On the 4th day of the World Urban Forum, DeLoG organised two one-hour events discussing the role of local governments in achieving development goals. Jochen Mattern, the coordinator of the DeLoG Secretariat, facilitated the meetings. As an introduction to the sessions, Kodjo Mensa Abrahma from UNDP and Joe Hooper from UN-Habitat presented the upcoming UN-led consultations on the role of the local level in the MDG and post 2015 process. Further, Sara Hoeflich (UCLG) representing the Global Taskforce of Regional and Local Governments for post 2015 and towards Habitat III (GTF) explained that the GTF will be co-facilitating the consultation on localising the post 2015 agenda. She highlighted the strategic partnership between GTF and DeLoG through facilitating inputs and expertise.
In this regard, initial results of a DeLoG study on the role of the local public sector (LPS) in achieving development goals were presented. Over the last year, detailed data on the local public sector has been collected in 15 countries, including the amount of each country’s decentralised spending on education and health. Jamie Boex from the Urban Institute, who is leading the study, revealed in his presentation a correlation between the amount of spending channeled through the local level and the improvement of education. Furthermore, the presentation showed a consistent negative correlation between local spending and health threats, i.e. the more public funds are spend at the local level, the fewer children under 5 die.
However, Mr. Boex underlined that, at the current point in time, it cannot be assured that these are causations and not mere correlations. To prove this, the analysis of more samples is necessary. It is envisaged to include data from additional 15 countries currently collected by DeLoG members. Final results are expected in summer 2014. The study will feed important empirical evidence into the work of the GTF and the above mentioned consultation process.