Commonwealth Local Government Forum

CLGF - promoting democratic local government

As a designated Commonwealth organisation, CLGF ensures that local government's voice is heard within the Commonwealth and that it gets full recognition and support in the Commonwealth family.


CLGF works closely with other Commonwealth and international organisations such as the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Commonwealth Foundation, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the United Nations, notably UN-Habitat and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to promote and support democratic local government in the Commonwealth.

Promoting local democracy

CLGF promotes democratic local governance and the role of local government at Commonwealth, international and national level.

CLGF is highly regarded as the voice of local government within the Commonwealth and at international forums such as the UN, making sure that local government is recognsied as a key partner in democracy, in poverty reduction and development. CLGF's advocacy work focuses on promoting democratic local government, ensuring local government is recognsied as an important partner in development - making sure that local government's role is recognised in ley areas such as the in the implementation of the Agenda 2030 sustainable development goals.
With our members we have developed a set of guidelines for good practice on local democracy and good governance: the Aberdeen Agenda- principles on good practice for local demcoracy and good governance. These principles are now incorporated into the Commonwealth Charter which sets out the Commonwealth's overall political values.
CLGF also influences policy development and provides support where local democracy is under threat. Read more

Supporting capacity-building

CLGF supports capacity-building projects and programmes in all the regions of the Commonwealth.

CLGF works with its members and partners to develop, design and manage projects that provide capacity-building support to local governemnts, local government associations and to assist national governments in developing policy on decentralisation and local democracy and services. CLGF undertakes local government capacity-building projects to support the development of democratic local government systems and to improve service delivery and policy-making. Current programmes include regional capacity building programme on strengthening local government in the Caribbean, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa and South Asia; the Pacific Regional Capacity Building Project; and country programmes such as a programme to strengthen local government to support national development in Sri Lanka.

Read more on CLGF's programmes and project

Sharing policy and practice

CLGF facilitiates the exchange of information and good practice on decentralisation and local governance among its members and partners.

Knowledge-sharing is at the heart of CLGF's work. Activities such as regional symposia and workshops, the CLGF's bi-ennial Commonwealth Local Government Conference, and publications and research identify and exchange good practice to help members develop policy and improve service delivery through learning from their peers. CLGF's regular publications include the CLGF e-news, the CLGF Bulletin, the Commonwealth Local Government Handbook, and the Commonwealth journal of local governance. Other publications include research papers and reports, and policy documents and statements, which help guide CLGF's own work and that of members.

CLGF has developed a knowledge hub to bring together this information and make it more accessible to members and others.

CLGF's member network

CLGF supports a network of members who are influential decision-makers in local government across the Commonwealth.

CLGF has around 200 members from across the Commonwealth.  CLGF Board members and those at the helm of CLGF member organisations - including ministers with responsibility for local government, local government leaders, mayors, chief councillors, senior managers and administrators - are themselves at the cutting edge of local goverment policy and service delivery and provide valuable input and expertise to CLGF's policies, programmes and events. CLGF associate members include leading academic institutions who provide policy and research support through the CLGF Research Advisory Group.


The CLGF leaflet explains, in a nutshell, the aims and activities of the organisation. 

Our publications

CLGF Bulletin

The CLGF Bulletin is CLGF's magazine published twice a year



Our partners

CLGF partners

CLGF works with Commonwealth and international partners, civil society and the private sector.


CLGF blog

Read latest blog

Check out latest CLGF Blogs

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