The Millennium Development Goals have become a universal framework for development and a means for developing countries and their development partners to work together in pursuit of a common vision. The challenge of achieving the Millennium Development Goals in all regions of the developing countries by 2015 is a daunting one. Unfortunately, many of these countries are behind the MDG targets. Success is possible but there is a clear need for more targeted interventions and strategies for greater localization of the MDGs. There is still a dire need for sound local governance, enhanced productive capacities, effective policies, strategies and technical and financial support. There is increasing awareness that sustainable development will only be enhanced if processes at the local level are strengthened.
Fostered by the Ford Foundation in the mid-1980s, the Innovation in Local Governance Award Programme now exists in Brazil, Chile, China, the Indian Nations of the USA, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, East Africa, and the United States. The programmes are dedicated to identifying and disseminating experiences that are making significant contribution to increasing service provision, broadening citizenship, and improving governance at local levels. In East Africa, UNHABITAT initiated the "Mashariki Innovations in Local Governance Award Programme" (MILGAP) in three of the East African countries-Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. MILGAP recognizes innovative practices in local governance and through this award, enabling innovative ideas to reach a wider audience and help reinforce the ideals of UNHABITAT's Campaign on Urban Governance and the goal of eradicating poverty through improved urban governance.
This book, part of the Learning from Innovations series, was prepared by UNHABITAT's MILGAP programme and provides regional perspectives and different approaches to improving local governance using selected case studies from Brazil, Philippines, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Indian Nations in the U.S. and China. The discussions are centered around local innovations enacted to realize the MDGs. These call for effective and inclusive local development practices to enhance the abilities of the local actors by equipping them with the capacities to plan, implement, and monitor activities in a participatory manner. The Learning from Innovations series aims to disseminate some of the lessons that are being learned by comparing innovation in the ten partner programs of the Liaison Group for Innovations in Governance and Public Action.