Commonwealth Local Government Forum

CLGF Webinars on the response to COVID

08 July 2020



CLGF is in the process of connecting with members around the Commonwealth, virtually, via a series of webinars. The focus of these meetings is on sharing the experiences of members in dealing with COVID; framed by selected inputs of members, and followed by questions and answers and discussion.


Key lessons from tackling COVID

The content of the sessions so far has been rich with many examples and good practices. Each session follows the same format and includes a discussion about what local government would need to do during the post-COVID recovery phase. The key lessons emerging from this pandemic, which are given below, should help to frame how CLGF and its members will work together to support each other in the post-COVID recovery period:


1. COVID responses have been better when they are inclusive of local government and communities. This will be true for the recovery phase too and therefore further decentralisation must be the new normal


2. Local economies have been severely affected. It is imperative that local economic development becomes a key focus of future interventions. This needs to also support the integration of formal and informal economies, ensuring that a green recovery is also localised and circular economic processes are also integrated into the LED strategy.


3. Local government income has decreased dramatically during the pandemic and, in many cases, a return to pre-pandemic financial frameworks is not sustainable. We must use the recovery period to re-imagine our local financial frameworks.


4. A planned and detailed disaster response capability is essential but an additional focus on local disaster resilience is also required.


5. An unexpected challenge during the pandemic has been migration. This has been on two fronts – reverse migration as workers return to their home towns and villages from major cities; and the loss of forex remittances from diaspora workers.


6. The recovery at a local level will require an increased emphasis on technology and innovation.


7. Our cities and human settlements have both formal and informal components. Both have been affected and the pandemic has highlighted the inter-dependence of these two components. Support for further integration of formal and informal components is necessary.


8. Finally, pandemic responses, multi-dimensional recovery efforts, and all of the above issues, will require strong local political leadership.


CLGF will continue to monitor member responses, update this and create opportunities so that the CLGF network is geared to respond, and ensure that members can support each other during the post COVID recovery period on these issues.



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