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Sharing responsibilities and resources among levels of governments: Localizing the SDGs

Concept notes and papers

The paper has been developed for the division for Public Administration and Development Management of UN-DESA. It argues that much of the attention about SDGS thus far has been at the policy level. Now the focus is necessarily turning to how the SDGs will be implemented and which actors should be involved. If localizing the SDGs is critical, a core issue is how to structure intergovernmental systems. Conventional systems are valuable but they do not provide a universal solution. they must be applied in a way that accounts for considerable variations in goals, structures, functions, capacities and performance accross and within countries. Appropriate systems and reforms for established, capacitated, and economically dynamic state, provincial or local governments in a more advanced economy for example, may have little immediate relevance for a least developed country where the institutional landscape is dominated by recently created local governments, many of which may be rural, with weak capacity, limited experience in modern governance and few resources. The paper addresses: - Standard approached to power sharing in an intergovernmental system - What explains the observed gap between theory and practice? - A way forward? (parameters of an overall approach, requirements for a more effective subnational government system, type of strategic process needed to move forward, the role the international community can play) - Concluding statement: key issues, further study, and next steps

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