Passing the Baton to the LGAs

Mr Dendy Borman, Executive Director, Association of Indonesia Regency Legislative Councils (ADKASI)  Mr Vijai Amaralikit, Chairman of Sub Committee on Environment, City Planning and Civil Engineering (MLT),  Dr Nguyen Ninh Thuc, Vice-General Secretary, Association of Cities of Vietnam (ACVN),  Mr Chhim Sopheark, Communication Officer, National League of Communes/ Sangkats (NLC/S), Cambodia  Mayor Hernani Braganza, Secretary-General, League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP)


The Local Government Associations (LGAs), representing the local governments in the five project countries, have always played an important part in the DELGOSEA project. Over the last few months, however, their role in supporting pilot cities and ensuring the continuation of best practice exchanges has become even more crucial. The DELGOSEA project is coming to an end, the national coordinators are moving on – it is time, therefore, for the LGAs to step up and take center stage in the transnational exchange of best practices and the advocacy for democratic local governance on the ASEAN level.

The LGAs have been well prepared for this task through their close cooperation with the DELGOSEA project teams in all five countries and they all have developed some ideas on how to ensure sustainability and continue the networking. A special session during DELGOSEA’s final conference was devoted to them sharing their plans and initiatives with the more than 150 participants. It was heartening to hear that all of the LGAs have already begun to disseminate information on existing and potentially new pilot cities through their websites and newsletters and intend to keep this up in the future. Promoting knowledge sharing through training courses, seminars and exchange visits between member cities is also high on the list of LGAs' priorities. Encouragingly, all plan to maintain their support for the best practice model and to encourage more attempts of replication.

Beyond these activities common to all, different LGAs are taking individual approaches, suited to their members' needs. ACVN, the Association of Vietnam Cities, for example, aims to create connections between the various international projects that ACVN is partner in and to formulate recommendations to the state authorities and provincial governments on the improvement of the legal framework. ADKASI, one of the four Indonesian LGAs, representing the regency councils in Indonesia is keen to continue the advocacy work for new laws that has started under the DELGOSEA banner and to strengthen the cooperation on the national and regional level between LGAs, national governments, CSO and universities. In Cambodia, the National League of Communes/Sangkats (NLC/S) is concentrating on improved cooperation with CSOs to encourage cooperation between LAs and CSOs, promoting the extension of best practices into other areas.

The Municipal League of Thailand (MLT), Thailand's influential LGA, outlined its concept of learning centers, five of which have already been established, to help cities and municipalities to learn from each other’s experiences. In this context, it was also encouraging to hear that MLT has secured funding from the EU for supporting cooperation between cities that have pledged to lower their environmental pollution, aiming to become low-carbon cities. In the Philippines, institutionalization is seen as the key to sustainability - the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) has integrated best practices exchanges into its offer of support to members and is in the process of developing a virtual knowledge platform of examples. The LCP is also keen to extend knowledge exchange on the ASEAN and APEC level.

For the DELGOSEA coordination team it was encouraging to hear these well thought-out plans and to know that support for pilot cities will continue to be available – a strong network has been build that can sustain itself.