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Book Launch: Municipal Finances - A Handbook for Local Governments

Categories: Other Events | Author: Monika Kresic | Posted: 6/23/2016 | Views: 3638
June 19, 2014

June 26, 2014―There is a huge gap in cities between the needs of citizens and the resources available to help them. Today, more than 3.5  billion of the world’s people live in cities. This is why it is very important for cities to look for savings, prioritize their expenditures, and focus on the frontier issues facing them. The task of getting municipal finances right is urgent and daunting, but eminently reachable.

Municipal officials are not only dealing with the day-to-day management of the city, but they also have to increasingly address issues of social inclusion, local economic development, job creation, crime and violence, climate change and natural and man-made disasters, to name a few. They are also expected to welcome increasing numbers of people moving into their cities and to deal with an increasing number of informal settlements. This municipal agenda comes with a very high price tag.Municipalities have to find the resources needed to meet this challenging mandate, and there are no quick solutions, no one size fits all. Therefore, getting finances right is crucial for the success of cities and indeed national governments.

Citizens interface with government mostly at the local level, and are in fact, the face of government to a large part of the population. Therefore, if municipal services are effective, this builds the citizens’ trust in their government as a whole. Services affect the quality of life, which is important to citizens, and the efficiency and productivity of urban areas are important and key to national growth overall.

At the launch of their recently published book, Municipal Finances, A Handbook for Local Governments, Catherine Farvacque-Vitkovic and Mihaly Kopanyi emphasized the practical lessons for municipalities on managing their finances.

Full story available on the following link: http://wbi.worldbank.org/wbi/stories/municipal-finances-why-local-governments-need-care-about-issue

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Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Cities

Worldwide, local governments face an increasing demand from the growing urban population to provide basic infrastructure and services, promote more inclusive growth, adapt to climate change, and mitigate risks from disasters. Although development pathways differ because of regional and local variations, one consistent pattern has emerged: economic prosperity most often occurs in cities.

Cities can reduce poverty and expand individual and national prosperity. The bulk of economic activities take place in cities; urban centers attract business, trade and other service industries, and offer dense labor markets with the ability to move products over smaller distances, shortening the supply chain. However, cities in South-East Europe (SEE) do not yet harvest their full potential to contribute to economic prosperity and deliver better quality of life for their citizens. They face a number of challenges such as climate change, natural disasters, increasing global competition and financial instability. At the same time, cities have room for improvement: they can use their own resources more efficiently and also possess a huge potential for energy efficiency.

In order to address these challenges the World Bank and Government of Austria have partnered to launch the Urban Partnership Program (UPP) aimed to strengthen the capacity of local governments in South-East Europe, to promote city to city exchange and peer learning within and beyond Europe and to equip local elected officials, city administrators and technical staff with practical tools for decision-making, to effectively manage urban development for inclusive and sustainable growth. While global in scope, this Program is targeted at South-East Europe, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. 

The Program is structured into three product lines to reflect the demand: E-learning & Knowledge products: Global curriculum through World Bank Open Learning Campus and Regional/local Partners: NALAS (E-Academy), LGAs; Connectivity through City to City Dialogues on Municipal Finance, Urban Planning & Land Management; and Sustainability through In depth city engagement, including self-assessment tools (Municipal Finance Self-Assessment and Urban Audit) and participatory methodologies (Integrity Building and Social Sustainability & Citizen Engagement). 

Where We Work in South-East Europe (Phase I)

 

 

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"The MFSA tool is very useful and can help LGs assess their financial performance and look for additional financing. On the other hand, it is a huge responsibility to translate the budget into strategies that will drive LG's development",
Reisa Duraj, Head of Finance and Treasure Relations Sector of the Shkoder Municipality, Albania

"This capacity building program will enhance knowledge and skills of local governments, particularly of medium and large cities."


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