Commonwealth local government celebrates Commonwealth Day
13 March 2017
The Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) will join other Commonwealth organisations and the people of the 52 countries of the Commonwealth in celebrating this year’s Commonwealth Day on Monday 13 March.
The theme of Commonwealth Day 2017 is ‘A peace-building Commonwealth’. HM Queen Elizabeth II will lead festivities with a special message to the two and a half billion people who live in Commonwealth countries. Many official buildings including town halls in Commonwealth countries will be flying the Commonwealth flag and holding special events.
The CLGF has some experience of delivering programmes within post-conflict environments – particularly in the Solomon Islands and Sierra Leone – and over the last three years, has been engaging in a research partnership led by Prof Paul Jackson at the University of Birmingham, which brings together leading researchers in post-conflict and local governance to explore ‘the role of local government in post-conflict environments’.
CLGF believes that in post-conflict or fragile situations the role of local governments, and more generally decentralisation is more important and complex. Decentralisation and strengthening local governments becomes a means to empower local communities.
CLGF is collating a series of research papers exploring these themes across the Commonwealth and beyond which are set to be published in a special edition of the Commonwealth Journal of Governance later in 2017 and will draw on case study political economy analysis of the role decentralisation and local government has played in post-conflict environments in a number of the Commonwealth including Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Northern Ireland, Solomon Islands. The outcomes from this research will help towards informing CLGF’s research, advocacy and programme work around the Commonwealth.
“The Commonwealth Local Government Forum is the Commonwealth organisation which focuses on strengthening local government and good local democracy. The theme of Commonwealth day this year is very relevant to our work as effective local government makes conflict less likely whereas ineffective local government increases conflict risk,” said CLGF Chairperson Cllr Rev Mpho Moruakgomo.
“By bringing decision-making closer to communities, decentralisation can help build equity, inclusion and trust. Local government has a key role in helping integration for instance through housing, skill training and providing opportunities for decent and productive employment.’
Back to News