Pacific \ Local democracy
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
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
At the 2015 United Nations General Assembly, 193 UN member states unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a global development agenda that lays out 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. The SDGs, which came into effect in January 2016, are a universal set of goals, targets and indicators that set out quantitative objectives across the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. Addressing critical sustainability issues such as poverty, climate change, inequality, economic development, and ecosystem protection, the SDGs will be implemented in all countries, across different territorial scales. Cities and human settlements will be key to achieving the global SDGs. The SDGs come into effect in a world that is increasingly urban, with a little over half the global population now living in cities. Urbanization has thrown up some of the world’s greatest development challenges, but it also has tremendous opportunities for advancing sustainable development. SDG 11 recognizes the central role of urbanization in sustainable development, and calls for ‘mak[ing] cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.’ As one of the 17 SDGs that will shape public policy priorities and guide development finance flows for the next fifteen years, the ‘urban SDG’ provides a tremendous opportunity for cities to build robust partnerships and gain additional resources for advancing sustainable urban development. For mayors and local leaders that are working to improve the quality of life in urban environments, the SDGs provide a roadmap for more balanced and equitable urban development. All cities aim to increase prosperity, promote social inclusion, and enhance resilience and environmental sustainability. In this way the SDGs capture large parts of the existing political agenda in virtually every city. When aligned with existing planning frameworks and development priorities, they can strengthen development outcomes and provide additional resources for local governments.
Author: Chaitanya Kanuri, Aromar Revi, Jessica Espey and Holger Kuhle Publisher: Sustainable Development Solutions Network 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