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5.3 Promoting DLGTD though smart projects

Page created by
Jorge Rodriguez Bilbao5 April 2017

Supporting DLGTD is about facilitating policy and institutional changes that transform the sub-national system of governance and public administration and make it developmental. There are two types of orientation that can be taken:

  • Support to national DLGTD policy implementation (through budget support, standard projects…)

  • Support to national DLGTD policy development and innovation (through smart projects…)

Supporting a national DLGTD policy development and innovation from below means:

  • creating a “safe space” where innovative policy and institutional solutions could be locally experimented,

  • drawing lessons from an experimental work conducted through project modalities.

Lessons emerging from BS modalities could be combined with those emerging from project modalities to feed into a more realistic and more strategic policy dialogue and contribute to feasible and incremental policy reforms ‘from below’.

What are smart projects?

Smart projects offer a laboratory
to pilot policy and institutional innovations on the ground
so as to test out and scale up workable approaches from the bottom up


Smart project have a broader and more ambitious remit than standard project, they can help demonstrate that, given improved autonomy and accountability conditions, LAs can make a real difference in the country’s development. To achieve this goal, externally supported projects should seek to promote two types of partnerships between the various actors involved in DLGTD:

Verticle and Horizontal partnerships in a smart project using a TALD

The scope of project aid to DLGTD

Project aid to DLGTD may be stand-alone projects; part of sector-wide programmes; or accompanying measures to budget support operations. They tend to fall into three broad categories:

The scope of project aid to DLGTD

The main ingredients of a smart project

The distinguishing feature of smart projects in support of DLGTD is that they are conceived as inclusive processes of policy and institutional experimentation typically carried out within one or several LA jurisdictions, and involving an often complex network of actors on, above and below the local level.
Experience shows three feature characterising successful smart projects:

Smart project features as applied in Madagascar's ACORDS programme support for DLGTD


To go further... read this

  • New guidelines on supporting decentralisation, local governance and local development through a territorial approach - section 14

  • Key ingredients of a smart project

  • Case studies: Pakistan and Uganda


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