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Exit Strategies: Continuing DELGOSEA in Each Project Country

02/10/2012

DELGOSEA has reached the last month of its incarnation as a EU-cofinanced project – from 1 November 2012 onwards, the network will start its new life as an independent cooperation of local government actors throughout Southeast Asia. This step has been well prepared and all project countries have developed a so-called exit strategy to ensure that DELOGSEA activities will continue. It will be more of a new beginning than an exit!

In all five countries the Local Government Associations (LGAs), representing the local governments, will play an important role in ensuring the sustainability of the project results. These organizations have been an integral part of the DELGOSEA project and have all agreed to increase their commitment to the transnational exchange of best practices and the advocacy for democratic local governance on the ASEAN level. All of the LGAs have already begun to disseminate information on existing and potentially new pilot cities through their websites and newsletters and intend to keep this up in the future. Promoting knowledge sharing through training courses, seminars and exchange visits between member cities is also high on the list of LGAs' priorities. Encouragingly, all plan to maintain their support for the best practice model and to support more replication attempts.

 

However, the individual countries’ exit strategies go beyond simply relying on the LGAs to keep up the momentum. In Thailand, for example, one of the strategic approaches will be to integrate the model of best practice replication into urban development planning and implementation, ensuring thereby that the system of sharing good ideas in local government across borders will become institutionalized. The Thai project partner, the Thailand Environment Institute (TEI), will also continue with capacity building for coaches whose role it is to accompany pilot cities in their replication process – the support from the coaches has been identified as one of the key factors in successful project implementation.

 

While relying quite heavily on the support of their LGA, the National League of Communes/Sangkats (NLC/S), the Cambodian pilot cities stress the importance of training and capacity building of local governments. They also see exposure to more best practice models as a way forward. Advocacy in support of decentralisation – which would pave the way for stronger local governance and a more vigorous exchange of best practices on the local level – also features high on the list of priorities in Cambodia.

 

Vietnam is another country where the responsibility for ensuring a continuation of DELGOSEA’s work lies mainly with the LGA, in this case the Association of Cities of Vietnam (ACVN). One of its aims is to create connections between the various international projects that ACVN is partner in and to formulate recommendations to the state authorities and provincial governments on the improvement of the legal framework. Knowledge sharing, both related to these international projects and within the country, is another element of the Vietnamese sustainability strategy.

 

The Philippines are taking a holistic approach to the continuation of best practice exchanges, involving not just the different LGAs, but also local government units (LGUs) themselves as well as civil society organisations (CSOs) and drawing on the expertise of the Philippine partner of the DELGOSEA project, the Local Government Development Foundation (LOGODEF). The emphasis will be on the promotion of existing DELGOSEA best practices through these organisations, as well as on encouraging the pilot cities to institutionalise their best practice by enacting relevant ordinances. Making sure that best practices become integrated into local development plans is another way of ensuring that activities will continue.

 

The LGAs will also be playing a crucial role in assisting the continuation of best practice exchanges in Indonesia. Apart from the information sharing and training role that the LGAs, especially ADKASI and APEKSI are taking on, they will focus heavily on the regulatory framework for local government cooperation, continuing the advocacy work for new laws that has started under the DELGOSEA banner and to strengthen the cooperation on the national and regional level between LGAs, national governments, CSO and universities.

Further News on Sustainability on www.DELGOSEA.eu:

Where Do we Go from Here – Continuing the Advocacy for Democratic Local Governance Throughout ASEAN

For the Pilot Cities the Journey Continues