A three year study by the organization that represents local and regional governments across the world, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), highlights the urgent need to provide basic services the planet’s cities, whose population is set to grow by one and a half billion people over the next 15 years. “Basic Services for All in an Urbanizing World” is UCLG’s third Global Report on Local Democracy and Decentralization (GOLD III).
GOLD III highlights the critical role of basic services (water, sanitation, energy, transportation and solid waste management) in poverty reduction, economic development, and climate change adaptation. The report finds that the responsibility for the provision of basic services often falls to local and regional governments, and that “improvements to basic services are positively correlated with local government involvement in their provision.”
The report criticizes the Millennium Development Goal targets for assessing who has ‘improved’ water and sanitation by applying the same definitions to vastly different rural and urban contexts. It also points out that the monitoring of the MDGs at national level hides significant variation in their achievement within countries. GOLD III calls for a seat to be given to sub-national governments at the international negotiating table and for the ‘localization’ of all targets and indicators in the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.
GOLD III is already having a significant political impact through the international advocacy work of local and regional governments.
The report’s findings on the importance of appropriate basic service infrastructure in cities are being used to support UCLG’s campaign for a stand-alone urban sustainable development goal (#UrbanSDG).
UCLG is also using GOLD III to advocate for the localization of all targets and indicators in the post-2015 agenda in order to take account of rural and urban contexts, as well as other sub-national variations in the implementation and monitoring of international development goals. UNDP has invited the Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments to officially co-lead consultations on the localization of the post-2015 agenda. This is a step forward in the recognition of sub-national governments in UN development negotiations.
A global, local perspective: GOLD III is unique in its international scope, covering basic services in all of the major world regions: Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe, North America, Latin America, Eurasia and the Middle East and West Asia. The report is also unique in its methodology, having been drawn up by leading regional specialists working in close consultation with local elected representatives and local government practitioners with experience on the ground. Heading up this complex process was David Satterthwaite, the report’s Global Coordinator.
A draft Executive Summary of the report is available here.
The full report was published on June the 17th 2014. Order your copy here.Full recommendations of the report.