UCLG Advocates for the Role of Local Government in Advance of Busan

United Cities and Local Governments is advocating on behalf of an increased role for local government in development cooperation in advance of the upcoming major aid effectiveness forum in Busan, Korea.
United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) is advocating on behalf of an increased role for local government in development cooperation in advance of the upcoming major aid effectiveness forum in Busan, Korea.
The Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness is due to take place in Busan 29 November to 1 December 2011. It builds on previous landmark aid effectiveness meetings in Rome, Paris and Accra and seeks to evaluate international progress on improving the impact of development aid.
The global voice of local government with members in 140 countries, UCLG participates in the OECD Working Party on Aid Effectiveness and is a member of the Advisory Board of the United Nations Development Cooperation Forum. The organisation has also produced a Position Paper on Aid Effectiveness and Local Government.
In the leadup to the Busan conference, UCLG is urging its members worldwide to advocate for an increased profile for local governments in the development process, and that this role be reflected in the Forum’s outcome documentation.
In particular, UCLG is highlighting the role of local government in the following areas:
  • Accountability and transparency. The role of local governments should be recognised as the closest level of government to the people and therefore as a natural link between citizens and the state. The call to invest in states should also include local and regional governments. It should be recognised that transparency is nurtured through participatory systems of governance, especially at the local level.
  • Decentralisation should be included as a specific development policy as part of the call to deepen the impact of policies and efforts on broader development. Moreover,   ownership and accountability are improved by supporting an efficient decentralisation framework with clear core powers and responsibilities as well as the transfer of corresponding financial resources to local governments. Decentralisation should also be explicitly mentioned in the development of countries’ own systems of project implementation.
  • Implementation and monitoring with local authorities. Decentralised cooperation is an important aid mechanism that should be included in the Busan outcome documentation. In addition, the call for close cooperation across a range of stakeholders to implement and monitor these aid effectiveness priorities should include local governments. Finally, aid management information systems should include all spheres of governments.
UCLG is also proposing to represent local authorities as a signatory on the Busan outcome documentation in the event it is signed by stakeholders. Alternately, if the documents are signed at the ministerial level, UCLG is calling for the inclusion of specific references to local government.


The Global Programmes Learning Group (GPLG) and Aid Effectiveness
One of the ways the Cities Alliance is involved in aid effectiveness discussions for Busan is through its participation in the Global Programmes Learning Group. Created in 2006, the GPLG provides a forum for global programmes to promote peer review and actions on aid effectiveness. It focuses on:
  • Learning and sharing best practices
  • Coordinating and facilitating OECD processes
  • Accountability to commit and implement actions
The key strength of the GPLG is that it operates as a network model for knowledge sharing not only among members, but also with the wider aid effectiveness community.  It is a member of the OECD’s Working Party on Aid Effectiveness Executive Committee.
Members include*:
  • Cities Alliance
  • Consultative Group for International Agriculture Research (CGIAR)
  • Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI)
  • Global Environment Facility (GEF)
  • Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund)
  • Global Partnership for Education
  • President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
*With input from the Health Metrics Network (HMN) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.