As an alliance that champions decentralization and inclusive development around the world, the Local Public Sector Alliance aims to ‘practice what is preaches’ by organizing itself in an inclusive, participatory and decentralized manner. As such, LPSA Regional and Thematic Working Groups were launched as a critical interface between the Alliance and its growing global membership.

In addition to five regional working groups (Africa, Asia, ECA, LAC and MENA), the Alliance is in the process of setting up close to half a dozen thematic working groups, focused on key areas of decentralization and multi-level governance, such as local democracy and governance; subnational finance; or localizing the SDGs.

This page give a basic overview of LPSA and the operation of its working groups. This overview may be useful to LPSA Working Group co-chairs and members.

What are LPSA Working Groups?

LPSA Regional and Thematic Working Groups consist of groups of practitioners and scholars who bring together skills and expertise in a specific sub-topic or cross-cutting issue within the field of decentralization and localization. Each working group will seek to assess, advance, and share the state of global knowledge within their topic area or region, with the objective of providing the global community with best-practice conceptual and operational knowledge to address development challenges on that particular topic.

Each of LPSA’s working groups is typically led by 2-4 volunteer co-chairs, who –as leading practitioners, scholars, or civil society representative–want to “elevate the global debate on decentralization and localization” by engaging with colleagues from different countries, institutions, and disciplines. Because each working group is co-chairs by 3 or 4 colleagues, the time commitment from each co-chair is relatively limited.

LPSA Working Group Co-Chairs (as well as Advisory board members) are associated with the Local Public Sector Alliance in their personal or professional capacity, rather than as representatives of their respective institutions.

In order to avoid duplication, whenever possible, LPSA Working Groups aim to coordinate their efforts and work closely together with other organizations, including DeLOG and UCLG.

How do LPSA Working Groups Work?

Each Regional or Thematic Working Group seeks to “elevate the global decentralization and localization debate” by assessing, advancing, and sharing the state of global knowledge on decentralization, multilevel governance, intergovernmental relations, local governance and local development in its region or thematic area. Working group activities include:

  • Quarterly working group meetings, in order for working group members to update each other on decentralization reforms and relevant public sectors reform projects across the region; and to identify topics of mutual interest. All working group meetings are open to the public and announced on LPSA’s Events Calendar.
  • Knowledge sharing (through blog posts and webinars). Each Working Group aims to keep its members as well as the larger (global) Community of Practice informed on relevant reforms, trends, and policy research in its region or thematic area by sharing relevant news and information through blog posts on Decentralization.Net. For this purpose, each Working Group has its own landing page on Decentralization.Net (through the black topics menu bar). Each Working Group further aims to organize one or more webinars, roundtables, or other knowledge-sharing events on topics of interest to the wider community of practice each year; and
  • Exploring topics of mutual interest and advancing the state of knowledge through research and other knowledge development efforts, by mobilizing the Working Group’s collective resources and/or by linking to other LPSA resources and Working Groups as relevant.

To the extent that LPSA’s resources allow, each working group will be supported by a part-time Working Group Coordinator.

Resources for LPSA co-chairs and members

The Local Public Sector Alliance is incorporated as a non-profit organization in the Commonwealth of Virginia. LPSA is governed by its Board of Directors and guided by its Advisory Board. All Working Group Co-Chairs are automatically a member of LPSA’s Advisory Board. LPSA’s Advisory Board meetings–which generally take place on a quarterly basis–are open to the public, and announced on the Event Calendar.

LPSA’s incorporation documents, bylaws, and documents related to its not-for-profit status, are all publicly available online as part of its public disclosures.

In addition, LPSA’s Policies and Strategy Documents are publicly available on LPSA’s “About” page. These documents include LPSA’s Strategic Plan 2022-2026, as well as LPSA’s most recent annual workplan.

More importantly, perhaps, this page also gives access to LPSA’s Mission, Vision, Principles and Policies document. This document consolidated all LPSA policies, which were either approved by its Board of Directors or by the Executive Director. Section 1 of this document includes our Mission, Vision, and Foundational Principles, as well as our Organizational Values and our Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and non-discrimination policy. Section 7 of the document contains the formal Terms of Reference for LPSA Expert Working Groups.

The LPSA Expert Working Group Operational Guide (PDF: 3 MB) provides details about the operational processes and support for LPSA Working Groups.

Finally, a write-up of each working group’s objectives, priorities, key stakeholders, and planned activities may be helpful to achieve greater internal unity of purpose among the working group’s co-chairs, core working group members, LPSA members, and external audiences. As such, LPSA encourages each working group to prepare an annual workplan (workplan template, PDF).