Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Pacific \ 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.

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Review of the commonwealth local government good practice scheme

The final (third) phase of the Commonwealth Local Government three year capacity building programme, the Good Practice Scheme, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) came to an end in late 2011. The programme partnered councils and local government associations from six targeted Commonwealth countries - Jamaica, India, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Pakistan and Ghana - with their counterparts in South Africa, India and the UK with the objective to exchange good practice and generate innovative solutions to challenges faced by local governments. A total of 34 projects were active during the Scheme’s lifetime and contributed successfully to having a positive impact on the ground for local communities. The dissemination of the project activities through national workshops in partnership with national local government associations meant that the successes and lessons were shared with local governments throughout the countries concerned. A new focus of the third phase of the GPS was to promote south-south partnerships: six of these partnerships were set up, three of them being tripartite, two having a northern hemisphere partner, with the remainder, both dual and tripartite, being south-south. Despite partners’ diverse cultural, socio-economic circumstances and administrative practices, this methodology of technical support and exchange of ideas allows partners to share and compare their challenges and reflect on own approaches. The south-south partners, with varying cultural beliefs, learnt that cultural practices should not be ignored in advancing new initiatives: traditional norms and practices are a way of life for the majority of communities especially those in the agricultural, small scale farming sector.

Author: Rachael Duchnowski Publisher: University of Technology Sydney Press Publication year: 2012


Social inclusion in North Sydney LGA

Social exclusion in the North Sydney local government area has increasingly become a matter for concern in the last decade. In 2005/2006 local government community service referrals indicate that there were growing numbers of people living on their own with little contact or engagement with community services and social activities. It was also suggested that older people at risk of social exclusion were living in poor housing conditions and experienced serious health issues. The ABS 2006 census data highlights that the North Sydney Council area has a significantly larger number of people living on their own (33%) compared to the rest of New South Wales (22%). This paper will present a number of different perspectives of social exclusion and consider why people in North Sydney become isolated. It will provide a brief analysis of existing programs designed to reduce social isolation and where they fit in the service system by using case studies of people who have been identified as at risk of becoming socially isolated in the North Sydney area. We will evaluate the case studies and provide several policy recommendations.

Author: Chris Taylor, Jed Donoghue Publisher: University of Technology Sydney Press Publication year: 2012


New CLGF four-year grant to help local government service delivery and boost CLGF’s research capacity

The UK Department for International Development (UK AID) has agreed £4.5 million funding for a four-year CLGF programme to improve governance and service delivery at local level in several areas of the Commonwealth including Africa and Asia from 2012-16. It will also help to support national policy frameworks for local government service delivery, and increase engagement of local government in regional policy planning and implementation. CLGF will continue to work with its members, UN partners and others to mobilise more resources towards the support of local government in the Commonwealth. The new programme will focus on local government pilot projects in LED, supporting ministries and local government associations in strengthening their national policy making for local government, and establish regional forums to enable local government to engage in and influence regional policy making to reflect the needs and priorities of local government. It will also boost CLGF’s research capacity with targeted research to strengthen CLGF’s policy making and advocacy, including more sustained engagement in international policy debates on key issues affecting local government, such as climate change.

Author: Lucy Slack, Susan Rhodes Publisher: University of Technology Sydney Press Publication year: 2012


Governing carbon mitigation and climate change within local councils: a case study of Adelaide, South Australia

There is growing concern about climate change impacts on local government areas. In Australia, the federal carbon tax (from 1 July 2012) will also increase costs for local councils. This paper evaluates what carbon mitigation (i.e. energy, water, and waste management) actions have been implemented by metropolitan Adelaide councils (n=14) and why (or why not). A survey of environmental officers profiled carbon mitigation actions, emissions auditing, and motives for emissions reduction by Adelaide councils. The main reasons for adopting carbon actions were a climate change plan, climate leadership, and cost savings. Internal council governance of climate change actions was also evaluated. A climate governance framework based on adaptive management, communication, and reflective practice (Nursey-Bray 2010) was applied to assess climate mitigation by Adelaide councils.

Author: Heather Zeppel Publisher: University of Technology Sydney Press Publication year: 2012


Stronger communities? Changing prospects for community-led strategic planning in New Zealand

New Zealand’s Local Government Act 2002 ushered in a new phase in local government, a phase that is best characterised by the term ‘empowerment’. Not only were councils empowered to promote social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being, in contrast with previous more prescriptive legislation, but citizens were empowered to engage in community-led strategic planning. In many respects the new statute reflected contemporary international public management trends in which governance is increasingly being conducted via networks of public and private actors. However, with the change of government from a centre-left Labour-led coalition to a centre-right National-led government following the November 2008 general election, it is less certain that local government and communities will continue to experience a strengthening of the pluralisation of governance that has been a feature of the past decade. This article argues that the potential disempowerment of local government, and possible attenuation of community-led strategic planning in New Zealand, comes at a time when the momentum for devolution to local government and other communities is increasing elsewhere.

Author: Bruno Brosnan, Christine Cheyne Publisher: University of Technology Sydney Press Publication year: 2010


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