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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Challenges to implementing of development plans at local-level government in Papua New Guinea

The 1995 local-level government reforms undertaken in Papua New Guinea (PNG) were largely in response to increasing concern that the public service was failing in its responsibility towards the people. As a result, the 1995 Organic Law on Provincial and Local Governments (OLPLLG) was established. The prime purpose of this was to address the issue through deeper engagement of the lower levels of government, particularly local-level governments (LLGs). Almost two decades on, poor socio-economic conditions and deterioration in infrastructure/services suggest that the proposed change has not materialised. This paper addresses the question of whether the lower tiers of government are capable of implementing the development plans under the reforms. The paper finds that the 1995 reforms have made LLGs dependent upon their Joint District Planning and Budget Priorities Committee (JDP&BPC) and their district administration, which have become the main impediment to local government effectiveness. This in turn has greatly hindered LLG capacity and has reinforced unequal relations, rather than assisting service delivery in PNG. There is therefore a need to make LLGs more effective players.

Author: Benjamin Saimbel Barcson Publisher: CLGF/University of Technology, Sydney Publication year: 2015


The local library across the digital and physical city: opportunities for economic development

Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance - Issue 15, June 2014 The paper considers the role of the public library as a community hub, engagement space, and entrepreneurship incubator in the context of the city, city governance, and local government planning. It considers this from the perspective of library experts and their future visions for libraries in a networked knowledge economy. Public libraries (often operated by or on behalf of local governments) potentially play a pivotal role in positioning communities within the global digital network. Fourteen qualitative interviews with library experts informed the study which looks at how the relationship between digital technology and the physical library space can potentially support the community to develop innovative, collaborative environments for transitioning to a digital future. The study found that libraries can capitalise on their position as community hubs for two purposes: first, to build vibrant community networks and forge economic links across urban localities; and second, to cross the digital divide and act as places of innovation and lifelong learning. Libraries provide a specific combination of community and technology spaces and have significant tangible connection points in the digital age. The paper further discusses the potential benefits for libraries in using ICT networks and infrastructure, such as the National Broadband Network in Australia. These networks could facilitate greater use of library assets and community knowledge, which, in turn, could assist knowledge economies and regional prosperity.

Author: Kirralie Houghton, Marcus Foth, Evonne Miller Publisher: CLGF/University of Technology, Sydney Publication year: 2015


Local government system in Fiji

This profile of the local government system in Fiji is structured to enable easy comparison across the countries of the Commonwealth. The profile includes an overview of the government system, the legal basis and structure of for local government, elections and women’s representation, intergovernmental relations, systems for community involvement, organised local government, intergovernmental relations, monitoring systems, finance, staffing and resources, and distribution of service delivery responsibility. 

Author: CLGF Publisher: Publications UK Publication year: 2015


Local government system in Kiribati

This profile of the local government system in Kiribati is structured to enable easy comparison across the countries of the Commonwealth. The profile includes an overview of the government system, the legal basis for and structure of local government, elections and women’s representation, intergovernmental relations, systems for community involvement, organised local government, intergovernmental relations, monitoring systems, finance, staffing and resources, and distribution of service delivery responsibility. 

Author: CLGF Publisher: Publications UK Publication year: 2015


Basic services for all in an urbanizing world: GOLD III - Book Review

Basic Services for All in an Urbanizing World is the third instalment in United Cities and Local Government’s (UCLG) flagship series of global reports on local democracy and decentralisation (GOLD III). In the context of rapid urbanisation, climate change and economic uncertainty the report is an impressive attempt to analyse local government’s role in the provision of basic services, the challenges they are facing, and make recommendations to improve local government’s ability to ensure access for all. Published in 2014, the report is well positioned to feed into the current debate on what will follow the UN Millennium Development Goals, and examines the role of local government in the provision of basic services across the world regions.

Author: Claire Frost Publisher: University of Technology Sydney Press Publication year: 2014


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