In Busan, Korea, at the occasion of the Fourth High Level forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4, 29 November-1 December 2011) the Development Partners Working Group on Decentralisation & Local Governance (DeLoG) which UNCDF is part of organized a side event to discuss the importance of decentralization and the local and regional perspective in the Aid Effectiveness agenda, as well as present concrete experiences on aid effectiveness at the local and regional level.
The DeLoG, founded in 2006, is an informal network of bi– and multilateral development partners (DPs). It aims to promote the implementation of the principles of aid effectiveness (Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action) in the sector of Decentralisation and Local Governance support.
DeLoG has contributed to the growing awareness of the need for enhancing alignment and harmonization of DLG support, through knowledge exchange, research, design of capacity development tools and the development and dissemination of guiding principles on how to implement PD principles for decentralization and local governance (DLG). A Secretariat, funded by the Germany and established at GIZ in Bonn, backs up the Group.
With this side event, the DeLoG called the attention to the specific role of decentralisation and local governance process for aid effectiveness: local governments and governance must be supported as effective channels of development; therefore decentralisation processes must be backed to empower this "ground level" of government.
The side event was the occasion to launch the report “Busan and beyond: Loclaising Paris Principles for more Effective Support to Decentralisation and Local Governance Reforms”.
The report highlighted that on the one hand, local governments have a key role to play to foster inclusive and sustainable local development. There are several areas in which local governments have strong comparative advantage to deliver on both local and National objectives. In many countries, local governments are tasked with delivering key services to the population.
Local governments are often key drivers in terms of design and implementation of local economic development strategies and join forces with key actors to form public-private partnership that are essential to promote local development. Furthermore, key development areas where progress can be achieved by the active engagement of local governments include climate change adaptation and mitigation, food security, gender equality and social protection. In all of these areas the information advantage of local decision makers - if properly supported - translates into allocative efficiency and thus better governments’ responses to the needs of the people.
On the other hand, local governments also have a crucial role to play in promoting democratic development. LGs are the closest tier of government to citizens and play a key role in building more accountable, transparent and participatory political systems. For these reasons, there is a growing recognition that subnational actors and decentralization reforms need to be supported and that LGs themselves can play an important role in delivering development aid in a way that is more effective and more accountable to the beneficiaries.