Decentralization and local good governance, ensuring development in line with the needs of communities

Figure: A large administration building is surrounded by four smaller buildings overlaid by objects symbolising decision-making powers and financial resources.
The SDC supports administrative reforms that allow powers and financial resources to be devolved from central to local government. © SDC

The majority of national policies are implemented on a devolved basis, i.e. at provincial level or within rural or urban communities. However, the communities concerned often lack the necessary expertise or resources. The SDC aims to address this through a realignment of the capabilities and finances needed to promote effective delivery of public services. This is the best way to attain the global objectives for sustainable development backed by Switzerland. 

The SDC believes that the concerns of local communities are better addressed at local level. The representatives of public-sector organisations usually have greater insight into the developmental needs of local communities and are more readily accessible to citizens. It is easier to manage and maintain an overview of economic and social conditions in medium-sized economies. It is also easier to organise cooperative development projects in this context. Communities are more likely to work on solutions in their specific locality.

The necessary conditions can be established by transferring decision-making powers, responsibility for public services and the requisite funding to decentralised bodies. However, the danger remains that mismanagement, the unjust enrichment of elites and inequality may permeate down to lower levels of government. As a result, the SDC also works to strengthen decentralised forms of good governance, including the efficient management of funds, transparency, public participation and accountability, with the ultimate aim of supporting local development for the benefit of all population groups. 

Supporting decentralisation reforms

Decentralisation reforms facilitate coordinated measures for transferring functions, decision-making powers and budgetary resources and promote effective interaction between different levels of government. To this end, the SDC supports broad-based dialogue on reforms and, for example, encourages local associations to address the concerns of their members. The SDC provides the expertise required by the relevant local bodies to ensure that responsibilities are properly shared and financial powers defined. Alongside economic considerations and efficiency criteria, the SDC is guided by the principle of subsidiarity, i.e. the principle that decisions should be taken as closely as possible to citizens. 

Enhancing good governance at local level

The SDC supports government agencies in delivering relevant services at local level (e.g. education and health, waste management, land-use planning and economic development). It helps agencies consolidate their planning and oversight authority and provides encouragement and guidance on consulting a range of social interest groups. It also supports measures to improve practices relating to data, public information and reporting. The SDC encourages local authorities to diversify their funding base by raising taxes or other forms of finance to help implement their plans. It also promotes balanced accounting and transparent budget management. The SDC also focuses on local parliaments and courts as well as ensuring involvement of citizens and the media to participate with critical scrutiny and public debate to balanced decision-making and reporting. 

Promoting economic development at local level

The development areas targeted by the SDC may extend beyond administrative borders or combine rural regions with urban development centres. Such areas may not be covered by central government. Switzerland therefore promotes measures to support coordinated development projects through partnerships between the public and private sectors and social interest groups. The SDC supports joint planning processes based on an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of local economies and the opportunities and risks involved. It also promotes cooperation between devolved bodies, advising local authorities, for example, on creating optimum conditions for private sector investment. Such advice may cover matters such as market infrastructure, transport routes, methods of communication, transparent tax policy, legislative frameworks and legal certainty, with a view to creating better employment and income-earning opportunities.

Current projects

Object 37 – 48 of 215

Kyrgyzstan Electoral Support Programme (KESP)

01.05.2020 - 31.12.2021

The programme aims at promoting fair, inclusive, transparent and peaceful elections in Kyrgyzstan by building technical capacities and expertise of key institutions responsible for administering elections and by empowering Kyrgyz citizens, including underrepresented groups like women, youth, ethnic minorities and persons with disabilities, to participate and exercise their electoral rights.

 

 

 


Governance and Decentralisation Programme Exit Phase (GDP Exit Phase)

Khoroo organizers participate in “Citizen-centered civil service” training organized by the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar Training Center established in 2017.

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2022

The Exit Phase of the Governance and Decentralisation Programme will consolidate achievements of previous two phases to support decentralisation and democratisation reforms. It will focus on institutionalisation and ensuring sustainability of results to contribute to equitable and sustainable development through decentralized service delivery and enhanced citizen engagement in public affairs, including in the urban areas. Swiss expertise and Swiss decentralisation model will be used.  


PARIS21 Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century - Contribution 2020-2022

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2022

The Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) is a global partnership of national, regional and international statisticians, development professionals and policy makers seeking to improve evidence-based decision making mainly in low-income developing countries. The main accent of PARIS21’s activities is to stimulate the dialogue between data producers and users and act as a knowledge hub in the field of statistical capacity building.


Civil Registry System Reform Project in Tajikistan (CRR)

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2023

SDC assists the Ministry of Justice in its efforts to replace the paper-based civil registry system with a more efficient electronic civil registry system. This new system and the planned outreach activities will help people across the country in obtaining their vital documents faster and in better quality from the civil registry offices; this will help them to protect and claim their rights in relation to schooling, alimonies,  migration, healthcare and even voting. Moreover, the new civil registry system will also help the government to better plan and monitor its services provided to the population including in the education, health and labor sector.


Trail Bridge Sub-Sector Program

01.12.2019 - 30.11.2023

The project supports the Government of Nepal to institutionalize trail bridge building under the new federal structure. Due to the ongoing state restructuring process, Swiss support is required for a last phase to ensure the transfer of the institutional and human capacity built-up in trail bridges over the past four decades to the new state and local governments. Walking remains a major mode of travel in Nepal, and trail bridges are still essential for people to access basic public services


Myanmar: Support to the 2020 Elections

01.12.2019 - 31.12.2021

Switzerland contributes to credible, transparent, inclusive and free of violence or intimidation national elections in 2020 through a partnership with International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). Swiss support will facilitate inclusive reform of the electoral framework, strengthen the capacities of the Union Election Commission as well as increase information and access to electoral process with a focus on women and marginalized groups


Engaged People - Strong municipalities

01.11.2019 - 31.12.2030

Molodova has the most fragmented sytem of local governments in the South-East Europe. People's dissatisfaction with quality of services is high and participatory decision-making is not common. Local governance reforms launched by the Government are being pursued in a centralized manner. Switzerland will support moldova through a two-pronged approach supporting citizens (in enhancing participation and social accountability) and institutions (in improving public service provision), particularly in rural areas.  


Strengthening Governance and Human Rights in Central America

Natural Resources Governance Dialogue

01.10.2019 - 30.09.2022

The program strengthens the capacities and the presence of the Inter-American Human Rights System in Central America in order to ensure the follow-up on court judgements and recommendations, to educate employees of the justice sector, to report on the Human Rights situation and to strengthen the protection of Human Rights defenders. The program further promotes dialogue on natural resource management among governments, the private sector, indigenous peoples, and Afro-descendants.


Somalia: Strengthening State Institutions for better service delivery

01.09.2019 - 31.12.2022

Building state institutions and the capabilities of the Somali government to implement better services is of primary importance to realize the developmental objectives contained in the Somalia National Development Plan (NDP) and the Sustainable Development Goals. With the contribution to the World Bank Multi-Partner Fund (MPF) Switzerland will support the rebuilding of core state functions and the socio-economic recovery in Somalia.


Unterstützung des Weltentwicklungsprogramms (UNDP) zur Förderung der Krisenprävention und -bewältigung (2019 – 2021)

01.09.2019 - 31.12.2021

Laut einer Studie von UNO und Weltbank spart jeder Franken, der in Konfliktprävention investiert wird, mindestens 16 Franken an humanitärer Hilfe, Blauhelmsoldaten und wirtschaftlichen Kosten. Die Prävention und Bewältigung von Krisen mit den Mitteln der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit ist im Interesse der Schweiz. Die Unterstützung von vier Initiativen des Weltentwicklungsprogramms (UNDP) fördert gezielt Frieden und Sicherheit, Rechtstaatlichkeit und demokratische Institutionen. Die Schweiz beeinflusst dadurch auch die Gesamtausrichtung von UNDP.


Support to Aid Management and Coordination in Somalia

01.09.2019 - 30.06.2021

The project will support capacity development of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) in the fields of Aid Coordination and Aid Effectiveness. This will contribute to the international community’s commitment to support the implementation of the New Partnership for Somalia (NPS) and National Development Plan (NDP) through strengthening national capacities for effective aid management and coordination.


Switzerland Co-Chair GPEDC

01.09.2019 - 31.12.2021

In 2019, Switzerland was elected Co-Chair of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC). The GPEDC has an important role in supporting the implementation of the Agenda 2030 at the country level by supporting effective partnerships. Through the GPEDC, Switzerland will advance the Agenda 2030 incl. «leave no one behind», deepen dialogue and engagement with Southern providers, incl. China, contribute to «data for development» and SDG data and support the review of the Global Monitoring Framework for the commitments to development effectiveness.

Object 37 – 48 of 215