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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.
Decentralisation is not always easily implemented and many developing countries have failed or are failing to introduce effective decentralised governance systems. But why? Francois Vaillancourt from the University of Montreal, Canada, considers the obstacles, conditions for success and how these might be relevant to European Commission staff.
Public sector reform is all too often hindered by the perception that change is being imposed from the outside, according to Rebecca Joshua Okwaci, Under Secretary for Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resources in the Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan.
The government of Morocco is engaged in an ambitious programme of public sector reform. Some eight years into the programme, experience shows that such reform is time consuming and requires cross-ministerial support and robust regulation to be successful, writes Pierre Hennebert, E4 EuropeAid in a new report.
European Commission staff are already participating in online discussion forums and recently, a discussion group was launched on decentralisation and local governance, feeding into a workshop in Brussels in July. "I am a task manager for local governance and civil society in A. I only arrived a month ago and I am therefore still trying to get my head around this very complex issue. I greatly welcome this initiative both in terms of support but also in terms of having a good channel of communication with other delegations."
The regional workshops provide an occasion for colleagues working on democratic governance to meet and exchange experiences and ideas. This year, key topics included presentations and discussions on:
A recent two day planning and knowledge exchange workshop to address institutional change gave a boost to the implementation of the Comprehensive Institution Building Programme, bringing together some 25 colleagues from EuropeAid headquarters and representatives from European Union delegations in five of the six eastern partnership (EaP) countries.
Rather than corruption being seen as something inherently negative, it should be understood as a practice embedded in the everyday elements of a society, according to a study on everyday corruption in Africa.
The European Commission, like many other donor agencies, is providing growing levels of funds to support decentralisation and local governance in partner countries.
Capacity4dev Team created a new Article 20 April 2010
To strengthen local governments across Africa, donors would be advised to spend more time and resources in researching and understanding local systems, according to Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi a key expert from the region. Mr Mbassi, from Cameroon, is a well known expert in decentralisation and has worked for years to promote decentralisation and local governance in Africa. He is currently the Secretary General of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa, a gathering of 15,000 local authorities from the continent.

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