New GoTL, UNDP and UNCDF Programme Focuses on Decentralization and Local Development for Poverty Reduction

The Government of Timor-Leste, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) today endorsed a new programme of cooperation which is designed to contribute towards poverty reduction and local development. Known as the Sub-National Governance and Development Programme (2014-2018) (SNGDP) the programme will strengthen institutions for decentralised governance, improve participation, and enhance local capacities to deliver services, particularly to the most vulnerable groups in poor communities.

Timor-Leste’s Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030 aligns with the Constitutional provision for decentralization through the strengthening of state institutions, the creation of opportunities for local democratic participation by all citizens, and the establishment of more effective, efficient and equitable public service delivery to further the nation’s social and economic development and to consolidate the legitimacy and stability of the country. This commitment is further reflected in the Programme of the V Constitutional Government Legislature (2012-2017), to pursue decentralization by establishing at least 3-5 municipalities by the end of 2017.

Since 2003, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) have provided support to the Government’s efforts for strengthening local governance and development under the Local Governance Support Programme (LGSP).

The new programme builds on the achievements of the LGSP particularly by providing the Government with support to develop and implement decentralization policies and strategies and by consolidating and strengthening the country’s sub-national investment planning, financing and implementation processes.

SNGDP will commence on 1 July 2014 and will be implemented over four years ending in June 2018. The programme budget is $17,454,141.