From 23-25 May, 2018, the 13th Annual Meeting of the Development Partners Network on Decentralisation and Local Governance (DeLoG) took place in The Hague, Netherlands. It was hosted by the International Cooperation Agency of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG International) and over 30 participants from 19 DeLoG member-organisations attended. The meeting started with opening remarks and welcome by Pieter Jeroense, Deputy General Director of VNG, and by Jelte van Wieren, Director Department for Stabilisation and Humanitarian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, followed by the coordinator of the DeLoG Secretariat, Christoph Jansen.
This year’s meeting focused on decentralisation and local governance in fragile contexts and on migration and forced displacement. Dr. Sanya K.F. Wilson, Mayor of Koboko Municipal Council (Uganda) and National Vice Chairman of the Ugandan Urban Authority Association gave a keynote speech and provided insights in day to day challenges that he has to face in his municipality with regards to refugees. Furthermore, speakers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands gave an insight to the ministry’s approach to increasing legitimate stability in conflict-affected states.
Apart from the specific focus, the Annual Meeting dealt with the following topics:
Urban and territorial governance: Dr. Nuno Ferreira-Da-Cruz, LSE Cities, presented results of the global Urban Governance Survey – undertaken by LSE Cities in partnership with UN Habitat and UCLG, and supported by the MacArthur Foundation. This survey addresses the data challenge that global comparative research on urban governance is confronted with, and explores new ways of communicating and ‘mapping’ urban governance for public dissemination, comparative policy and research analysis. Currently, 127 cities are included in the survey.
Fiscal decentralisation and local financing: This session was led by Khady Dia Sarr, Programme Director for the Dakar Municipal Finance Programme, who presented the challenges of developing a Municipal Development Bond for the city of Dakar, as well as by Isabelle Chatry, OECD. Isabelle Chatry introduced the World Observatory on Subnational Government Finance and Investment and presented results of the study ‘Subnational governments around the world: structure and finance’.
Localising the SDGs: In this thematic session, Paula Lucci, ODI, and Pytrik D. Oosterhof, Sustainability Development Consultant, discussed the topic of Localising the SDGs with a special focus on the principle Leave No One Behind (LNOB) and the role of Local and Regional Governments in the reporting process of the SDGs.
Besides these thematic sessions which were all followed by working groups, DeLoG members had the opportunity to discuss the strategic positioning of the network, report on the past year’s work plan and agree on the work plan for the upcoming year as well as assess performance and satisfaction with the work of the secretariat. The draft of a new network charter was presented, discussed and agreed upon. The charter is supposed to serve as a basis for the future work of DeLoG.
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