Commonwealth Local Government Forum

2030 agenda for sustainable development

The global development agenda impacts directly on the work of local government, which is responsible for the delivery of many of the key services that will contribute towards the achievement of global targets. A Global Taskforce, of which CLGF is a member, has worked to ensure greater understanding and recognition of local government’s contribution to meeting global and national development targets. Local government’s engagement with the Agenda 2030 and the new Sustainable Development Goals; efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change; the Addis Ababa Agenda for Action on financing development; Habitat III and the New Urban Agenda, and others is being increasingly recognised. This section provides material on the global development agenda, information on how local government is contributing to global development targets, and information about multilateral and bilateral donor strategies relevant to local government. CLGFs work is informed by global development initiatives which we proactively contribute to on behalf of our members, such as through the Global Taskforce of local and regional governments for post-2015 development agenda towards Habitat III. This includes the 2030 agenda for sustainable development which will guide and inform development priorities over the next 15 years, and Habitat III - the third UN conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in 2016.

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The Mobilisation of Sub-National Revenues Is a Decisive Factor in the Realisation of the 2030 Agenda

2015 the global community committed itself to an ambitious programme of reform. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and implementing the resolutions of the Paris climate conference require that great efforts are made – including those of a financial nature. Many states will have to ensure that untapped or barely used sources of income are developed. Sub-national units such as provinces, departments, districts, and cities will play an increasing role in the mobilisation of public revenues. They are also in the forefront with regard to realisation of the global reform agenda, as many of the objectives concern classic areas of activity of local government: schools, basic medical care, local road construction, public transport, construction of social housing, the supply of drinking water and disposal of waste water, refuse collection etc. These services are already the responsibility or co-responsibility of subnational units. The mobilisation of revenues at sub-national level is therefore not only a financial necessity, it is also prudent from a development policy perspective: if the users and funders of a good match, there is a greater likelihood that the preferences of citizens will be observed and the use of funds monitored. In addition, local taxes and levies are often paid by a broad circle of citizens and companies. This serves to strengthen the relationship between governments and the governed. One thing should be clear in this: although many countries will exploit the scope for collecting local taxes and levies in the future, this potential is nevertheless limited. Many sub-national units will remain dependent on transfer payments from the central state. Cities, districts and the middle tier cannot solve the funding problem of the states on their own. However, they can help to place the provision of public services on a broader foundation of legitimacy and, in co-operation with the national level – for example via the exchange of information – improve fiscal policy as a whole. Consequently, they also contribute to overcoming problems of fragile statehood.

Author: Christian von Haldenwang and Armin von Schiller Publisher: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) Publication year: 2017


Local governance to tackle multidimensional poverty and inequality

The general objective of this paper is to describe the position of Oxfam and ARCO on how local governance processes play a crucial role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We believe that a common understanding and framework for local governance is urgently required to build more consistent and effective development strategies and initiatives. In particular, we aim to emphasise the importance of enabling local actors to lead and influence policy action and practices within a system of multilevel relations, in order to tackle multidimensional poverty and inequality. To achieve this end, we embrace the Sustainable Human Development approach in order to analyse local governance and policy issues in relation to the SDGs and the localization of these goals. In this respect, this paper contributes to Oxfam’s Theory of Change – based on the combination of active citizens and effective states (Green, 2012) – by integrating in both conceptual and operational terms the synergies between local action and national policies leading to social change for human “flourishing”.

Author: Mario Biggeri, Andrea Ferrannini, Lorenzo Paoli Publisher: Oxfam Publication year: 2016


Sustainable Human Development: A New Territorial and People-Centred Perspective

Integrating Amartya Sen's approach with the literature on place-based territorial development processes, this book recognises the interplay between the evolution of local development systems and the expansion of individual and collective capabilities.

Author: Andrea Ferrannini, Mario Biggeri Publisher: Palgrave Macmillian Publication year: 2016


Localizing the post-2015 development agenda

This report is based on a dialogue process through 2014, whose purpose was to respond to the following questions: how will the Post-2015 Development Agenda be implemented at the local level?; what local governance processes, tools, institutions, mechanisms, and other means of implementation are needed to achieve the future sustainable development goals (SDGs)?; and how can the voices of local stakeholders be amplified and their inclusion in intergovernmental processes be supported? Localization is an important element of effective multi-level governance, and provides the means to make the Post-2015 global discussions relevant to local populations in a framework of greater ownership

Author: Agustí Fernández de Losada Publisher: UNDP, GFT, UN Habitat Publication year: 2016


Urban futures: how cities can deliver global goals - VIDEO

On World Cities Day, and following Habitat III, ODI’s Global Challenges event brings together representatives from cities around the world to explore how urban areas can deliver the global goals.

Author: Billy Cobbett, Elizabeth Stuart, Isaac Ashai Odamtten Publisher: ODI Publication year: 2016


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