Global Seminar Series in Brussels & Bern: Localizing Public Services and Development

GSS Brussels1

“The Local Public Sector’s Role in achieving Development Goals in Health and Education.”

On the 10th and 13th of April 2015 the sessions 6 and 7 of the Global Seminar Series took place in Brussels and Bern, hosted by the European Commission and the Swiss Development Cooperation respectively. DeLoG / Urban Institute´s latest publication on “The Local Public Sector’s Role in achieving Development Goals in Health and Education” was presented and discussed at the respective headquarters with a broad range of experts from different Development Partners in the fields of local governance, public finance/budget support as well as education and health.

In Brussels, Michel Laloge, Head of Sector Local Authorities, DEVCO B2 Unit, European Commission and Jorge Rodríguez Bilbao, Quality Support Manager of the Civil Society and Local Authorities Unit, DEVCO B2 Unit, European Commission gave the introductory framework for the presentation of the study by Jamie Boex, PhD, Senior Research Associate at the Urban Institute and lead author of the study. In Bern, Corinne Huser, Policy Advisor Democratisation, Decentralisation and Local Governance, introduced the study followed by Jochen Mattern, Coordinator of the DeLoG Secretariat.

In both Brussels and Bern the presentation of the study triggered lively discussions. Questions captured issues such as the definition and variation of tiers of local government, the correlation between decision making power and development outcomes, the existence of potential thresholds for localized spending and the assessment of local institutions capacities’. Lessons to take away from the study include, amongst others, the need for practitioners and Development Partners to look at and investigate in disaggregated sector data in order to answer how much money reaches the front line. Additionally, it became once again obvious, that decentralization is not an either or debate, but a multi-level and -actor dialog on how to best allocate, integrate and spend funds and resources correctly where they are most needed: On the local level.

Please follow this link for more information on the study and have a look at the Urban Institute blog for an interactive version of the health and education spending charts.