Success and prosperity for local government in 2020
08 January 2020
As CLGF extends very best wishes to you all for a happy and successful New Year, we reflect on the year we leave behind, and look at some of the achievements of 2019 and how they will be taken forward.
It has been another good year for CLGF programmes. Reducing Poverty through Local Economic Development in the Commonwealth (2017-2020), funded by DFID, moves into its final year. Working on three levels - city and individual councils; local government associations; and ministries - local economic development (LED) is being rolled out to strengthen local capacity in Southern Africa, West Africa and Asia, with tangible results across all output areas.
EU Programmes focusing on enhancing local governance, service delivery and LED are underway in Zambia and Zimbabwe; and in Pakistan, CLGF and the Local Councils Association of the Punjab are working to strengthen the four provincial local government associations and the voice of the national umbrella organisation.
Women's political leadership
CLGF is part of a consortium of Commonwealth organisations and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, delivering the Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy project. This aims to strengthen democratic processes and good governance, and to enhance democratic accountability in general. CLGF is working in India with the Maharastra State Electoral Commission, to encourage and support more women to stand for local election. Following on from the many regional policy events, CLGF is leading on delivering an event on women’s political leadership in the Pacific, before the project’s final conference in London in March 2020.
Promoting local democracy
In the Pacific, CLGF Pacific continues to implement work on UN Women’s Markets for Change programme in Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands, as well as LED in Vanuatu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands. In the Caribbean CLGF is delivering a programme working in schools to promote local democracy.
Jo Cox Memorial Fund strengthening voice of women
Continuing this important capacity building work and securing new programme funding remains a priority in this New Year. We are delighted to announce, therefore, that following our successful bid to the Jo Cox Memorial Fund, CLGF will be working with Gender Links to deliver a new programme in Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe to strengthen the voice of women and girls by building networks for women in local government and young women entrepreneurs.
New phase of EU partnership
As part of the framework partnership agreement (FPA) with the EU, CLGF is preparing to sign a grant for a second phase of the work to localise the Sustainable Development Goals across the Commonwealth. This will provide further resources to strengthen our two primary networks - the Commonwealth Women in Local Government Network and the Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network.
CLGFs regional and national staff, together with our small team in London, are looking forward to working alongside the organisation’s members reinforce and strengthen our programmes and projects in 2020. We hope this will include a repeat of the successful regional meetings that were held across the Commonwealth, providing an opportunity to shape regional priorities and direction, as well as sharing best practice and solutions for common issues.
Boosting the voice of local government
It has also been a successful year for advocacy work. It has been a busy six months for the promotion of local government’s role in the global development agenda. For the first time the Global Taskforce secured space for an advocacy event within the UN during the General Assembly. Organised by the Global Taskforce with UNDESA and UN-Habitat, and co-sponsored by the Governments of Cameroon and Morocco, the Forum stressed the need for transformative action for the people and the planet. Local and regional leaders’ reaffirmed city and regional commitment to act as drivers of the acceleration needed to achieve the global goals.
Local government and the urban agenda
CLGF also took part at the recent UCLG Congress, which hosted a number of international events including The World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments; the Policy Forum for Development regional meeting in Asia; Venice City SDG Solutions; the Pacific Urban Forum; and the Asia Pacific Urban Forum, which included participation in the Malaysian Local Government Annual Congress.
Together with the Commonwealth Association of Architects, the Commonwealth of Planners and the Princes’ Foundations, CLGF hosted the Executive Director of UN Habitat, when she visited London in October. In 2020 we will be looking towards ensuring a local government voice at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit, which will be hosted by Rwanda in late June 2020.
Post-Cotonou policy and finances
We have worked with a number of global local government partners to deepen the strategic partnership and voice of local government post-Cotonou in policy dialogue and financial frameworks, including engaging have started to engage with the new Commissioner and Director-General of DEVCO. We have also recently participated in a request to the President of the European Commission for a memorandum for a more ambitious political partnership between the European Union and local and regional government in the external action of the EU in the future.
This is just a brief snapshot of some of CLGF’s activities. We look forward to continuing the excellent collaboration with our members and partners in 2020 and achieving even more success for local government and the communities we serve.
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