On 13 September 2021, Development Partners Network on Decentralisation & Local Governance (DeLoG) organized their Annual Meeting on Inclusive and Resilient Decentralisation and Local Governance Reforms and Institutions with a High-Level Policy Dialogue.

This High-Level Opening event set the scene for this year’s DeLoG Annual Meeting by providing room for policy dialogue among members and partners to exchange on their strategic shifts and priorities.

The key question was how the support for inclusive and resilient DLG institutions is evolving in the face of current global challenges and what role partnerships and networks like DeLoG may play in the future.

NALAS President, Tatiana Badan, Mayor of Selemet, Moldova addressed the audience, by offering a municipal perspective.


President Badan opened the address by emphasizing “It is our common objective to advance decentralisation and improve local public services for the benefit of our citizens. In doing so, we have the power of our Networks – with a huge knowledge base, that enables us to identify needs and scale-up the know-how.”

President Badan also spoke about the challenges that local governments in South-East Europe are facing when it comes to sustainability, resilience and inclusion, as well as NALAS’s and LGAs’ role in the related policy dialogue.

She highlighted that at the present, local governments in South-East Europe face numerous challenges in executing their mandate, including three major ones: 1. Autonomy, 2. Social and economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and 3. Inclusive local development.

“Our efforts should be focused on economic and social recovery, but always through the perspective of decentralization of power and local development. For a successful recovery, SEE local governments expect changes in the legislation calling for increased financial decentralisation, stronger local tax powers, higher intergovernmental transfers and more flexible rules on local borrowing, as well as a higher level of engagement of the national government in enhancing digital infrastructure and digitalisation of local public services.” – added the NALAS President.

Furthermore, she added that building on the strong conviction that evidence-based policies can lead to better public policies and public services NALAS developed a Decentralization Observatory for South-East Europe. The Observatory helps inform the policy advocacy efforts of the LGAs, as stewards of local democracy and local governance in South-East Europe, but also support policymakers, experts, practitioners and researchers in their quest to improving local government policies and services.

“Local Government Associations in our region and NALAS as their Network have on many occasions proven their irreplaceable position in advancing decentralisation and good local governance. They should be considered as key strategic partners in the recovery, reform and democratization processes. They indeed project an imperative importance of the bottom-up approach for national, international and global development.” – concluded Mayor Tatiana Badan, NALAS President.

Watch the full address here:

The High Level Opening, also included the following prominent speakers:


  • Thomas Gass, Ambassador, Assistant Director General, Head South Cooperation Department, SDC, Co-Chair Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation
  • Ingolf Dietrich, Director, 2030 Agenda; poverty; democracy; rule of law; equality; human rights; education; Commissioner for sustainable development, BMZ
  • Emilia Saíz, Secretary General, United Cities and Local Governments
  • Hemanthi Goonasekera, Chief Executive Officer, Federation of Sri Lanka Local Government Authorities
  • Stan Abma, Senior Coordinator, Capacity and Institution Building (CIB) Working Group, Project Manager, VNGi