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United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Capacity Development for MDG Localisation: Practice note

Abla Amawi, Kanni Wignaraja, Dafina Gercheva and Joe Hooper
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United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

February 2007

SARPN acknowledges UNDP as a source of this document: www.capacity.undp.org
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Executive summary

The Purpose of this Practice Note

This Practice Note (PN) provides UNDP staff and other development practitioners with an understanding of what it means to ‘localise the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)’ from a capacity development perspective. More specifically the Note:

  1. Provides a definition of what it means to ‘localise the MDGs’;
  2. Outlines the potential benefits of the MDG localisation process
  3. Highlights key capacity development issues to be conscious of while engaging in localisation processes;
  4. Details a systematic approach to consider when formulating and implementing (MDGbased) local development strategies.
The audience for this Practice Note includes UNDP and UN practitioners – especially at the country level – as well as domestic and external partners engaged in local development issues. This Note draws from and is complementary to a growing body of literature related to local development and localising the MDGs. The Note takes from the case evidence presented in the study ‘Localising the MDGs for Effective Integrated Local Development: An Overview of Practices and Lessons Learnt’.

The Premise

UNDP defines ‘localising the MDGs’ as the process of designing (or adjusting) and implementing local development strategies to achieve the MDGs (or more specifically, to achieve locally adapted MDG targets).

This implies either adapting and sequencing the targets and indicators of existing local development strategies as needed, or elaborating a MDG-based development strategy that reflects local priorities and realities. For this approach to be successful, it must be locally-owned and participatory, should start from disaggregated data, and should be supported by the appropriate mix of individual, organisational and enabling environment capacities at the local level. While recognising that localisation requires a collaborative effort from all actors at the local level, this Practice Note focuses on the role of local government in this regard, and the capacity development challenges that confront them.

This Practice Note is divided in five sections. Section I introduces concepts and definitions related to MDG localisation. Section II discusses the risk and opportunities involved. The next section (III) introduces the international, national, and local frameworks in which localising occurs, while Section IV presents an overview of the capacity development challenges to localising the MDGs. The final section (IV) describes a five-step capacity development approach to MDG localisation that can be easily adapted to different development contexts.



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