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Habitat II Conference                      [ Back to Habitat II ]

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IV Global Plan of Action

D. Capacity-building and institutional development

2. Decentralization and strengthening of local authorities and their associations/networks


180. To ensure effective decentralization and strengthening of local authorities and their associations/networks, Governments at the appropriate levels should:

(a) Examine and adopt, as appropriate, policies and legal frameworks from other States that are implementing decentralization effectively;

(b) Review and revise, as appropriate, legislation to increase local autonomy and participation in decision-making, implementation, and resource mobilization and use, especially with respect to human, technical and financial resources and local enterprise development, within the overall framework of a national, social, economic and environmental strategy, and encourage the participation of the inhabitants in decision-making regarding their cities, neighbourhoods or dwellings;

(c) Develop education in citizenship to emphasize the role of individuals as actors in their communities;

(d) Support local authorities reviewing revenue-generating mechanisms;

(e) Strengthen, as necessary, the capacity of educational, research and training institutions to provide continuous training to local elected officials, managers and professionals on urban-related issues, such as planning, land and resource management techniques, and municipal finance;

(f) Facilitate the exchange of technology, experience and management expertise vertically and horizontally between government and local authorities in the delivery of services, expenditure control, resource mobilization, partnership-building and local enterprise development, inter alia, through technical twinning and exchange of experience programmes;

(g) Enhance the performance of local authorities by undertaking data collection, disaggregated by gender, age and income, and comparative analyses of, and by disseminating information on innovative practices in, the delivery, operation and maintenance of public goods and services, in providing for the needs of their populations and in exploiting the fiscal and other potential of their cities;

(h) Encourage institutionalization of broad-based participation, including consultative mechanisms, in decision-making and management processes at the local level;

(i) Strengthen the capacity of local authorities to engage the local private and community sectors in goal-setting and in establishing local priorities and environmentally sound standards for infrastructure development, services delivery and local economic development;

(j) Promote policy dialogue among all levels of government and the private and community sectors and other representatives of civil society to improve planning and implementation;

(k) Within the framework of governance, establish public-private citizens' partnerships for urban innovation, and analyse, evaluate and disseminate information on successful partnerships;

(l) Collect, analyse and disseminate, as appropriate, comparative data, disaggregated by gender, age and income, on the performance of local authorities in providing for the needs of their populations;

(m) Reinforce measures to eradicate corruption and ensure greater transparency, efficiency, accountability, responsiveness and community participation in the management of local resources;

(n) Enable local authorities and their associations/networks to take initiatives in national and international cooperation and, in particular, to share good practices and innovative approaches to sustainable human settlements management;

(o) Strengthen the capacities of both central and local government through training courses on urban finance and management for elected government officials and managers;

(p) Develop and/or strengthen, as appropriate, in cooperation with relevant United Nations bodies, within their respective mandates, as well as associations/networks of local authorities and other international associations and organizations, global and easily accessible information networks to facilitate the exchange of experience, know-how and expertise.

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