Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Local government finance

Resourcing local government remains a central challenge to effective decentralisation. This section has content relating to different models of fiscal decentralisation, options for identifying new sources of local revenue, such as local property tax; and strategies for improving collection and deployment of own-source revenue. It also offers information about improving the borrowing potential of local government, innovative financing models such as municipal bonds, shared services, and public private partnerships.



Combating COVID-19 in Rural Bangladesh: The Role of the Local Government

As one of the most densely populated countries in the world, Bangladesh is severely vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the rural areas of Bangladesh, health security is a great challenge and it has now been further intensified under the present circumstances. Despite the government announcing several packages to help the poor, implementation has not been effective due to the lack of coordination in the local administration. This is further stymied by undue influence of local government officials, nepotism and corruption, resulting in misappropriation of relief funds for the poor rural dwellers. The government has shown zero tolerance towards the accused masterminds under Section 34 (1) of the Local Government (Union Parishad) Act 2009. However, this pandemic requires proper disaster management planning through the integration of the various activities at the local and national levels.


Author: Mohammad Tarikul Islam Publication year: 21 April 2020

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through decentralisation and the role of local governments: a systematic review

This paper is about the role of local democracy and governance to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Increased reliance on locally generated revenue, difficulties in managing networks of actors with diverse goals and objectives, imperfect flow of information, and trust deficit in stakeholders pose major challenges to achieving SDGs locally. By doing a systematic review of the recent literature on decentralisation with examples from different local governments, the paper outlines ways in which these challenges could be addressed. The paper also highlights the need for enhancing local leadership capabilities and demarcation of responsibilities among local politicians and bureaucrats, a point missed in the SDG agenda.

Author: Joydeep Guha, Bhaskar Chakrabarti Publisher: Commonwealth Journal of Local Government Publication year: 2019

Land-based financing in sub-Saharan African cities

Decentralization reforms and rapid urbanization place increasing pressure on African urban authorities. In response, land-based finance has been gaining popularity within development discourses as a method of increasing local autonomy and financing local government infrastructure provision. This paper discusses the conceptual basis for land-based finance, the instruments that form part of this approach, and the actual application in several African cities. Drawing on three case studies (Addis Ababa, Harare and Nairobi) and a high-level scan of 29 developments in various African cities, we show how land-based finance is being implemented in practice and discuss the potential for wider uptake. We conclude that African city governments are using land-based financing, albeit in inconsistent ways. We argue that urban authorities should consider the more extensive and progressive use of land-based financing instruments, despite the constraints imposed by both technical and political conditions. A progressive agenda for local government finance in African cities should take land-based finance seriously, as well as the local practices and institutional arrangements through which it operates.

Author: Stephen Berrisford, Liza Rose Cirolia, Ian Palmer Publisher: Sage Publication year: 2018

Local Government Finance: The Challenges of the 21st Century, Second Global Report on Decentralization and Local Democracy

This report builds on the 2008 First Global Report on Decentralization and Local Democracy (GOLD I), which provides a broad based overview of local government systems around the world. GOLD II focuses on a specific aspect of decentralization—the fiscal architecture and performance of local governments. This topic was chosen for GOLD II because fiscal architecture is fundamental to ensuring that local governments can deliver public services and function successfully in meeting other essential responsibilities.

Author: United Cities and Local Governments Publisher: United Cities and Local Governments Publication year: 2010

Local Government in the South Pacific Islands

In this paper we seek to answer some basic questions about the condition of local government in the Pacific. Firstly, we examine what is meant by ‘local government’ in the various islands and for that matter how Pacific Island states have perceived and accepted local government institutions in practice; second, we ask basic questions about existing legal and constitutional recognition and powers; and third, we provide initial findings on current per capita expenditure and local government financial viability in a number of Pacific cities and towns. We also make some observations on current moves towards local government reform.

Author: Graham Hassall, Feue Tipu Publisher: Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance Publication year: 2008

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