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Local Self-Government in Processes of Change Defining areas of co-operation in the North-South Local Government Co-operation Programme Suvi Kuusi Mob.

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Presentation on theme: "Local Self-Government in Processes of Change Defining areas of co-operation in the North-South Local Government Co-operation Programme Suvi Kuusi Mob."— Presentation transcript:

1 Local Self-Government in Processes of Change Defining areas of co-operation in the North-South Local Government Co-operation Programme Suvi Kuusi Mob (0)

2 Study on Aspects of Local Self-Government Desk study conducted in 2008 Overview on aspects of local self-government in six Sub- Saharan countries in which the North-South Local Government Co-operation Programme’s projects were in implementation phase Concentration on:  Constitutional and legal foundation for local self-government  Concept of local self-government  Scope of local self-government (LAs basic functions and powers, discretion to exercise initiative etc.)  Remuneration of political office-holders  Financial resources of LAs Primary target group: Finnish local authorities, other stakeholders Purpose: Basic information on local self-government for supporting planning and developing of co-operation

3 Common Ground and Values for Co-operation UN-Habitat : International Guidelines on Decentralisation and the Strengthening of Local Authorities (2007) Council of Europe: European Charter of Local Self- Government (1985) Flexible principles of local self-government used as a framework in the study

4 Changes in Local Self-Government Some snapshots of trends and processes Several processes shape local self-government in all of the countries More clearly or less clearly defined policies and/or processes of decentralisation Even official policy documents of decentralisation are implemented partly in contradictory manners (e.g. in Namibia and Tanzania)

5 Changes in Local Self-Government Some snapshots of trends and processes (2) Namibia: decentralisation first by delegation and ultimately by devolution – official policy Tanzania: decentralisation by devolution – official policy Ghana: the thrust underpinning the Local Government Act and Constitution is decentralisation by devolution, but contradictions in legislations enable the practice of competing concepts of decentralisation – devolution, delegation and de-concentration

6 Changes in Local Self-Government Some snapshots of trends and processes (3) Kenya: Despite of the Kenya Local Government Reform Programme decentralisation by de-concentration is gaining ground in local service delivery. Weak constitutional and legislative base to create a stronger local self-government, but constitutional reform might bring about changes. South Africa: Strong constitutional and legislative base for local self-government, but local authorities need to protect their interests in restructuring of service delivery (e.g. electricity distribution, municipal roads). Swaziland: The new Constitution of 2005 provides for significant reforms of the local government system.

7 Struggle for Adequate Financial Resources Local authorities in each of the countries face challenges in acquiring adequate financial resources Different situations in different countries, but the main lines include dependence on intergovernmental transfers and different possibilities to generate own source revenues Within countries there are differences in the abilities of different types of local authorities to generate revenue

8 Reflections on Meanings to the North-South Local Government Co-operation Programme To what extent should the Programme and the cooperation projects address issues in the processes of decentralisation and shaping of local self-government?  What should the Finnish local authorities know about these southern processes?  What should the local authorities in the South know about the Finnish local government system?  The overall objective of the North-South Local Government Cooperation programme is: To strengthen the capacities of local governments to provide basic services and to promote good governance and local democracy, all by taking into consideration the principles of sustainable development.

9 Priorities at the programme level = North-South Local Government Cooperation Programme What kind of advocacy work is needed, or need to be strengthened to support local governments worldwide?  Advocacy work of the AFLRA towards the Finnish Parliament, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, EU, international financial institutions, other international organisa-tions and/or United Nations etc.?  Advocacy work for strengthening National Local Government Associations in the South, in Africa? – Including co-operation between the AFLRA and other Local Government Associations? – Role of South-South co-operation?

10 Priorities at the project level = Local government level, linkages What are the most relevant needs for co- operation? – What kind of activities should we support? – Should we support activities which have direct impact on people’s immediate well-being? – Matter of live and death (e.g. maternity health care)? Or should we support activities which have indirect impact on people’s well-being? Matter of quality of live (e.g. improving city parks)?

11 Priorities of the initiatives = Question of the decision making power Who identifies the most relevant needs and possibilities for co-operation? Whose ideas or initiatives are implemented through co-operation? - Southern ideas? Or Northern ideas? - Southern local government strategies or northern local government strategies? How can we improve the equality and mutuality of the co- operation?

12 Other ideas and suggestions? The floor is yours! Thank you!


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