Expert Group Meeting on Subnational Finance and Financing for Development

 Finance and Financing for Development

On 29 November 2017, UCLG participated in an expert meeting organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), with the support of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and UN-Habitat on Subnational Finance and Financing for Development.

On Wednesday 29 November, UCLG participated in the Expert group meeting on Subnational Finance of the inter-agency task force (IATF-FfD) in preparation for the next Financing for Development Follow-up Forum. The meeting focused on providing inputs to monitor and report on the achievement of the Addis Ababa Agenda for Action.

With the support of UCLG, UNCDF and UN-HABITAT, Paul Smoke presented a note to contribute to IATF-FfD 2018 progress report on the conditions for improving funding at the local level and strengthening the role of community actors in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular of SDG 11. The report provides a brief summary of the instruments available to local and regional authorities for their funding and the reforms needed to strengthen local capacities, transparency and the mobilization of local, internal and external resources. In its annex, the note reviews the main indicators available for monitoring paragraph 34 of the Addis Ababa Agenda for Action.

David Jackson, Director of the Local Development Finance Division at UNCDF, highlighted the challenge by reminding participants that States committed to paragraph 34 to support local governments in building their capacity to mobilize resources and access funding to fulfill these responsibilities and invest in sustainable development. However, many of the commitments included in this paragraph are not accompanied by "means of implementation" or indicators to facilitate the monitoring of their implementation.

Edgardo Bilsky, Director of Studies at UCLG, emphasized the need to strengthen financial decentralization, to grant local and regional governments sufficient financial autonomy, in particular to develop effective strategies involving enhanced and diversified local taxation. UCLG stressed the need to ensure fairer distribution of national resources to local and regional governments and improve their  access to international resources to be invest in metropolitan areas, intermediate cities and territories. Various partners acknowledged  the importance of the Observatory of Subnational Government Finance and Investment, and its pilot study lanched in 2016 by the OECD and UCLG, for the follow-up of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

Marco Kamiya, head of the Urban Economy and Finance Branch at UN-Habitat, presented the work under way to analyze the financing of cities as part of their database under development, to highlight the tremendous gaps between the financing of cities in developed countries and the cities of least developed countries whose amount (less than € 26 per person per year) do not allow local authorities to provide essential services.

It is expected that this brief document, together with the conclusions of the expert group meeting, will contribute to the drafting of the IATF-FfD progress report to be presented at the next Financing for Development Follow-up Forum in April 2018


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