DELGOSEA Preview: Introducing the Project Activities for 2012

DELGOSEA Preview: Introducing the Project Activities for 2012

The countdown has begun – in ten months time, the DELGOSEA project funding will come to an end, the pilot cities will have implemented their best practice examples and a strengthened network will continue to cooperate and support municipalities across the region in their efforts to achieve and sustain democratic local governance. To reach this point, however, there is still a lot to be done and the DELGOSEA teams in all five project countries are looking forward to a busy few months.

Monitoring of the pilot cities

The most work-intensive and long-term activity will be the continuous monitoring of the pilot cities, which has already started in October 2011 and which is scheduled to finish in June 2012. By now, all cities have experienced their first monitoring visits, are receiving feedback from the monitoring teams and are adjusting their plans and activities accordingly. Additional training needs have been identified for most pilot cities, and these capacity building workshops will be taking part over the next few months. Depending on a city’s progress, there will be at least three more visits by the monitoring team responsible until it is clear that agreed targets will be met and a final monitoring report can be produced.

Policy Recommendations

There will also be a strong focus on finalizing policy recommendation in each country. Before the mid-term conference last September, all countries had prepared draft policy recommendations to improve national legislation and administrative procedures to favor good governance. These need to be updated in the light of the experiences of the pilot cities, which are emerging as part of the on-going monitoring of the best practice implementations. For this purpose, national workshops will take place in each country between February and May with the aim of producing a final draft, to be submitted to representatives of the respective national governments.

However, before these policy recommendations find their way into national government plans, there will be a regional workshop in Cambodia (who is chair of ASEAN during that period) to give the various LGAs and national experts the opportunity to exchange views across countries and engage in a dialogue with other DELGOSEA partners, aiming to further improve these recommendations and ensuring their relevance for each respective country. The hope is that a regular dialogue on these issues will be established between the different LGAS and the respective governments and parliaments.

Strategies for Sustainability

During the next months, each country is going to work on a country strategy for sustainability. This will be important steps to ensure the sustainability of replication and the exchange of best practices within each country.

Sustainability of the transnational network will also be one of the key concerns of the official network partners. All partners agree that the exchange of knowledge amongst local governments is an important factor for sustainable development. It is therefore our key concern to continue the exchange of best practices beyond the funding period. Several scenarios are currently being discussed. During the coming months, the plan will further be concretized.

Awarding pilot cities

Another task that will keep the national coordinators busy in the run up to the final conference is the selection of the pilot cities for the awards given for extraordinary efforts and results in the promotion of democratic governance. Criteria for these awards have already been agreed upon, and it is now up to the national DELGOSEA teams to critically look at the cities in their country to decide which of them qualifies for such an award. An exciting, but not necessarily easy job! The awards ceremony will be taking place during the final conference.

Documentation of Transfer Processes

Finally, DELGSOEA will publish its last round of publications. In addition to the best practices, the training manual and curricula/teaching guidelines, the last series is going to focus on the concrete experiences the pilot cities made during best practice replication. The documentation shall describe the methodology and approach which were taken to start replication. It shall also provide an overview of success stories from the field, as well as challenges, sustainability and recommendation for future actions. The publications are supposed to be published in English in July 2012.

Final Conference

Of course, no project can end without a final conference – DELGOSEA’s is planned for June 2012 to leave the DELGOSEA team enough time to wrap up the project and deal with reporting and the administrative side during the last few months. Taking place in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the two-day conference will gather the DELGOSEA project teams, partner and LGA representatives, representatives of the pilot cities, academia, media, national governments and CSOs who have been involved in the project from the beginning. The conference will be based on the final evaluation report as well as the monitoring reports from the 16 pilot cities and internal reports from each of the partners involved in the project. The results, but also the challenges encountered along the way, will be shared by the participants and discussed with assembled experts and stakeholders. There will also be a specific session about the lessons learnt during the whole project process, regarding the design of the transfer mechanisms and the role of different partners in the whole process. Of course, the question of sustainability and how LGAs can be further strengthened in their capacity to support their members in reform processes and transfer of best practices will not be neglected! Another strong focus will be on developing a plan how the informal network developed during the project’s lifetime can go on growing and how the promotion of democratic local governance can be continued in the region.

During the coming months, DELGOSEA will of course continue its communication and social media activities. As such, the network will inform about the processes and news in the monthly e-news, in short memos on the DELGOSEA website as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Besides, it is planned to publish two more highlights summing up the activities at the end of the project as well as a special edition on sustainability and the way ahead.