The DeLoG Annual Meeting 2023 jointly with the UCLG CIB Working Group

Creating an Enabling Environment for Decentralized Cooperation Worldwide

The 19th DeLoG Annual Meeting, in collaboration with the Capacity and Institution Building (CIB) Working Group of UCLG, convened renowned experts, practitioners, and policymakers from around the world. With the aim of shaping the future of Decentralisation and Local Governance (DLG), the meeting fostered strategic discussions and facilitated collaboration with other organizations.


Strategic Reflection: Setting the Course for DeLoG's Future

During the Strategic Reflection meeting, DeLoG members and partners engaged in constructive dialogue to chart a strategic path forward for the DeLoG network, the secretariat coordination and its development in the coming years. The goal was to position DeLoG as a global platform in line with the DeLoG Network Strategy 2021-2024.

Christian Luy, the coordinator of the DeLoG Secretariat, presented a compelling presentation that illuminated the network's accomplishments over the past 17 years. He eloquently expounded on the significant transition from an initial donor-driven approach to a subsequent secretariat-driven model, and now to a more dynamic and participatory structure as a Strategic Support Group (SSG) and member-driven network. Accomplishments included organizing webinars, e-learning courses, regional workshops, and publishing newsletters as well as articles. These milestones demonstrated DeLoG's commitment to knowledge exchange and capacity-building in the field of DLG.

To strengthen the network, DeLoG members and partners emphasized the need for increased initiative and motivation from all stakeholders. They highlighted the importance of shared responsibility to foster a sense of ownership within DeLoG. Key takeaways from the meeting included revising membership criteria, enhancing engagement, also including the Global South, and improving visibility through policy dialogues and expanded outreach efforts.


Exploring Diverse Perspectives on DLG from Donors, Practitioners and LGAs

The meeting featured two panels that provided diverse perspectives on DLG. The first panel focused on DLG and donors, bringing together representatives from organizations such as Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the European Union (EU). Discussions emphasized the importance of coordination, raising awareness about DLG potentials, and engaging central authorities in the DLG agenda.

The second panel centered around DLG practitioners and included contributions from the UCLG Secretary and the Local Government Association of Zambia. Topics explored included transforming systems towards DLG, translating policies into actionable programs, and empowering local governments through robust legal frameworks and policy guidance.

These panels served as a platform for knowledge sharing, idea exchange for the formulation of joint strategies to advance DLG globally. The perspectives of donors, practitioners, and policymakers enriched the discussions and underscored the significance of collaboration and coordination between DeLoG and CIB in achieving sustainable local governance.


Workshops: DLG and Innovation, Policy Dialogue, and Coordination

The meeting also hosted three workshops that delved into critical aspects of DLG: innovation, policy dialogue, and coordination. The workshop on innovation brought together experts from various fields to address challenges and opportunities in DLG. Participants identified key challenges, including information duplication, coordination gaps, digitalization in rural areas, and limited investment resources. Recommendations put forth included replicating successful DLG practices, leveraging artificial intelligence for communication and translation, forming partnerships with academia and the art community, as well as embracing flexible DLG approaches. The workshop on coordination aimed to strengthen connections among CIB members and donor organizations. Recommendations included increasing Secretariat meetings, establishing an advocacy group for local governments, exploring new funding possibilities, and improving knowledge management and collaboration between donor organizations and CIB. The workshop on policy dialogue and advocacy highlighted the importance of tailoring messages to different stakeholders (breaking thematic silos), developing clear joint advocacy strategies, and creating platforms for dialogue between local governments and policymakers. These workshops provided opportunities for participants to delve into specific areas of DLG, exchange insights, and generate recommendations for future action.


DeLoG Annual Meeting 2023: Conclusion

The 19th DeLoG Annual Meeting set a strong course for the future of DLG, emphasizing collaboration, coordination, and innovation as crucial drivers for sustainable local governance. By bringing together experts, practitioners, and policymakers, the meeting served as a catalyst for forging partnerships, leverage commitment for DeLoG. With renewed motivation and a strategic roadmap, DeLoG is poised to make significant strides towards its mission of fostering effective decentralization and local governance worldwide.

You can access the comprehensive report of the DeLoG Annual Meeting 2023 by clicking here.


DeLoG Annual Meeting 2024

During the closing of the joint DeLoG and CIB Annual Meeting 2023, the province of Barcelona expressed their enthusiasm to host the CIB Annual Meeting in Barcelona for the upcoming year. CIB as well as DeLoG Members suggested and decided to merge and organize the Meeting jointly. The precise dates for the event will be announced soon.