Commonwealth Local Government Forum

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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.

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Gender-Responsive Budgeting: The Case of a Rural Local Body in Kerala

This article discusses gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) at the local level in Kerala by studying a village panchayat, the lowest tier of rural local government. GRB of a rudimentary form, known as Women Component Plan (WCP), had been in existence at the local level for the last 20 years as a key feature of participatory planning. The study adopts a fourfold classification of all projects implemented in the panchayat on the basis of their gender friendliness and calculates allocation and expenditure under each of these categories. The data on which the article relies relate to the expenditure incurred under the annual plans rather than budgets, which are based on inflated and unreliable data. The article ends by making some observations based on the data and the overall experience of Kerala in gender budgeting.

Author: John S. Moolakkattu, John S. Moolakkattu Publisher: Sage open Publication year: 2018


Decentralisation, clientelism and social protection programmes: a study of India’s MGNREGA

Does decentralisation promote clientelism? If yes, through which mechanisms? We answer these questions through an analysis of India’s (and the world’s) largest workfare programme, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), in two Indian states: Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh (AP). The two states adopted radically different implementation models: Rajasthan’s decentralised one stands in contrast with Andhra Pradesh’s centralised and bureaucracy-led model. Using a mixed method approach, we find that in both states local implementers have incentives to distribute MGNREGA work in a clientelistic fashion. However, in Rajasthan, these incentives are stronger, because of the decentralised implementation model. Accordingly, our quantitative evidence shows that clientelism is more serious a problem in Rajasthan than in AP.

Author: Diego Maiorano, Upasak Das & Silvia Masiero Publisher: Oxford Development Studies Publication year: 2018


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


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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