communities and states and their institutions to absorb and recover from shocks, whilst positively adapting and transforming their structures and means for living in the face of long-term changes and uncertainty'' (OECD, 2013). Resilience is thus strictly interlinked with inclusion. In general, states that are more open and inclusive tend to be more prosperous, effective and resilient over the long term. The multiple and overlapping patterns of social exclusion prevent people from exercising their rights and opportunities, hindering poverty reduction by leading to higher rates of poverty among marginalised groups and reducing the productivity and resilience of the whole society. Because social exclusion prevents the realisation of rights and exacerbates poverty, it affects societies’ ability to achieve the SDGs and can further lead to conflict and violence. 

Against this backdrop, the sessions of the DeLoG Annual Meeting 2021 (AM) will seek to take part in addressing roadblocks and finding solutions, by diving into four key mechanisms to reach inclusive and resilient development at local level: informing, enabling, mobilising and adapting for inclusive and resilient DLG support. 

The objective of the sessions is to reflect on approaches to measure and enable resilience and inclusion in DLG support, to promote exchange on best practices in needs assessment and impact evaluation and to define key messages and identify future areas for debate and exchange within DeLoG. The different sessions, including the High-Level Opening Panel will bring together a set of hosting organisations and inputs from different regions across the world. The aim of the sessions is also to allow different experiences to come into contact, exchange, improve and create new collaborations.