CLGF works to promote and strengthen democratic local government across the Commonwealth and to encourage the exchange of best practice – through conferences and events, programmes and projects, and research and information. working with national and local governments to support the development of democratic values and good local governance.
CLGF’s strength lies in its membership whose representatives are the key players in local government in the Commonwealth and can be drawn into CLGF’s work as experts and influencers. CLGF is unique in bringing together central, provincial and local spheres of government involved in local government policy and decision-making. CLGF has more than 160 members in 40 Commonwealth countries including local government associations, individual local authorities, ministries dealing with local government.
The South African context
CLGF in partnership with SALGA is implementing a Good Practice Scheme (GPS) Project which is targeting seven municipalities and SALGA in South Africa. The project’s focus is on LED and it seeks to address targeted municipalities’ capacity challenges around LED. The Scheme promotes the mutual exchange learning and good practice between partner municipalities. This is done through technical exchanges, collaborative working, pilot projects, and sharing of good practice. The project is part of the wider Commonwealth Good GPS which is being implemented in six Commonwealth countries namely India, Ghana, Jamaica, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Pakistan.
The central focus of the current phase of the GPS project is to “Improve the delivery of local authority services essential to the achievement of the MDGs ... through the spread of good practice”. The project seeks to assist and enable selected local authorities in South Africa to increase their capacity to provide services vital to the achievement of one or several MDGs. The project will contribute to the Good Practice Scheme’s overall purpose of “Improving capability - effectiveness, responsiveness, and accountability, in sustainable forms - of participating local authorities in target countries to serve their citizens.” The following partnership projects have been set up so far:
Mbombela Local Municipality Sunderland Project: Building Bridges for Economic Development: Businesses and Communities
- Steve Tshwete- Leeds City Council and eThekwini Municipalities Creating sustainable economies: Municipal support for SMMEs
- Vhembe District Municipality and (Gondal) Rajkot Panchayat- India: Poverty Reduction and creation of jobs through the establishment of cooperatives and development of Agricultural Markets.
Mopani District Municipality and Trivandrum Panchayat, India: Sustainable Agriculture for Economic Growth
- Amathole District Municipality and Glasgow Municipality.