Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Europe \ Local government service delivery

Equitable and efficient service delivery is at the heart of local government’s mandate. The resources in this section focus on the management and delivery of key strategic, corporate and technical services, ranging from those for which local government has direct responsibility, to shared service provision, and services for which local government is a partner.



Educational decentralisation in post-conflict societies: approaches and constraints

The article proposes that the power of local government to design and deliver educational services contributing to long-term conflict transformation is mediated by two factors: the model of decentralisation adopted in the aftermath of conflict, and the decision-making model at the centre (power-sharing). It employs rich qualitative data collected during extensive fieldwork. It compares the design and delivery of education across three post-conflict societies with a particular focus on attempts to reform the Lebanese University in Lebanon, to establish an Education and Skills Authority in Northern Ireland and to rationalise the school network in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Author: Giuditta Fontana Publisher: Third World Quarterly Publication year: 2019

Local Government Benchmarking

he various facets of “measurement,” “comparison,” “evaluation,” and “monitoring” of government performance stubbornly continue to be topics of international relevance. Within this context, debates focusing on the subnational level of governance have been claiming more and more space in the academic and policy arenas. The extra attention given to the “local” is easier to explain. The decisions and actions of local executives have a very real and immediate impact on people’s lives. Local governments are the closest link to the State for the majority of the world population. They are responsible for crucial policy sectors such as spatial planning, transport, and utility services and are also the enablers of many social and cultural activities (LSE Cities 2016). While most people already lives in cities, urbanization trends will continue to put strain, but also relevance, on local government institutions around the globe. In fact, the decentralization of powers from nation states to local governments can currently be observed across jurisdictions.

Author: Nuno F. da Cruz Publisher: Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance Publication year: 2016

Communities in control? The challenges of neighbourhood governance with reference to local government reform in England

Recent local government and public service reforms in England have been orientated towards devolving public service delivery and decision-making to the neighbourhood level. These reforms have been driven by political, social and managerial agendas that aim to make local government more accountable and responsive to local communities, to build social capital and to enhance the cost-effectiveness of local services. This paper, with reference to the current policy framework in England, aims to identify and review the possibilities and challenges for local government officials and partner agencies in moving towards decentralised public service provision and governance. The paper initially identifies the key aspects of reform brought in by the central government Department of Communities and Local Government that seek to extend neighbourhood influence and governance structures. The discussion then turns towards considering the challenges in ensuring effective citizen participation – namely responding to multiple policy objectives; devising appropriate neighbourhood governance structures; re-thinking the role of local government; identifying and managing trade-offs; building community and local government capabilities for wide-ranging participation; and ensuring effective partnership working at all levels of local government. In conclusion the important steps towards tackling these challenges in England are recognised although a number of concerns remain.

Author: Harriet Churchill 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

The limits of boundaries. Why city-regions cannot be self-governing.

Andrew Sancton combines his own broad knowledge of global changes with an outline and comparison of the viewpoints of prominent social scientists to argue that city regions in western liberal democracies will not and cannot be self-governing. Self-government requires a territory delineated by official boundaries, but the multiple boundaries of city-regions, unlike the clear and undisputed boundaries of provinces and states, continue to move outward due to the constant growth and expansion of urban populations and services.

Author: Andrew Sancton Publisher: McGill-Queen's Press Publication year: 2008

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