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Gothenburg Training: Towards Local Democracy and Local Development through Local Government

Posted date: 
Mon, 04/30/2012
Source of the information: 

Gothenburg, September 2011

The rolling International Training Programme (ITP) “Towards Local Democracy and Local Development through Local Government” is a joint venture between the UN Capacity Development Fund (UNCDF) and Swedish international Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD), and draws from the experiences of Sweden, and the participating regions and countries. It aims to facilitate a collaborative learning process using the International Training Programme (ITP) methodology. The ITP methodology is designed to facilitate capacity development for middle or senior level managers as change agents that drive institutional and policy reform processes, and are used as one of the tools in Swedish global development policy to alleviate poverty.

In the long-term, International Training Programmes are intended to contribute to strengthening institutional capacity in the participating countries. Training is focused on support to individual or team plans for change. The plans should be well established in the participating organization and are a basic part of the programme concept. This program is specially designed for professionals who work actively with issues related to decentralization, local development and local democracy and who hold positions in their institutions with a mandate to run processes of change. If planned well, decentralization can move decision making closer to people and thereby improve democracy at the local level as well as local development, including efficient service delivery. Local authorities are able to respond more quickly to local needs if they do not have to await approval from central governments, a major obstacle to equitable and sustainable global human development.

After completing the programme, the participants are expected to have acquired improved knowledge and capacity in the following specific areas:  Understanding and using relevant tools to support local development; Nature, scope and purpose of local  governments; Different approaches to implementing  decentralized governance reform processes; Drawing and learning from experiences,  methods and tools for driving change for local development and local democracy; Developing and expanding networks in support of local development and decentralized governance at different levels; and Developing a shared understanding and utilization of gender enabling approaches to local development and decentralized governance.

Within this training programme UNDP Global Programme on Governance Assessments was invited to conduct a full day of training to participants on local governance assessments an indicators. Participants for this particular training included senior managers from local governments and Local Governance Ministries from Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The training focused on how governance assessments can be used as a tool for enhancing accountability. In particular it explored how to optimize citizen participation and ownership in local governance assessments. The training also looked at how the process of assessing can serve to foster inclusion in policy making. This session uses stakeholder analysis as a starting point for how to design an inclusive process, looking at levels of participation, strategic decisions on engagement and mapping of data sources to inform the framework.

A large component of the training looked at the various methodologies for assessing local governance, with a view to enable participants to choose and adapt the right assessment framework to their specific country-context and demands. Various tools were presented, including a flowchart for how to select between 20+ tools that are provided in the Users’ Guide for Measuring Local Governance. Cases from Nigeria and Indonesia were discussed in detail, as well as International Idea’s local democracy assessment tool and the Local Governance Barometer. Relatedly time was also dedicated to techniques for selecting indicators, including actionable indicators and gender sensitive and pro-poor indicators.  

Participants reported strong satisfaction with the training, which built on last year’s success and experience, where UNDP was responsible for a similar session through the same programme.