April 20, 2021

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is kick-starting its research on development cooperation & local governments, issued by the CIB secretariat and the Region of Catalonia? Has local government development cooperation changed since the UCLG-CIB policy paper on the same topic in 2013? Is COVID-19 impacting the landscape and priorities of donors? What other trends and developments can be witnessed? Learn below how you can help answer these questions and contribute to the research and revised policy paper from your own perspective and organisation. 

Quick recap: background information on the research
The IDS-led background study will serve to update the UCLG-CIB policy paper (‘Development Cooperation and Local Government’, 2013). The background study will provide input for the policy paper (led by the UCLG/CIB working group), and will aim to build the case for a continued role of local and regional governments in development cooperation, and will emphasize that, globally, local governments are key actors that drive development and support decentralization processes. Municipal and local governments are on the front lines of some of the most pressing challenges facing the global community, and more often than not, seen as leading the way towards the identification and implementation of innovative solutions. As the order of government responsible for ensuring equitable delivery of essential services, including in many cases social services around health, welfare and housing, local governments occupy an important niche in a nation’s development. The study will outline how local governments actively contribute to large societal challenges and how national governments and international community can further support this work. The study will also include a focus on the role played by regional governments, for example in relation to sustainable territorial development and partnership between the different levels or spheres of government, and by associations of local and/or regional governments.

Two research-related steps to mark in your calendars:

1) Answer to a 15-20 minute survey before the 24th of March
The first way to contribute to the research is to answer to the survey which will be sent to you in the first half of the week of the 15th of March. The deadline for answering to the 15-20 minute survey is the 24th of March.  

2) Join dedicated workshop with CIB members on 20 April 15:00-17:00 CET
IDS has indicated that it would be very useful to arrange for a meeting with CIB members to discuss the first outcomes and perhaps also first outline of the research. CIB and IDS propose Tuesday 20 April for this online workshop, from 15:00-17:00 CET. Please email uclg.cib@vng.nl if you want to participate.

How this initial research will lead to a revised UCLG policy paper?
Based on the initial outcomes of the research and the experiences shared in the workshop on the 20th of April, a core group of CIB members, led by the CIB secretariat, will draft a 2-3 page policy statement on the topic of 'Development Cooperation & Local Governments', ahead of the UCLG Executive Bureau meeting in May. The Executive Bureau will be asked to discuss the policy statement and provide additional remarks and input. This wil then be taken up in a longer policy paper (which includes more in-depth case studies), to be put on the agenda of the UCLG world council meeting in Fall 2021.