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Role of Local Government Associations of South East Europe in Training Delivery to Local Authorities

IS THE TRAINING FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT REGULATED BY LAW?

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Yes Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania

No Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Republic of Srpska, Moldova, Slovenia

Analysis of questionnaires submitted by NALAS member associations

During February 2008, NALAS surveyed its members to gather facts and best practices, challenges and recommendations for strengthening their training capacities.

A total of 11 member associations out of 12 responded to the distributed questionnaire. This Survey Report, The Role of Local Government Associations in Training Delivery at Local Level, presents the most significant findings.

The questionnaire covers several important issues, including: the development and implementation of a National Training Strategy, Training Delivery, the Training Capacities of Associations and the funding of training; it identifies good and bad experiences and sets out key questions in all these fields.

Training Strategies in South East Europe

Only 4 out of the 11 NALAS members’ countries have already adopted national training strategies. The Moldovan government adopted their strategy in 2007, while the Romanian and Bulgarian governments adopted or revised their strategies in 2006 and the Albanian in 2003.

Adoption
Adoption of national strategies

The Romanian Federation of Local Authorities (FALR) and the National Association of Municipalities from the Republic of Bulgaria (NAMRB) have identified the central government institutions, including institutes of public administration in charge of training at national level, as partners involved in the process.

In Moldova and Albania, the development of the National Training Strategy has been supported by the Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform of the Council of Europe, and both associations and non-governmental organizations have been involved in the process. Currently, Montenegro is going through the same process and the Strategy has recently been adopted.

The following concerns were expressed about the development of training strategies:

  • In some cases, local authorities/LGAs were not involved in the process or were only asked to send comments; the strategy was developed mainly by the central government and its training institutions.

  • In some cases, there was insufficient focus on developing a realistic Action Plan and the Strategy was never implemented.

Training Needs Assessment

When asked how often they conduct training needs assessments (TNA), the NAMRB, ALVR and SOS have responded that they conduct training needs assessment on a regular basis. The AAM conducts training needs assessment once every 3 years. The others (FALR, SCTM, UOM, ZELS, NLAMM and SOGFBiH) stated that they do training assessments, but without a set framework. Therefore, it can be concluded that, while all associations consider the TNA to be an important step in planning their training activities, it can be done in different ways ranging from a complex and costly process to regular feedback from training events.

Traning
Training needs assessment

Training Delivery

Associations were asked about the number of trainings they have delivered in 2007 and the number of participants they have trained.

SOS has been most active in 2007 with 65 training sessions and 2000 trained participants, followed by SCTM with 57 training sessions and 1155 participants.

Most training programs have been targeted at municipal employees (73 out of 80 listed), few uniquely to elected and appointed persons (6 out of 80) and only one has been targeted for other professionals (social workers).

All associations together have listed 80 training programs as having been implemented in 2007, out of which SCTM implemented 21 programs, SOS 17, AAM 12, NAMRB 9, ZELS 5, ALVRS 4, SIGFBiH 4, AKM 3, UOM 2, NLAMM 2 and FALR 1. Most of the associations developed and implemented the training in the field of finances (11 out of 54), internal management and ethics (10), municipal services (6). The other areas common for several associations are local economic development, project management, public relations and access to EU funds. Additionally, SCTM has important training activities in strategic planning, while other topics (skills, environment, water supply) are covered by only 1 or 2 programs.

Trainigs

Trainees

All associations have had a positive experience with using local expertise (municipal officials) as trainers.