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Session 1.1. Introduction to the guiding principles for enhancing alignment and harmonisation on local governance and decentralisation. Background. 1996: Elaboration of the Habitat Agenda (Istanbul)

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Session 1.1.

Introduction to the guiding principles for enhancing alignment and harmonisation on local governance and decentralisation

  • 1996: Elaboration of the Habitat Agenda (Istanbul)

"Sustainable human settlements development can be achieved through the effective decentralisation of responsibilities, policy management, decision-making authority and sufficient resources, including revenue collection authority, to local authorities, closed to and most representatives of their constituencies" (paragraph 177)

"Governments should examine and adopt, as appropriate, policies and legal frameworks from other States that are implementing decentralisation effectively" (paragraph 180)

  • 2000: Adoption of the World Charter of Local Self Government

This World Charter aims to draw up an internationally agreed framework for the practice of local democracy, as a vital contribution to improving people’s living conditions in cities all over the world.

  • 2007: The international guidelines on decentralisation and strengthening of local authorities adopted by the Governing Council of UN Habitat

These guidelines are a key instrument to promote good governance at all levels and to strengthen local authorities.

  • 2009: publication of "International Guidelines on Decentralisation and Access to Basic Services for all". UN Habitat, 2009
decentralisation and local governance
Decentralisation and local governance
  • Political dimension:
  • participation
  • decision-making
  • leadership
  • Technical dimension:
  • needs assessment
  • planning
  • negotiation of contracts
  • accounting mechanisms
  • monitoring/impact assessment
  • Both requires:
  • capacity of all stakeholders involved
  • sense of responsibility and ownership
  • enabling institutional framework for partnerships
  • Local actors have become key-players in develoment

2006: Establishment of the informal Development Partners Working Group on Local Governance and Decentralisation (iDPWG-LGD)

aims of idpwg lgd
Aims of iDPWG-LGD
  • Enhance coordination and harmonisation of assistance in the area of decentralisation and local governance
  • Contribute to an improved understanding of different donor approaches
  • Build consensus around fundamental issues to be considered when supporting decentralisation and local governance processes
activities of idpwg lgd
Activities of iDPWG-LGD
  • Sharing experiences and good practices
  • regular meetings and workshops
  • preparation of studies to take stock of experiences
  • preparation of guiding principles and guidelines
  • capacity development
General guiding principles for enhancing alignment and harmonisation on local governance and decentralisation (2008)
  • Foster exchange, dialogue and cooperation between actors with a view to promote harmonisation
  • encourage common understanding of key concepts
  • improve coherence, complementarity and effectiveness of initiatives in support of DLG
main principles




for results



Main principles


Specific guiding principles for enhancing aid effectiveness that will apply to specific country contexts (2009)
  • Steps to be taken in order to apply the principles in a more operational manner
  • Based on the Accra Agenda for Action
  • Design country-based action plans for implementation
walking tour
Walking tour
  • The twelve specific guiding principles, with their explanation, are pasted on the walls.
  • Visit them, and discuss them with your colleagues
  • Write your first comments on the posters