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Decentralised Cooperation
What would happen if everyone gave €1 a year for development cooperation? Citizens from Coulaines, a commune in France, are showing what’s possible: they have helped bring water to 15,000 people in their twin-town Kouré, some 5,000 km away in Niger.
 When you think about development challenges, a lack of trained accountants might not immediately come to mind. Yet poor public sector financial management is often at the root of patchy service delivery in other sectors, from health and education to transport. South Africa recognised this underlying issue, and with EU support embarked on a capacity development programme.
“Although development is a global [issue], the implementation is always local. Because it’s at this level that it is most effective,” said Mr Khalifa Sall, President of United Cities and Local Governments and Mayor of Dakar. He believes that including local authorities in sustainable development is only ‘natural’. So what does it take to unite the European Commission and Local Authorities?
Decentralisation as a political process has existed for decades, though with mixed results in improving people’s lives. Many reforms failed to promote local development because they were not designed to do so.
Capacity4dev Team created a new Article 26 January 2015
Director General of DG DEVCO and Chair of the Policy Forum on Development (PFD), Fernando Frutuoso de Melo, opened the forum’s meeting in October last year by talking about the importance of 2015. "It is the end of the Millennium Development Goals, and a whole set of new, universal goals will be negotiated in the United Nations. It is also the year of the international climate negotiations in Paris, where hopefully a new consensus on combatting climate change will be reached. For that reason the European Union decided to follow your suggestion and have the first ever European year dedicated to international cooperation and development."
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays an important role in development today. For Jorge Rodriguez, Quality Support Manager in the Civil Society, Local Authorities Unit at EuropeAid, online media provided the answer to communicating complex issues on decentralisation to colleagues working in the field.
How to strengthen the involvement of civil society in public life? Three new case studies from EuropeAid illustrate good practice from three different corners of the world.
About 80 development practitioners, representatives of civil society organisations, local authorities and members of European institutions exchanged on the New Communication on Civil Society, and the post-2015 Development Agenda. They stressed the need to involve civil society and local authorities, particularly during their first discussion on the new Thematic Programme on Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and Local Authorities (LA).
The complexities, gains and future direction of the EU Support to Decentralisation processes were highlighted last month when specialists met in Brussels for the presentation of the evaluation of ten years of support, 2000-2009.
In Senegal, the Forum Civil has established a citizen-led "good governance" label that rewards local authorities for giving citizens value for money. This innovative approach could prove to be decisive to decentralised Senegalese local authorities by assisting them to become more effective service providers.

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