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First DELGOSEA workshop in Laos

First DELGOSEA workshop in Laos

For the first time ever, DELGOSEA met in Vientiane, Laos, for an intensive two-day workshop at the end of July 2014 to set up internal decision-making structures and to brainstorm on how local governments could best be prepared for the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community.

First of all, however, DELGOSEA had to attend to some internal matters. The time had come to introduce some proper administrative structures and the network decided to set up the Network Council which consists of two representatives nominated by the National Steering Boards of each country. The participants of the workshop, who were to a large extent members of the Network Council, unanimously elected four board members: Marisa Lerias from the League of the Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) as coordinator, Sokhany Prak from the Cambodian Civil Society Partnership (CCSP) as deputy coordinator, Benedikt Seemann from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) as treasurer and Atik Dewi Kumala from UCLG ASPAC as secretary.

As the exchange of best practices remains one of the core activities of DELGOSEA, updates from all countries on new best practices was of great interest to all participants. Great and innovative examples were presented particularly from Indonesia and the Philippines, with the issue of disaster risk reduction emerging as the most relevant one for most of the countries present.

The really pressing topic, though, was the upcoming introduction of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which requires economic integration and standardisation of business practices from all ASEAN countries. How well are local governments actually prepared for this? The picture that emerged from the LGAs present at the meeting was decidedly mixed – in some countries the AEC had been discussed already at national members meetings and workshops for local government representatives were being planned.  Others were only beginning to develop an information campaign. All LGAs present drew up a draft roadmap for economic integration and are working on having a strategy in place by the end of August 2014. Next year’s LAG activities are likely to be dominated by the AEC!

However, the meeting will be remembered most for the emotional farewell to Peter Koeppinger, the former country director of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in the Philippines, who had been in charge of DELGOSEA since the network’s conception in early 2010. He had done more than anybody else to shape the network and put it onto its course to success, and he will be missed. However, his place in the DELGOSEA network will be taken by his successor in Manila, Benedikt Seemann, who was warmly welcomed by all participants. 

For more information on the recent DELGOSEA workshop in Laos on

Auf Wiedersehen Peter – and Willkommen Benedikt

New Leadership for the DELGOSEA Standing Committee