LED: a framework for localising the SDGs
Local economic development is an approach for achieving social, economic and spatial development and for local government to play a strong role in achieving the SDGs, participants at CLGF’s 2016 South Asia regional meeting agreed.
The theme of the meeting was “Local government: a partner in achieving the SDGs in Asia”. The meeting, which ran from 3-4 August was co-hosted by Jabalpur Nagar Nigam in Madhya Pradesh – a key project partner with CLGF and the seventh smart city of India.
Participants – CLGF members and partners, including city mayors, local government leaders, ministers and others involved in local development from across South Asia – highlighted some of the challenges the region faces including inconsistent decentralisation, changing labour markets, youth unemployment, women’s under-employment, inadequate capacity in local authorities, inadequate local data and inadequate financing for development. They also agreed that ICT is a major tool to help tackle these challenges, including the smart city approach.
The meeting also featured CLGF LED projects that have been part of the programme in the region. From the experience of the projects, participants identified that LED must be locally appropriate and context-specific, and highlighted a number of principles for successful LED including:
- partnership with communities, private sector, NGOs, civil society, academia, other levels of government and public sector organisations;
- community ownership of and participation in the processes;
- transformational leadership;
- national enabling frameworks;
- a clear regulatory and enabling environment at local level eg through bylaws;
- a locally owned LED vision and strategy;
- effective local arrangements for multi-stakeholder engagement;
- capacity building for SMEs and marginalised communities;
- community consensus on the need to generate local revenue to support local development;
- integration and convergence of national, state and local programmes to support local economic activity.