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City to City Dialogue “From Local Government Self-Assessment to Implementation"

Categories: City-to-City, News | Author: Monika Kresic | Posted: 6/23/2016 | Views: 3317
June 18-21, 2013

City to City Dialogue “From Local Government Self-Assessment to Implementation” was held on June 18-21, 2013 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The workshop was organized by the World Bank Institute as part of the WB-Austria Urban Partnership Program (UPP).

The C2C workshop was attended by over 90 participants, including municipal financial officers and urban planners, representatives of ministries of finance, NALAS, Local Government Associations (LGAs), as well as representatives from NGOs and the Donor community.  

This C2C workshop was devoted to discuss how to improve the existing disconnect between budget preparation and investment programming at the local government level,  as well as capital investment planning practices. It also aimed to synthesize the main lessons learned through the application of the Municipal Finance Self-Assessment Tool (MFSA), the Land Use/Urban Planning Self-Assessment Tool (UPSA), the Municipal Finance Review (MFR), and the Urban Audit.  The workshop also discussed ways towards the institutionalization of the existing self-assessment tools by local governments, Local Government Associations, and NALAS. 

Since the Program’s inception over 40 municipalities in the Balkans are currently engaged in carrying out self-assessment tools designed to help municipal leaders develop a comprehensive understanding of their cities’ finances and land use/urban planning practices – and empower them in shaping sound solutions going forward.  The Municipal Finance Self-Assessment (MFSA) helps assess a city’s financial health and to identify specific actions to improve mobilization of local resources, public spending, public assets management and maintenance, investment programming and access to external financing.  The Land Use/Urban Planning Self-Assessment (UPSA) helps assemble a diagnostic in the area of spatial and land use planning; compare their performance against other cities in the region, qualitatively and quantitatively; and establish a common ground for discussions and actionable ideas on how to modernize spatial planning and land management further, to support local economic development and improve quality of life of the citizens.  In addition, the workshop discussed lessons from the Urban Audit, a self-assessment on urban services and infrastructure (physical investments) currently piloted in Macedonia.  The Urban Audit will be rolled out in other municipalities in SEE region in order to address the increasing demand for support to investments programming.

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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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