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 Social Underpinnings of Decentralized Governance: Networks, Technology and the Future of Social Accountability

Prepared for the USAID/DRG Centre Volume Decentralized Governance and Accountability: Academic Research and the Future of Donor Programming

Author: Erik Wibbels Publisher: USAID’s DRG Centre Publication year: 2016


Delivering the goods: building local government capacity to achieve the Millennium Development Goals

How can local development programmes (LDPs) build the capacity of local governments and local organisations in order to improve their performance? This guide from the United Nations Capital Development Fund presents lessons and guidelines for local government capacity-building in development programmes. It addresses LDP strategy, financing strategy, local public investment expenditure management, and accountability, communications and information. This summary focuses on chapter five of the guide, ‘Capacity Building’. The aim of capacity-building within LDPs is to improve the performance of local organisations by addressing human resource, material or logistical, institutional and other constraints. Different measures are required to address different types of constraints, and any comprehensive capacity-building strategy should be a composite of these. Within such a framework, training and institutional development then become measures or strategies for achieving the wider goal of capacity-building for improved performance. Strengthening human resources at the local level is one of the most important activities undertaken by LDPs and requires significant effort, time and resources. Other measures include addressing material or logistical capacity at the local level, through either direct or demand-driven provision. One of the challenges for human resource capacity-building at the local level is addressing human resource or personnel gaps. Options for filling personnel gaps include providing incentives for staff-hiring, innovations allowing the recruitment of extra personnel for key tasks and cooperation between local governments. A second challenge for human resource capacity-building at the local level is addressing skill deficits and other training requirements. Lessons and guidelines for local human resource development (HRD) include the following: 1) HRD plans should include an assessment of functions and capacities, analysis of where capacity-building efforts need to be focused and identification of resources. They should include an implementation plan and methodology for self-evaluation. 2) The core of HRD is usually training, often backed up with mentoring and on-the-job support. Training needs will vary from project to project. They should be clearly identified by the LDP capacity-building strategy. 3) Training in basic topics, including administration, management, communications and gender issues, can be carried out by a variety of specialist agencies. LDPs can also provide training through a training-of-trainers process. 4) Study tours to other projects, other local governments and even other countries can be highly instructive. However, several issues need to be kept in mind, including that study tours are not in themselves vehicles for acquiring new skills. 5) Demand-driven training can complement direct provision by LDPs. Demand-driven capacity-building strategy should establish mechanisms that articulate demand deriving from real needs and ensure that supply responds effectively and efficiently. General lessons learned from LDPs with regard to capacity-building include the following: a) Any capacity-building programme needs to be designed around an analysis of the different types of constraints affecting the performance of local government. b) LDPs differ from projects where systems are set up to be managed by project teams rather than by local governments. LDP procedures and systems need to be tailored to realistic views of capacities at the local level and the politics of local government. c) There is a need to be clear about how much capacity-building should be done and what kinds of capacity require strengthening. d) There is a tendency to see capacity-building as a prerequisite for decentralisation. LDP experience, however, suggests that devolving responsibilities is perhaps a prerequisite to the development of local capacities.

Author: UNCDF Publisher: UNCDF Publication year: 2016


New Century Local Government: Commonwealth Perspectives - Book Review

Review of the book: "New Century Local Government: Commonwealth Perspectives" edited by Graham Sansom, Peter McKinlay

Author: Gareth Wall Publisher: University of Technology Sydney Press Publication year: 2014


Local Government: how does it fit into the post 2015 MDG agenda?

A complex process of global consultation is currently under way to discuss the shape of the MDGs Post 2015. The aim of this paper is to address the question of where Local Government (LG) should fit into this debate, as a modest contribution to the ongoing consultation process1. The paper is structured as follows: the first section describes in more detail the global consultation process on the Post 2015 agenda; the second describes how Local Government relates to the current MDGs; the third section explores how some of the consultation documents see the role of LG before considering what the role of LG could be in the new agenda. The final section speculates on more radical roles for LG, in terms of what we should be asking for, and suggests new roles for LG in partnerships with other civil society organizations in poverty reduction.

Author: Phil Amis Publisher: University of Technology Sydney Press Publication year: 2014


A lot but not yet enough - a call for more action on sustainability

The Urban Sustainability Support Alliance (USSA) was a large and multi-faceted NSW wide programme, which was delivered between late 2007 and late 2011, to support NSW Councils in integrating environmental sustainability into their policies, procedures, operations and programs. To support cultural change in 152 government instrumentalities, of different sizes, shapes and demographics, required innovation, connection and credibility. A diverse range of support and development mechanisms was required. The USSA coined the tag line: Supporting Councils on their journey towards sustainability, and was evaluated in 2011. This paper charts the journey and reports on that evaluation. It describes the USSA program: provides judgments about the value of the programme against its intended outcomes; and identifies formative findings for the future so that the necessary support might continue. The USSA was a highly successful program, with more than 85% of respondents from almost 80% of Councils in NSW indicating that the USSA had raised the profile of sustainability ‘a lot’/’a reasonable amount/some’. Of these, 48% indicated that the effect had been substantial. The evaluation report concluded that the USSA has provided ‘a lot, but not yet enough’ support to NSW Councils on the journey towards sustainability, and that there is still more to do

Author: Grahame Collier, Rebecca Jones Publisher: University of Technology Sydney Press Publication year: 2014


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