Agriteam Canada - Building Capacity and Opportunities for Change

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Republic of the Philippines, Mindanao and Western Visayas, Philippines-Canada Local Government Support Program Phase II (LGSP II): August 1999–November 2006

Sector: Governance and Public Sector Reform
Region: South East Asia and Pacific
Funded by:
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Philippines-Canada Development Fund
Total Value: C$34 million
Partners and Counterparts:
In Canada: Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)
In Philippines: The National and Economic Development Agency (NEDA) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), 205 Local Government Units in seven regions

Purpose

Challenge

Following the fall of the Marcos regime, the Philippines embarked on an ambitious program of poverty reduction, democratization and decentralization. In 1991, the Local Government Code was enacted to devolve powers and functions to provincial, city and municipal governments to increase efficiency, responsiveness and accountability in the provision of basic services.

Since 1991, CIDA has supported Philippine efforts to develop the capacity of Local Government Units and enhance the enabling environment for local government. LGSP II is the second phase of CIDA’s support for local government capacity development. It focuses on supporting provincial, city and municipal governments in seven of the poorest and most conflict-affected regions of the country. The challenge is to shift centralized, authoritarian and clan-based attitudes, systems and practices to ones that are locally responsive, participatory and equitable.

Approach

LGSP II worked with local governments and central government departments to help them identify their own priorities and needs in consultation with their stakeholders. It then collaborated with them to develop capacity, improve performance and ultimately provide better governance services to citizens. The program partnered with many local NGOs, educational institutions, consultants and government agencies as well as Canadian municipal practitioners to deliver technical assistance, training, coaching and on-the-job mentoring to elected officials and public servants throughout the local government system.

Project Description

The original program (1999–2004) focused on developing the capacity of 205 Local Government Units in Mindanao and Western Visayas. This included 174 municipalities, 11 cities, 19 provinces and the Autonomous Regional Government (ARG) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. In 2004, the program was extended for an additional two years (to November 2006) to consolidate support for the enabling environment, particularly for the system strengthening and policy reforms initiated by the national Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The program developed government capacity in four main areas:

  1. Local government leadership and management
  2. Financial management
  3. Service delivery
  4. Participatory governance

The four cross-cutting themes of gender equality, environmental sustainability, poverty reduction and peace and unity informed the program activities. A participatory analysis and planning process helped local government leaders set an executive and legislative agenda to determine short- and medium-term government and community priorities. The program then supported the local governments in implementing their agendas and improving their functioning and services in partnership with civil society, the private sector, neighbouring municipalities and other levels of government.

To enhance the enabling environment, the program worked with the local government leagues, the Local Government Academy, DILG and other supporting institutions to develop their capability to:

Results

Project Director

Alix Yule