B3
Can strengthening of local governance help development in West Africa?

Convenors:
Sef Slootweg (GIZ - Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit)
Stream:
Environment, development and human rights
Location:
G50
Start time:
12 September, 2006 at 9:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

Four papers on local politics, finances, public services and performance of municipalities

Long abstract:

Success in development depends first and foremost on the will of the people concerned to invest, to try and on the courage to make mistakes. SNV supports local actors who show responsibility for their development. Four papers reflect research related to key sectors for change. The first paper is about the political realm: who gets elected in municipal countries and why? The case is women in Niger. The second paper concerns the financial resources in municipalities of Benin. Ownership over the development process starts with the courage and the will to mobilise internal resources from citizens for public investments. The third paper is about basic service delivery, how can a municipality under the given (financial) conditions of Burkina Faso improve its basic health services? Accountability is seen as key. And the fourth paper is about the impact of capacity strengthening services to the decentralisation process in Benin. Is there a relation between these services and the performance of municipalities? SNV (Netherlands Development Organisation) provides subsidised advisory services and technical assistance to local government institutions and civil society organisations in 31 countries. SNV works in various thematic areas, one of which is local governance. The goal of the advisory services in this area is to improve the local organisations' capacity to deliver or enhance public services and thus contribute to poverty reduction. Good research that goes beyond action research is needed to understand the possibilities and the limits of technical assistance. No space for further papers.