Partnership for Democratic Local Governance in Southeast-Asia”(DELGOSEA)

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In March 2010, the project “Partnership for Democratic Local Governance in Southeast-Asia”(DELGOSEA)officially started its activities. The project was co-funded by the European Commission and the German Ministry for Development Cooperation and covered five countries in Southeast-Asia: Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The project was designed and runned by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Germany), Local Government Development Foundation (LOGODEF, Philippines), United Cities and Local Governments for Asia and Pacific (UCLG-ASPAC) and Association of Indonesian Regency Governments (APKASI, Indonesia), Thailand Environment Institute (TEI, Thailand), Association of Cities in Vietnam (ACVN, Vietnam) and the National League of Communes/Sangkats of the Kingdom of Cambodia (NLC/S, Cambodia). The project was successfully concluded on the 31st of August 2012. Its continuation is ensured by the KAS Office in the Philippines.

During its 30 months lifetime, the project worked on establishing a sustainable network of Local Government Associations (LGAs), Local Authorities (LAs), NGOs as well as Academic Institutions to exchange best practices in democratic local governance in the five participating countries. The network concentrated its activities on four thematic fields: (1) peoples participation in planning and decision making, (2) institutional governance, (3) urban environment as well as (4) fiscal management/investment promotion strategies. 16 best practice cases shall be identified in the 5 countries and transferred to selected pilot cities. The transfer and exchange of best practices/success stories followed a transnational approach – best practices shall strongly follow the criteria of being adaptable and transferable to different political and cultural backgrounds. In this regard, it shall be possible to transfer e.g. an identified success story from Thailand to Vietnam or vice versa. Local Government Associations in the five participating countries played a key role in this transfer process. They were and continue to be the main stakeholders of the network and closely accompany and consult the selected pilot cities in the implementation of the transfer models. Overall the project wishes to contribute to the improvement of living conditions of poor and disadvantaged people through increased participation in local planning and decision making processes. This was closely accompanied by supporting activities, such as political dialogue, transnational exchange meetings, networking activities with resource persons from all five countries as well as visibility activities, such as the project website.

A comprehensive set of activities

This project consisted of a comprehensive program to create and foster the best practice exchange on local governance as well as the improvement of living conditions of disadvantaged groups in the target regions. The main activities were:

Research for identification of success stories/ best practice models and preparation of pilot cities’ selection; dialogue on research results with all main stakeholders in the action. Establishment and servicing of a Project Website on transfer of best practice and on cooperation and networking of LAs, LGAs, NSAs and Academic Institutions. Capacity building for LGAs, training of up to 80 coaches on democratic local governance issues. Additionally, drafting curricula for training and teaching guidelines, production of textbooks, implementation of trainings for political decision makers, civil servants, civil society representatives in the selected 16 pilot cities.

Implementation of transfer concepts in the pilot cities and monitoring/ consulting by team and LGAs. Exchange programs with experts/ civil servants at and from the best practice/ success story places. Suggestions for political dialogue as well as correction and update of action plans in the pilot cities, refreshing trainings and drafting of an exit strategy.

The project results

At the end of the two-and-a-half year period, the project intended to have identified and replicated best practice examples and success stories of democratic local governance in the region. The main focus herein lies on people’s participation, institutional governance, inclusive urban public services and fiscal management. Furthermore, the ten LGAs of the five countries have been motivated and capacitated to assist member cities and have adapted transfer mechanisms as results of the best practice exchange in the 16 pilot cities. Finally, a sustainable regional network of LAs and NSAs has been created in South-East Asia with its core members UCLG-ASPAC, LOGODEF, the TEI, the national LGAs involved and KAS. The network is partly based on and their interconnectivity supported by an internet-/ and intranet based platform for best practice exchange.

The Project Partners

The project has been implemented by national offices implementing the different project activities in the five countries. The national offices are run by the National Coordinator and the Administrative Assistant under the umbrella of the respective partner organisation. The project coordination was and continues to be done from the coordination office based at Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung – office Manila, run by the Project Manager.

The project partners running the national offices are:

LOGODEF - Local Government Development Foundation, Philippines UCLG-ASPAC - United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific, Indonesia" TEI – Thailand Environment Institute, Thailand ACVN – Association of Cities of Vietnam, Vietnam NLC/S – National League of Communes/Sangkats of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Cambodia

For further information on this project, please visit our Website or contact the project manager Susanne Stephan.