The Role of Local Governments in the Local Public Sector

Inclusive development is achieved when men and women, rich and poor, are increasingly empowered over their lives. This happens when the public sector provides people with better public services, and when people have greater control over the way in which they interact with the public sector. This has two important implications for the role that local governments play in achieving global and national development objectives:

  • Local governments should be empowered to take on a significant role in improving local services and promoting economic development, whether as a provider of local services themselves or as a catalyst for more effective delivery of services by higher levels. In many countries, this requires promoting an intergovernmental framework in which local governments have meaningful discretion over their political, administrative and fiscal affairs.
  • In order for local governments to provide services in a responsive, effective, and accountable manner, they should be held to high standards of participation, transparency and accountability. Unfortunately, dynamic and inclusive local leadership does not always emerge by itself, thus requiring central government to provide a framework for responsive and accountable local governance.

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In order for local governments to serve their constituents in an efficient and accountable manner, local governments may require assistance to transform themselves from traditional local government entities into high-performing local government organizations that use collaborative governance approaches and modern public administration techniques.

The LPS Initiative seeks to promote the strengthening of local governments, and seeks to work with local governments and their organizations to ensure that they become better servants of the needs of their communities.