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["Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF)"]
September 2016
CLGF blog by Dr Marc Sant, President, LCA Malta
Fit for the future: capacity and resources for effective local government
Having adequate resources and capacity is critical for local government to deliver local needs and priorities whilst cultivating its role in helping to respond to national, regional and global targets – including the recently agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the reality is that very often local government is inadequately funded and lacks the capacity not only to deliver services efficiently but also to respond to these ‘unfunded mandates’ as a community leader and driver of development locally.

This is felt more acutely particularly in smaller states, which make up around two-thirds of all Commonwealth countries. In Malta, where we have a population of around 420,000, on paper we have a strong system of local government backed by local government being enshrined in the Constitution. The main functions of local government revolve around refuse collection and disposal, the general upkeep of localities, the promotion of culture and sports and the dissemination of information to citizens. In 316km² we have a total of 5 Regional Committees and 68 local councils (54 in Malta and 14 in Gozo). Read more
CLGF news
Leadership, partnership and innovation critical to achieving SDGs
To effectively localise and implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) local governments need to focus on three critical areas including leadership, partnership and innovation, said CLGF Secretary-General Dr Greg Munro while addressing the national members assembly of the Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) in Gaborone on 30 August. Read more
LED: a framework for localising the SDGs
Local economic development is an approach for achieving social, economic and spatial development and for local government to play a strong role in achieving the SDGs, participants at CLGF’s 2016 South Asia regional meeting agreed. Participants also agreed a framework for launching the South Asia Forum of Local Government for coordinating regional exchange of local government policy and practice. Read more
All change at CLGF
CLGF not only has a new Secretary-General, Dr Greg Munro and Chairperson Rev Mpho Moruakgomo, but has also got a new home! Our headquarters have moved to Commonwealth House (Quadrant House), as part of a new Commonwealth Hub which was launched by HM the Queen on 9 June. Please amend your records with our new address: CLGF, Commonwealth House, 55-58 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5JH, UK. Also, find out more about CLGF's board members and staff.
Local government news
Renewable energy to connect 77,000 rural homes in Rwanda
Rwanda government’s efforts aimed at increasing the supply of clean energy to power its green growth ambitions have been successful as a result of a new off-grid renewable energy programme. The new programme is aimed to grow sustainable off-grid renewable energy markets by supporting private sector companies to deliver energy access to over 77,000 people in poor rural areas. Read more
Developing capacities of local government institutions in Bangladesh
The Local Government Division of Bangladesh is working towards developing a new capacity development framework for local government institutions by bringing together city corporations, municipalities, zila parishads, upazila parishads and union parishads. The proposed framework will cover budgetary reform, financial accountability, performance evaluation, local government reform and gender empowerment. Read more
Local government reform in Trinidad and Tobago
Following several months of public consultation, the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government are taking forward the local government reforms in the country. The reforms will cover services such as collection of property tax and extra responsibilities in areas such as policing, planning and school repairs. Local government elections are due sometime in the three months from 21 October 2016. Read more
Uganda celebrates Africa Day of Decentralisation
Uganda celebrated Africa Day of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development on 10 August to educate the public on the various decentralised governance programmes and discussed ways in which these could contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. The Ministry of Local Government also convened the joint annual review of decentralisation on 8-9 August to evaluate the implementation of the decentralisation policy and its impact. Read more
New app for voters in New Zealand
Shortlisting your local election candidates just got easier, thanks to a new digital app from Christchurch City Council. The new app, called Celect, is an easy way to view candidate profiles for the 2016 local elections to be held on 8 October. Read more. Also read about Local Government New Zealand’s (LGNZ) Vote2016 campaign.
Local elections roundup
Successful local elections in South Africa
Local government elections were held successfully in South Africa on 3 August in over 22,612 voting stations. The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) has announced that approximately 99% of municipalities across the country have already held their first council meetings, where mayors were elected. Read more
Fit for the future #clgc2017
Examples of resourcing for effective local government
Greater access to clean water in Fiji
The Fijian Government, through the Water Authority of Fiji, is working towards ensuring all Fijians are able to receive continuous water supply and improved access to safe and clean drinking water. The Government has allocated a total of $308 million in the 2016-2017 national budget to upgrade water and wastewater treatment plants for urban areas and support new rural water supply projects. Read more
Empowering villages in India
A year after the Government of India decided to empower panchayats, success stories are pouring in from villages up and down the country. The Ministry of Panchayati Raj’s Gram Panchayat Development Plan is successfully delivering innovative and cost-effective solutions to address problems faced by remote and flood-effected villages. The government also plans to connect all gram panchayats through fiber optic by 2018 as part of the new Digital India initiative. Read more
Commonwealth news
Gender equality and the SDGs
The 11th Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministerial Meeting will be held on 7-8 September in Apia, hosted by the Government of Samoa on the theme of ‘Gender equality through sustainable development in an inclusive commonwealth’. The meeting will contribute to the setting of Commonwealth priorities and the global agenda for sustainable and inclusive development. Read more
Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting 2016
Finance Ministers will gather for the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting on 6 October 2016, at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC, USA. Concerns about international taxation, access to the global banking system by developing countries, and access to climate finance are likely to feature in the discussions. Read more
Publications and research
CLGF Southern Africa regional meeting report
Check out the report of the two-day CLGF Southern Africa Regional Meeting held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 28-29 June, which explored the role of local government and development partners in delivering the SDGs and using LED as a mechanism for achieving the SDGs. Find out more about CLGF’s work in Southern Africa.
Making politics work for development
The World Bank’s new policy research report ‘Making politics work for development’ focuses on citizen engagement and transparency as the two key forces to help solve government failures by shaping how political markets function.
Coming up
Planning for sustainable development
The Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) are holding their 2016 conference on the theme ‘Planning for sustainable development’ in Fiji on 7-10 November. The conference will be a great opportunity for planners from across the Commonwealth, including those working in local government, to contribute to a vibrant debate on the role of planning in achieving the SDGs. To find out more visit the CAP website.
Did you know?
Ways to increase citizen participation in local waste services
Web platforms, apps, and citizen surveys are changing how solid waste management services are conducted globally and showing that waste infrastructure alone is simply not enough. These interactive platforms provide incentives, quantify actions, and increase pressure on service providers, and thereby improve waste management with greater citizen engagement. Find out more
UK councils secure sporting legacy post-London 2012
A lasting legacy, which is helping to transform grassroots sport, has been created by councils following the London Olympics, a new survey reveals. UK councils have seen a spike in sports such as diving and other water sports, cycling and running, according to a snapshot survey of 16 councils by the Local Government Association (LGA). Find out more
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© 2016 Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF)