Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Local economic development

Local economic development is a central part of developmental local government. It is a process which brings together different partners in the local area to work together to harness resources for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. Local economic development is increasingly being seen as a key function of local government and a means of ensuring that local and regional authorities can address the priority needs of local citizens in a sustainable way. There is no single model for LED; approaches reflect local needs and circumstances. Themes include local economic development guides, tourism, support to small, medium and micro enterprises, microfinance and credit and public-private partnership.



A Human Rights Approach to Localising The MDGs Through Gender-Equitable Local Development

Until now, the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF) Gender Equitable Local Development (GELD) programme has not been presented within an explicit human rights framework. This is strange given that the human rights based approach to development (HRBAD) aims to ensure that all human beings can live their lives fully and with dignity. HRBAD is fundamentally about the healthy and full development of individuals and communities. In addition, one of human rights’ central concerns is that people have equal access to the benefits of society. Initiatives to realize human rights therefore give priority to the most marginalized - the poorest - in a society. It is those individuals who have most difficulty in securing the basics that are essential to living their lives with dignity. Women in all communities are disproportionately represented among the poor. Thus, human rights have gender equity as a central focus. Put another way, we are dealing with the feminization of poverty. We are dealing with the concept of equal access (to development). In short, we are dealing with those who need (and deserve) greater priority in access to infrastructure and supporting services in order to reach a point of equality.

Author: Ron McGill Publisher: Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance Publication year: 2009

Attaining Sustainable Rural Infrastructure through the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India

The enactment of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) 2005, with its rights-based approach through a time-bound employment guarantee and legal framework, has marked a paradigm shift not only from other wage-employment programmes hitherto pursued in India, but also from neo-liberal reforms undertaken since 1991. The Act came into force on 2 February 2006 and was implemented in a phased manner. In Phase I it was introduced in 200 of the most backward districts of the country; Phase II added another 130 districts in 2007-08; and in Phase III the scheme was further extended to the remaining 274 rural districts of India from 1 April 2008.

Author: Polly Datta Publisher: Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance Publication year: 2009

Empowerment of local government in New Zealand: A new model for contemporary local-central relations?

Since 2000 intergovernmental relations in New Zealand have been evolving rapidly as a result of a significant shift in government policy discourse towards a strong central-local government partnership. New statutory provisions empowering local government to promote social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing have significant implications for the range of activities in which local authorities are engaged. In turn, this has consequences for the relationship between local government and central government. The effectiveness of the new empowerment and the prospects for further strengthening of the role of local government are critically examined. Despite some on-going tensions, and an inevitable mismatch in the balance of power between central and local government, it is argued that there is a discernible rebalancing of intergovernmental relations as a result of new legislation and central government policy settings which reflect a ‘localist turn’. On the basis of developments since 2000 it may be argued that the New Zealand system of local government is evolving away from the recognised ‘Anglo’ model. However, further consolidation is needed in the transformation of intergovernmental relations and mechanisms that will cement a more genuine central-local government partnership.

Author: Christine Cheyne Publisher: Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance Publication year: 2008

The Commonwealth Local Government Forum: An Overview

The Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) was established in 1994, coinciding with rapid moves towards decentralisation at that time, especially in Commonwealth Africa. It uniquely brings together national associations of local government and individual councils, ministries responsible for local government, and training and research institutes with an interest in local government, on a common platform. This reflects an understanding that local government needs effective central government and vice versa if decentralisation is to be truly successful, and that research, training and practice need to be brought together in a constructive and creative way. CLGF’s developmental work can be divided into three main categories: Promotion and advocacy of local democracy and good governance, Exchange of experience and Capacity building.This article provides a brief overview of the activities and projects which CLGF has underway in respect of these objectives. It will be complemented by more detailed papers on specific programmes and projects in this and future issues of the Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance.

Author: Lucy Slack Publisher: Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance Publication year: 2008

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