CLGF works with its members and other partners to identify needs and design, manage and monitor national, regional and pan-Commonwealth capacity-building programmes.
Programmes are designed to respond to members' needs, to strengthen local governance, capacity and skills base to improve services and help tackle poverty and deliver development including the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
CLGF enables local authorities to work together on technical cooperation projects and assists regional networking between local government practitioners to share experience and good practice and build long-term partnerships. Projects also help to develop the capacity of councillors and officers in newly elected councils, and to help councils improve their planning, and performance.
The current main regional programmes are:
- the DFID-funded programme on Strengthening loal government in delivering development
- the EU-funded programme on Strengthening local government's role as a partner in development
- CLGF Pacific Regional Programme.
There are also a number of country programmes on strengthening local governance including one in Sri Lanka, in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat. and an EU-funded programme in Zimbabwe.
The DFID-funded programme aims to strengthen local government’s ability to meet its role in achieving development goals, including the SDGs, through better and more responsive service delivery. The programme aims to promote effective, responsive and accountable delivery of key services in poorer and marginalised communities in the Commonwealth. The programme supports capacity building at the local, national and regional levels through a range of activities including demonstration projects, practitioner exchanges, local and regional networks of associations and local government ministers, and strengthening regional local government associations. It also supports CLGF’s advocacy campaigns in putting local government at the heart of development in a number of Commonwealth and international forums, including Commonwealth Heads of Government.
The programme is targeting three regions:
Southern Africa: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia;
South Asia: Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
West Africa: Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone.
The EU-funded project aims to help CLGF’s members in partner countries to perform their legal and institutional mandate for transparent and accountable decision-making and service delivery at the local level; and to become active development actors in implementing the SDGs. It aims to
• strengthen the structure and capacity of CLGF;
• enhance local government capacity at the national level in the selected countries;
• improve the capacity of local government associations and their members to influence the interests and practices of national governments, as well as regional and international mechanisms, thus contributing to national, regional and global policy-making and policy implementation processes, including at the EU level.
The programme is targeting five key regions - Caribbean, Pacific, Southern, Western and East Africa – but will involve activities which benefit stakeholders across the Commonwealth. It will include work at the local, national, regional and Commonwealth level.
The CLGF Pacific Local Government Strengthening Programme was launched in 2011 at the CLGF Pacific Local Government Annual Forum. The project is the second major phase of CLGF's work in the region. It reflects the outcomes of extensive review and consultations with regional stakeholders, and builds on the existing activities and experience of CLGF work with local government in the region. The regional strategy outlines key areas of focus and comparative advantage for CLGF to remain engaged, relevant and effective in its work in the Pacific.