The Basque government is organising a workshop on decentralised cooperation in Brussels

5 June 2023

The Basque Government Agency for Development Cooperation (eLankidetza) will give a workshop and present the 2022 Report on Decentralised Cooperation at 10.00 am on Wednesday 14 June in the European Union Basque Government Delegation in Brussels. This initiative will be run jointly with PLATFORMA.

eLankidetza has recently published a report on Decentralised Development Cooperation to add to knowledge and assessment of decentralised cooperation. This report systematically analyses official development assistance promoted from sub-state authorities in several countries.

The workshop aims to foster debate on the report’s conclusions and inform on decentralised cooperation methods, among other aspects. It will comprise two parts: in the first, there will be a panel session involving Aitor Pérez, author of the report and lead consultant from Ecoper, and Andrea Ferrari, leader of INTPA G2-Local Authorities Team Leader, and Aziza Akhmouch, Head of Division-Cities, Urban Policies and Sustainable Development of OECD. In the second part, three cases will be presented to analyse the decentralised cooperation studied in the report: Spanish local government cooperation and solidarity funds, technical cooperation from Japanese prefectures and cities, and a third one to be confirmed.

The presentation will be an in-person event although it can be followed on Zoom with the option of listening in Spanish using simultaneous interpreting. It will also be possible to use the online platform to take part in the chat. Sign up by filling out this form.

Instrument to analyse decentralised cooperation  

In the field of international cooperation and solidarity, development cooperation run by sub-state authorities is largely unknown. However, decentralised cooperation presents singular characteristics such as a wide range of stakeholders, horizontal relations and their proximity to civil societies in both the North and the South.

 Despite many relevant publications and studies, this work aims to fill in the gaps in this field of knowledge and provide compared analysis. Consequently, international cooperation organisations must compile, process, classify and circulate information from decentralised stakeholders appropriately.

A few general concepts

The study includes data compiled by regional and local governments from eleven countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Of these eleven countries, nine are European and together they provide over 90% of the world’s official development aid. In 2020, those governments assigned 2,703 million dollars to official development assistance (ODA). Decentralised cooperation has almost tripled in the last fifteen years.

In the year of the pandemic, Flanders was the world’s top sub-state donor, providing 74 million dollars, followed by the Basque Country with 54 million dollars and Catalonia with 52.

Decentralised cooperation is diverse, as the report shows. In some cases, such as Canada, the ODA is used to shelter refugees and France, in turn, has one of the highest percentages of direct decentralised cooperation, mainly concerning water and sanitation.

Finally, the report shows some specific cases such as the Flanders government’s direct cooperation with African governments; the experience among Japanese prefectures and cities in technical cooperation, or the AKUAL Central America-Basque Country inter-institutional cooperation programme on water and sanitation.

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