Local governance is the cornerstone of an effective post-2015 framework | Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi

24 Jun 2013

afghan  A district police chief meets with local village heads and religious leaders in Farza, Kabul Province, Afghanistan. Through a UNDP-supported programme, citizens in Afghanistan are cooperating with police officers in community-policing initiatives. (Photo: Sayeed Farhad Zalmai/UNDP Afghanistan)

Critical objectives of the post-2015 development agenda such as eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities and exclusion, and achieving environmental sustainability, depend on local action and leadership coordinated with all levels of governance. There is no doubt that effective development and service delivery require viable multi-level governance.

At a recent meeting on Decentralization and Local Governance (DeLoG), I challenged development partners to go beyond advocating for local governments and to take more concrete actions to integrate them into decision-making processes. I encouraged them to improve their methodologies for facilitating governance at the local level, particularly in post-conflict and fragile situations.

Beyond service delivery, local governments are critical agents for reconciliation and the re-establishment of the social contract between the state and the people. Decentralization and local governance partners agree that effective local development requires not only a multi-level process but also a multi-sectorial and multi-stakeholder approach.

At UNDP, we recognize from knowledge and experience that effective development requires multi-level governance which will close the policy gaps, deal with capacity deficiencies, and look at resource inadequacies.

The three-day event – where the United Nations (UNDP, UNCDF, and UN-Habitat) hosted representatives of 27 multilateral and bilateral organizations on effective multi-level governance – was also an opportunity to assess potential entry points for integrating local governments in the Post-2015 Framework, including recognizing urban-rural linkages and synergies.

There is a clear need to harness the potential of local governments and global networks such as DeLoG, which liaise with regional and multilateral bodies and can help in enhancing support for national action.

Placing local governance at the centre of ongoing deliberations on the post-2015 development agenda is a must. This has been especially evident in the recently released report of the High Level Panel, which calls for “a fundamental shift – to recognise peace and good governance as core elements of wellbeing, not optional extras.”

Talk to us: Do you agree that local governance should be an integral part of the post-2015 agenda for development?

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