The Honourable Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Local Government, Chieftainship and of Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Mothetjoa Metsing, officially announced and handed over the first discretionary Performance Based Local Development Grant (LDG) and Capacity Building Grant (CBG) to all the 10 District Councils and Maseru City Council on Friday 18th July 2014. The Councils also received certificates of participation in the 2014 Annual Assessment on minimum conditions to access the LDG. The event was attended by over 150 participants, including the Hon. Minister of Development Planning, the Hon. Minister of Local Government, Development partners (EU, GIZ), Civil Society Organizations, the Media and District representatives.
This event integrates into the activities of the Deepening Decentralization Programme (DDP) which is a four year (2012 – 2016) joint partnership between the Government of Lesotho, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the European Union (EU) with a funding basket of up to EUR 8.88 million. The Programme is implemented by the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftainship and Parliamentary Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Public Service.
The main purpose of the programme is to promote decentralized service delivery for social and economic growth through the development of transparent funding mechanisms and by improving the accountability of local authorities. Specific components of the programme are:
1) improving development funding through local authorities,
2) promoting decentralization and accountability systems at the local level and
3) enhancing capacities of line ministries and local authorities to decentralize functions.
The specific objectives of the Performance Based Grants include capacity development of Local Authorities to plan, budget and provide resources for the implementation of local development initiatives, and the delivery of basic services; piloting a discretionary capital fiscal transfer system from central to local level; and acting as an incentive for decentralisation reforms and the systematic documentation of the lessons learnt, and experiences gained in the process of improved service delivery.
The allocation of the grants follows a set of three minimum conditions for 2014, adding another three conditions for 2015. Furthermore, six indicators of performance will be introduced in 2015 to reward the District Councils that show excellent performance in key Local Government functional areas.