Decentralisation and local governance
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This gateway guide is designed to point readers to the most useful, credible and up-to-date resources available on the internet in relation to decentralisation and local governance (D&LG) in a development context. It was prepared by Andrew McDevitt and was last updated in October 2011. Suggestions are welcome at: email@example.com.
- World Bank: Decentralization and Subnational Regional Economics
This World Bank thematic group provides a broad overview of the key themes relating to decentralisation and subnational economics with an emphasis on fiscal and administrative decentralisation. It includes guidance tools, seminar material and country level data on decentralisation.
- United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) Local Development
This website presents the UNCDF's approach to decentralisation and local development through institutional reform, policy change and capacity building. It includes a substantial collection of policy papers, country project papers, thematic papers and technical reports.
- UN-HABITAT: Urban Governance
The urban governance section of the UN-HABITAT website includes a range of reports and other publications as well as information on the Urban Governance Index. The website also provides information on UN-HABITAT's Global Campaign on Urban Governance which aims to increase the capacity of local governments and other stakeholders to practice good urban governance.
- Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN): The Online Sourcebook on Decentralization and Local Development
The CIESIN Online Sourcebook on Decentralization and Local Development is a collaboration between the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and three European donors. It contains an overview of key themes relating to decentralisation and a number of country case studies. It also explores issues in programme design and offers guidance on the RED-IFO model on decentralisation designed to support decentralisation policy-making and evaluation.
- UNDP Governance Assessment Portal: Local Governance and Decentralization
This site explains how local governance indicators can inform local policy and strengthen local accountability, and how local governance assessment can be useful at national level in order to enhance decentralisation policies, strengthen capacities and compare trends across cities or districts. Resources include A Users' Guide to Measuring Local Governance, which provides guidance on the many different tools and methods being used to measure, assess and monitor governance at the local level.
- USAID Democratic Decentralization Programming Handbook (2009)
This Handbook conceptualises decentralisation as a reform that advances the exercise of political freedom and individual economic choice in a context of stability and the rule of law. It introduces key concepts, describes different forms, and discusses the goals of and programming strategies for pursuing decentralisation.
- The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) – Rural Decentralization and Local Governance
This information portal on Rural Decentralization and Local Governance provides access to a range of full-text electronic publications, e-journals, e-newsletters, e-discussion groups and forums, websites, bibliographic databases, and directories of organisations and projects. It also includes three dossiers with a range of information resources on:
- Capacity development for governance and decentralization
- Natural resource management & land tenure
- Participatory planning, monitoring and evaluation
- Eldis: Decentralisation and Local Governance
This thematic sub-section of the Eldis Governance resource guide includes a regularly updated selection of research on decentralisation and local governance from a wide range of sources. The resource guide also has a sub-section on Urban Governance.
- GTZ – URBANET Online Library
URBANET is a network of development professionals working in the fields of municipal and urban development, decentralisation and regionalisation. The online library contains a large collection of selected manuals, materials, workshop documentation, conference proceedings and technical literature from a wide range of sources.
- The Learning Initiative on Citizen Participation in Local Governance (Logolink)
LogoLink is a global network of development practitioners working to deepen democracy through greater citizen participation in local governance. The website includes workshop documents, research reports and working papers, as well as a Topic Guide on Resources, Citizen Engagements and Democratic Local Governance (ReCitE).
- Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IDP): Decentralization Task Force
The IPD at Columbia University has a number of international expert task forces which provide overviews of policy options for government officials and civil society. The decentralization task force analyses government decentralization policies using case studies to illustrate good and bad practice. The website includes a collection of background papers and presentations from task force meetings.
- European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM): Local Governance and Decentralisation
This sub-page of the ECDPM's governance section hosts a collection of ECDPM publications on local governance and decentralisation with a focus on monitoring evaluation and case study material.
- Commonwealth Secretariat: Topic Guide on Decentralisation and Local Government
This topic guide, produced by the GSDRC, provides practical guidance for designing, implementing and evaluating decentralisation reforms. It presents current debates on the impact of decentralisation and local government on poverty reduction, service delivery and conflict as well as providing links to cutting-edge research and recent case studies.
Networks and regional partnerships
- United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)
UCLG represents the interests of local governments on the world stage. It advocates democratic local self-government through cooperation between local governments, and within the wider international community. The website includes a large range of resources including the Global Observatory on Local Democracy and Decentralisation (GOLD), which contains information on local self-government, local authorities and local democracy. UCLG also has regional bodies in: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Euro-Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East-West Asia.
- ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability
ICLEI is an international association of local and national government organisations commited to sustainable development. ICLEI provides technical consulting, training, and information services to build capacity, share knowledge, and support local government in the implementation of sustainable development at the local level.
- CITYNET: The Regional Network of Local Authorities for the Management of Human Settlements
CITYNET is a network of international organisations supporting local authorities to improve urban sustainabilty across the Asia-Pacific region. The website includes a number of publications and other online resources, including a bi-monthly newsletter.
- Cities Alliance
The Cities Alliance is a global coalition of cities and their development partners committed to scaling up successful approaches to poverty reduction. The website includes materials published by the Cities Alliance with a focus on slum upgrading and city development strategies as well as publications on broader urban issues from other organisations.
- Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF)
CLGF works to promote and strengthen effective democratic local government throughout the Commonwealth. The website contains a number of reports and country specific information on decentralisation initiatives as well as the Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance. CLGF also runs a Good Practice Scheme which aims to improve the capacity of local authorities to better deliver services to their communities, through collborative working, technical exchange, partnership, and shared good practice.
- The Municipal Development Partnership for Eastern and Southern Africa (MDP-ESA)
MDP-ESA aims to improve the capacity of local governments and support the process of decentralisation in Sub-saharan Africa. It also hosts the Africa Local Government Action Forum (ALGAF), an interactive initiative which aims to provide a platform for dialogue on key issues that impact on the performance of local governments.
- The African Caribbean Pacific Local Government Platform (ACPLGP)
ACPLGP is an umbrella organisation of mayors and representatives of existing local government associations in the Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The ACPLGP website aims to raise awareness of the role of local government in the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. It includes networking services, tools, good practices and an online library with a substantial collection of publications on local governance issues.
- The Euro-African Partnership for Decentralized Governance
The Euro African Partnership for Decentralized Governance aims to contribute to the strengthening of local governance in Africa by facilitating the establishment of relationships between African and European local institutions. The website contains information and documentation from past conferences as well as a number of publications which focus on decentralisation and gender.
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) - Decentralization and Local Governance in Asia and the Pacific The UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok supports country offices in decentralisation and local governance programmes. In particular, it focuses on three areas:
- Strengthening local democratic governance
- Achieving the MDGs at the local level
- Decentralised governance in conflict and post-crisis situations
- Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative (LGI), Hungary
LGI works to promote democratic and effective local government and public administration. It supports local government and decentralisation efforts in eastern Europe, central Asia and selected countries in Latin America and east Asia. The website includes a project database and numerous publications including the local governance brief.
- The Local Government Information Network (LOGIN) – Central & Eastern Europe
LOGIN aims to promote the professional development of local government staff and to support the reform of public administration at the local level throughout central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The website includes an online library with a substantial collection of publications as well as information on legislation, funding and training opportunities.
- The Observatory for Decentralised Cooperation
The Observatory is a tool to support decentralised cooperation between the European Union and Latin America, facilitating regional integration and strenghtening local capacities. The website includes a number of publications, handbooks and case studies as well as information on funding and training. The observatory also works closely with the URB-AL programme of the European Union, which aims to develop networks of decentralised cooperation between local authorities on specific topics and problems related to urban local development. URB-AL's documentation centre hosts a large database of publications on best practices in decentralised cooperation (Spainsh only).