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At the Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum held in Kuala Lumpur in February, CDIA’s partner institution, UCLG ASPAC launched the publication, “City Enabling Environment Rating: Assessment of the Countries in Asia and the Pacific.” The comparative study focuses on the institutional frameworks of local governments in 28 countries in Asia and the Pacific, thereby providing a comprehensive summary of the governance conditions in each country.
In the study, the UCLG-ASPAG analyzed and rated the countries based on 11 criteria – constitutional framework, legislative framework, local democracy, financial transfers from higher government levels, local government’s own revenues, capacity building, transparency, citizen participation, local government performance, urban strategy, and environmental and climate change governance.
The study has confirmed that in all countries, the local government’s own revenues was rated as the most critical criterion among the 11. On the other hand, both constitutional and legislative frameworks were perceived positively by the raters although certain improvements were also noted.
The report has further concluded that the effectiveness of local governments depends largely on the national policy, legal and institutional frameworks of city governments, and the level of autonomy given to them by higher tier(s) of government. Therefore, developing stronger decentralized, autonomous and self-sufficient local governments requires more support through legislative frameworks, especially for fiscal devolution and inclusiveness.
CDIA and its partner organizations in Mongolia (Urban Development Resource Center) and People’s Republic of China (China Center for Urban Development, CCUD) supported UCLG-ASPAG with the study by taking responsibility for the assessments in the two countries.
The report can be downloaded here.