CLGF works to promote and strengthen democratic local government across the Commonwealth and to encourage the exchange of best practice – through conferences and events, technical assistance projects and research.
Working with national and local governments to support the development of democratic values and good local governance. As a Commonwealth organisation, CLGF draws on the influential network of the Commonwealth that provides a solid basis for its programmes and activities. As an associated organisation officially recognised by Commonwealth Heads of Government, CLGF is well-placed to influence policy development and lead on democracy and good governance at local level.
With some 200 members in most of the 53 Countries of the Commonwealth, CLGF’s strength lies in its membership whose representatives are the key players in local government in the Commonwealth and can be drawn into CLGF’s work as experts and influencers. CLGF is unique in bringing together central, provincial and local spheres of government involved in local government policy and decision-making. CLGF members include local government associations, individual local authorities, ministries dealing with local government, and research and professional organisations who work with local government.
Practitioner to practitioner support is at the core of CLGF's work across the Commonwealth and within the region, using CLGF's own members to support others both within and between regions.
CLGF was founded in 1995 and its establishment was endorsed by Commonwealth Heads of Government at their meeting in New Zealand later that year. It has received further endorsement at subsequent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings and in 2003 was given official recognition as an associated Commonwealth organisation of elected representatives. It also has official recognition with some UN agencies and other international organisations.
As an associated Commonwealth organisation, CLGF ensures that local government's voice is heard within the Commonwealth and that it gets full recognition and support in the Commonwealth family. CLGF works closely with other Commonwealth and international organisations such as the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Commonwealth Foundation, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the United Nations, including UN-Habitat and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to promote and support democratic local government in the Commonwealth and to ensure that local government is recognised as an important sphere of government in development.
CLGF is governed by the CLGF Board which is elected every two years at the General Meeting of members.