From 16-18 May 2017, the Belgian Development Agency (BTC) and the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted DeLoG´s 12th Annual Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, which gathered around 40 representatives from over 20 member and partner organisations of the network to discuss and exchange about “Localising the SDGs: What Role for DeLoG?”.
Throughout the event, real time updates and key inputs have been captured through Storify, a blog-like platform where all presentations, synopses, videos and pictures of the Annual Meeting can be found.
Besides inputs from the panel, this year´s meeting offered extensive room for in-depth discussion and exchange of ideas. In parallel working groups participants discussed along the network´s thematic workstreams on decentralisation in fragile contexts, territorial governance and local financing. Participants shared experiences, identified challenges and jointly reflected upon possible activities for DeLoG to contribute to different issues under the overarching theme of ´Localising the SDGs´.
Given that the localisation of the SDGs is at the top of the agenda of almost every member of the network, the opening session of the meeting was dedicated to the presentation of tools, practical examples and best-practices on SDG localisation. In this framework, the importance of the network for building a common understanding on SDGs localisation, feed tools and share experiences on Monitoring & Review and data collection on the implementation of SDGs, was underlined by the members.
The second thematic session on “Decentralisation and Local Governance (DLG) in Fragile Contexts” touched upon current global issues such as migration and forced displacement, conflict assessment systems, with a particular focus on a social cohesion perspective to fragility and on the work with non-formal actors along the humanitarian-development continuum.
Given the necessity for local governments to raise revenues for implementing the SDGs, the meeting has then continued with a thematic session on “Local Financing and Local Revenue Mobilisation” where emerging strategies, partnerships and experiences in terms of external and innovative finance and Local Economic Development have been exchanged among the participants.
The fourth and last session on “Urban and Territorial Governance” highlighted in particular the interlinkages between the 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and promoted discussions around the “old but new” notion of a Territorial Approach to Development as well as around the challenges of monitoring and implementing global goals at the local level.
In general, throughout the meeting it became clear that DeLoG members and partners valued the network as a platform for exchanging knowledge and expertise, as a facilitator of joint learning opportunities and as a useful means to joint forces and promote collaboration among its partners towards the localisation of the SDGs.
Besides thematic sessions, the future strategic options for the DeLoG network and its initiatives have been discussed during the meeting. In this regard, the constitution of a “Core Group” to support the DeLoG Secretariat in following-up the decisions taken during the Annual Meeting has been unanimously accepted by the network´s members and partners.
After a brief presentation on their work by the Joint Competence Development Network – learn4dev, the annual meeting concluded itself with a discussion of the DeLoG/learn4dev expert group on DLG about past and future possible courses.