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Knowledge Sharing Programme on Local Governance

Agriculture and Rural Poverty Programme

GLAFAD PROJECTS - Knowledge Sharing Programme on Local Governance

At independence, most African governments were centralized in nature. Devolution remained merely administrative without meaningful political or financial decentralization. Poor decentralization or lack of it resulted in dismal provision of services and poor accountability to constituencies. Consequently, the 1990s witnessed adoption of local governance reforms intended to improve service delivery, increase accountability to communities and more importantly, to devolve resources. Over the last two decades, numerous policies have been developed to transform and restructure local governance.

Municipalities have achieved varying levels of success in implementing policies. In the course of implementing local governance policies, a wealth of experience has accumulated that can be used to inform policy implementation. However, a glaringly missing input is the lack of a knowledge sharing platform for local governments to distil best practice and cross-fertilize their ideas on policy implementation. Progressive local government needs to work collaboratively to ensure that they enhance their capabilities in serving their constituencies. A knowledge sharing platform accords municipalities opportunities to learn from each other and culminate into fresh, creative solutions to deal with local governance challenges.

GLAFAD bridges the knowledge sharing gap in local government by providing a platform for local governments to share knowledge based on their experience in implementing existing local governance policies. The knowledge sharing sessions are based on specific themes built around local governance policies including finance policies, intergovernmental relations, performance management and public participation policies. GLAFAD will also conduct applied research to distil lessons of experience on policy implementation in order to highlight opportunities and constraints encountered as well as the approaches applied by municipalities to deal with the same. A secondary benefit of the knowledge sharing platform is that the policymakers will become aware of the obstacles encountered by officials in implementing policies.

Knowledge sharing meetings comprise of virtual settings in which learning and information is exchanged. Such sessions include forums, meetings, roundtable discussions, workshops, trainings and seminars. The methodology of knowledge sharing will include:

  • Peer Assist
  • After Action Review
  • Story Telling
  • Mentoring
  • Coaching

Target Groups and Deliverables

Knowledge sharing aims to improve local governance with the ultimate aim of alleviating poverty. Well governed local governments are better able to provide leadership that drives development within their jurisdictions and therefore addresses the poverty of their constituents. Knowledge sharing programme targets local government officials, political leadership of municipalities as well as communities who are represented through different public participation structures such as the ward committee system in South Africa.

The deliverables derived from knowledge sharing initiatives include:

1. Stakeholders generate creative solutions on solving local governance challenges through cross-fertilization of their ideas.
2. Local government officials and political leaders get a better understanding of existing local governance policies.
3. Communities within the targeted local governments enhance their capacity to participate in changing their socio-economic circumstances. For instance, communities become use enhanced knowledge to influence policy development within their constituencies.
4. Ultimately, with better local governance and empowered communities, communities are able to make use of opportunities presented by policies to improve their socio-economic circumstances.

GLAFAD PROJECTS - Agriculture and Rural Poverty Programme

The role of agriculture in reducing rural poverty cannot be understated. Most African governments have developed policies and initiated programmes to improve agriculture with the twin goal of boosting food security and enhancing livelihood. Often times, the poor communities in rural areas who engage in agriculture and who are the target of government policies do not understand the policies and how they can take make use of the policies for their own gain. Information on value chain and financial resources is equally scarce among the poor farmers. On the other hand, government does not have insight on practicalities at grassroots levels in order to make policies responsive to these practicalities.

Our rural and agriculture project aims to capacitate poor rural farmers through citizen education and by offering a platform for peer learning. Using tools such as story telling ad workshops, our project will provide opportunities for poor rural farmers to gain insight on opportunities around them and possible ways of overcoming threats and weaknesses to boost their productivity. The programme will also undertake applied research to objectively shed light on impediments at grassroots levels that prevent farmers from gaining from existing opportunities.