This section contains information relating to all aspects of lcoal democracy and good governance at the local level. The Commonwealth principles on good practice for local democracy and good governance - known as the Aberdeen Agenda - which have been adopted by all CLGF members and are incorporated in the Commonwealth Charter, set the framework for the promotion of local democracy in the Commonwealth. The materials in this section relate to the constitutional and legal provisions for local government and include a range of studies, policy and training materials on local elections, leadership, community participation, representative local government, local government management and partnerships between local government and other key stakeholders such as traditional authorities.
- The Aberdeen Agenda
- Community participation
- Constitutional/legislative provisions
- Decentralisation policy and practice
- Local government elections
- Local leadership
- Local government management
- Partnerships in governance
- Decentralisation in post-conflict environments
- Local government associations
- Transparency and anti-corruption
- Traditional leadership and local governance
A striking feature of local government reform in many Commonwealth countries has been a heavy reliance on structural reform, often in the form of forced local council amalgamation. This paper argues that the long-run success of structural change in local government hinges on several key factors, not least that voluntary rather than compulsory council mergers have a far greater chance of success. A second key ingredient resides in a high degree of local autonomy in both the composition and operation of decentralized governmental functions. A third vital factor lies in ensuring that revenue and tax assignment is sufficient to provide local government with financial autonomy. Finally, adequate powers of taxation need to be accorded to local government and this requires careful consideration of the types of taxes most suited to local government.
Author: Lorenzo Robotti, Brian Dollery Publisher: university of Technology, Sydney Publication year: may 2009
There is a trend the world over to make governments more accountable and responsive to local people through decentralisation of authority. Such an effort is aimed at overcoming inefficient allocation of natural resources by centrally administered agencies. The objective is to encourage participation of people in the decision-making process at the grassroots level. In India, the 73rd constitutional amendment of 1992 decentralised agriculture, irrigation and management of drinking water to the Panchayats. In West Bengal, the Panchayats were revitalised much before the constitutional amendment, soon after the Left Front government came to power. While the initial phase of Left Front rule saw enthusiastic participation by the village poor, when the water crisis reached a peak during the last years of Left Front rule, relatively few people in villages took part in government-sponsored initiatives. This leads to the core question: Why do more people not participate? Why are small cultivators and agricultural labourers, who are most profoundly affected by decisions regarding water management, even less inclined to be involved in decision-making? Participation at the Crossroads discusses decentralised governance and the politics of water management in India, with specific focus on West Bengal. Through fieldwork in villages during the last years of Left Front rule in the state, the author highlights the little studied aspect of local participation in decision-making processes relating to allocation of water. Through his case studies, the author shows how the unavailability of water is causing small cultivators to turn away from agriculture; the reasons behind the low turnout of small cultivators and agricultural labourers at village meetings; and how political interference at various levels in decentralisation creates problems, often leading to a skewed access to water. This timely and important book will be very useful to students and scholars of development studies, political science, public administration, anthropology, and sociology. It will also be invaluable to practitioners working in the fields of water policy and rural management.
Author: Bhaskar Chakrabarti Publisher: Orient BlackSwan Publication year: 2016
How we plan, build, and manage our cities today will determine the outcome of our efforts to achieve a sustainable and harmonious development tomorrow. Well-planned cities allow all residents the opportunity to have safe, healthy, and productive lives. Well-designed cities present nations with major opportunities to promote social inclusion, resilience, and prosperity
Author: UN-Habitat Publisher: UN-Habitat Publication year: 2016
Women and Political Transition: The Risk of Replicating Inequality and the Fundamental Need for Gender Parity in Decision-Making ∗
The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) includes gender equality and women’s empowerment programming as a key facet of its democracy-building work in countries transitioning from violent conflict to more stable political processes. IFES has programs on the ground in flashpoint countries such as Libya, Burkina Faso, and Syria, as well as countries striving to end the cycle of conflict such as Côte d’Ivoire and Myanmar. These countries represent a critical cohort of transitional states, which need tailored conflict and political transition interventions well in advance of credible, transparent and inclusive elections. Research has shown that gender equality is a bulwark for democracy – ensuring the resilience of democratic institutions that represent the needs of all their constituencies –and IFES works with partners to ensure women and men from all segments of society are part of the political and electoral process. Work in conflict and unstable democratic settings will continue for the foreseeable future and a commitment to inclusive democracy will be challenged by these settings in unique ways. The legal framework for elections and political processes are often shaped, drafted, or reformed during peace processes and political transitions. IFES is committed to programming that integrates gender equality and women’s empowerment into all political and electoral technical assistance, including evolving and complex transitional contexts. This is critical for two reasons: 1) Excluding women from the nascent stages of conflict resolution is a missed opportunity to have all voices influence the blueprint for peace and democracy in their countries, and 2) Excluding women from political transition processes risks replicating gender inequality in new structures and perpetuating it in societal attitudes. This briefing paper by IFES Senior Gender Specialist Jessica Huber outlines IFES’ gender-specific programming, which examines and responds to points along the continuum of crisis, political transition and stable democracy.
Author: Jessica Huber Publisher: International Foundation for Electoral Systems Publication year: 2016
The purpose of the Anti-Corruption Principles and Standards for Local Governance Systems is to provide clear guidance as to how to prevent corruption and deal with it when it occurs. Most of them apply to the whole governance system, including citizens, civil society, the media and the private sector. These stakeholders play an increasingly important role in local policy-making, oversight and service delivery and are essential for reducing corruption. Civil society organisations notably can use the principles and standards to monitor the progress of local governance. This is a living document which will be updated as new standards emerge or are identified.
Author: Transparency International Publisher: Transparency International Publication year: 2015