From 18-20 May, 2016, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) hosted DeLoG’s 11th Annual Meeting in Paris, France. Around 40 participants from more than 20 member and partner organisations discussed the topic of “Localising the SDGs: Fiscal, Urban and Contextual Perspectives”.
In his opening speech, Gautier Mignot, Deputy Director of the Directorate-General for Globalization, Culture, Education and International Development of the MAE, focused on the new international agenda and the means necessary for its implementation. He encouraged participants to compare experiences, to share knowledge and approaches, and to develop joint projects.
Following the opening remarks, Johannes Krassnitzer, UNDP, presented a toolkit for localising the SDGs, developed by UNDP, UN-Habitat and UCLG. He explained that it is something that everyone can contribute to and an open space to discuss practical approaches to local government assistance that can be tailored to specific needs.
The first thematic session on “Sustainable local development financing” started out with inputs by speakers from the OECD, UCLG, the World Bank, KfW, VNG International, and UNCDF, followed by a panel discussion. It illustrated the diversity and wide variety of cases with regard to decentralisation. Speakers and panellists also spoke about the importance of sharing data and/or tools and called for medium-term frameworks and a smart mix of infrastructure development (economic, social, and administrative) as well as engagement with citizens.
The second thematic session on “Fragility, decentralisation and local governance” saw inputs by BTC and UNICEF. It became clear that while there is a need to act quickly and strategically, root causes of conflict have to also be addressed and conflict, fragility and risk assessments should be included more strategically in programming and reviewing. Participative and inclusive local government processes can be used as spaces for state- and peacebuilding and to strengthen equitable service delivery.
The third session on “Urban and territorial governance” comprised inputs by and a panel discussion with the DeLoG secretariat, MAE and GIZ. The speakers gave updates on Habitat III and the Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda. The session finished with inputs by EU DEVCO and UNDP. Speakers argued that it was important to connect and align the topics of local development, decentralisation reforms, territorial development as well as urbanisation.
DeLoG members decided that localising the SDGs will remain the thematic umbrella/ frame of DeLoG’s work for the coming year. The network will focus its work on DLG and fragility, urban governance and local financing.
Throughout the meeting it became clear that DeLoG members and partners valued the network as a
- knowledge broker and research hub;
- facilitator of joint learning due to the various types of learning opportunities and courses offered;
- platform to promote collaboration amongst development partners.
The annual meeting was facilitated by Psyche Kennett who set up an open and interactive environment for intense discussions as well as space for networking and the exchange of knowledge and experiences.
Please click here to read the meeting’s agenda. The minutes will soon be available online.