Best practices

The progress of decentralisation in recent decades has been remarkable in almost all regions of the world. Local and regional governments have led the way in accepting and implementing new responsibilities as a result of decentralisation. There is, therefore, a wide range of successful decentralisation initiatives led by municipalities, cities, provinces, departments and regions and their associations. Together, these initiatives represent extremely valuable know-how both for local and regional governments as well as for central governments, bilateral agencies, UN agencies and international organisations in general that set up or support the development of governmental decentralisation processes.

Aware of the usefulness of a tool to compile successful initiatives in issues of decentralisation, the UCLG Decentralisation and Local Self-Government Committee has launched the database of best practices in decentralisation and local governance.

The creation of the database of best practices in decentralisation and local governance serves several purposes:

  • It enables the exchange and transferability of knowledge and experience in decentralisation at local level between actors from different regions of the world. 
  • It promotes debate on decentralisation and the role of local governments.  
  • It reveals the worth of the important role that local governments perform in providing services to citizens.  
  • It contributes to the operation of the International Guidelines on Decentralisation and the Strengthening of Local Authorities, as well as the Guidelines on Access to Basic Services for All of UN-Habitat. 
  • It contributes to the work carried out by the Global Observatory on Decentralisation and Local Democracy of UCLG.

The pace at which decentralisation advances is different depending on the countries and regions. As a consequence, the experiences compiled in the database of best practices on decentralisation and local governance reflect this diversity. These experiences are selected from the 10 criteria for decentralisation and local governance which shape a set of principles for democratic and effective decentralisation. The leading practices will be disseminated through The Publication D+ on Decentralisation and Local Self-Government.

Best practices list: