Sharing the DELGOSEA Experience at the Third International Conference on Local Government

Sharing the DELGOSEA Experience at the Third International Conference on Local Government
28/11/2012

Thailand

There was a strong DELGOSEA presence at the ‘The Third International Conference on Local Government’ (ICLG 2012) that took place on 15-16 November 2012 in Khon Kaen, Thailand. During two panel sessions, focusing on ‘Best practices in Local Government’, the benefits of best practice exchanges as well as the role of local government associations (LGAs) were explored.

The conference, which was organised by Khon Kaen University's College of Local Administration, and co-hosted by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung amongst others, was looking at all aspects of local government, including issues such as ‘Decentralisation and Political Development’, ‘Promotion and Preservation of Local Culture’ and ‘Collaboration and Networking’.

The first DELGOSEA session, ‘Strengthening Good Local Governance by Sharing Best Practices – the DELGOSEA Network’, was expertly introduced and chaired by Min Muny, the former DELGOSEA national coordinator for Cambodia. Two pilot cities and one best practice cities had the opportunity to share their experiences with local government representatives from around the world. The Eco-savers from Marikina, DELGOSEA’s most popular best practice city, gave an overview of their recipe for success, followed by presentations from Wakatobi and Pakkret, two pilot cities from Indonesia and Thailand respectively. In his introduction Min Muny outlined the ‘DELGOSEA approach’ and explained the secret of the network’s success. Ir Hugua, the Regent of Wakatobi, reinforced the message of learning from best practices in his very vivid presentation, showing the drastic changes to the environment that were achieved by replicating a project for ecological waste management from Muangklang in Thailand.

DELGOSEA was back on the second day with a very well attended session on ‘The Role of Local Government Associations in Promoting Reforms and Innovations’, chaired by Dr Paul Chamniern, a DELGOSEA stalwart from Thailand. Dendy Borman, Executive Director of the Association of Indonesian Regency Legislative Councils (ADKASI), Mayor Hernani Braganza, representing the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) as well as Lon Seangly from the National League of Commune and Sangkats (NLC/S) in Cambodia presented the perspective of the different LGAs, followed by a question and answer session.

Dendy Borman explained ADKASI’s plan to expand pilot cities in Indonesia, stressing that it was the role of LGAs to promote reform and innovation in local government. LGAs had an important part to play in advocacy on behalf and capacity building for their members as well as in the regional and international networking for good local governance. Lon Seangly added that one of the aims of NCL/S in Cambodia was to achieve democratic and decentralized administration that is effective, sustainable, transparent, accountable and self-reliant – a goal that found general agreement both on the panel and in the audience.

All speakers agreed: the next step for DELGOSEA is to promote the pilot cities to best practice cities and to make every effort to extend the replication process to other cities in the region.