Localizing the MDGs: Unlocking the Potential of the Local Public Sector to Engage in Development and Poverty Reduction

Localizing the MDGs: Unlocking the Potential of the Local Public Sector to Engage in Development and Poverty Reduction

The UN Millennium Development Goals could be achieved more efficiently through the increased involvement of local governments, community-based organizations, NGOs, and the private sector in poverty-reduction, health, and development interventions, a new report from the Urban Institute argues. Given that all poverty is local, that local governments are charged with delivering MDG-relevant services, and that the public sector at the local level has largely been bypassed in poverty reduction and MDG efforts, the report, Localizing the MDGs: Unlocking the Potential of the Local Public Sector to Engage in Development and Poverty Reduction (19 pages, PDF), argues for a more decentralized approach to development based on the comparative advantages of the local public sector over central government. The report cautions, however, that technical, political, and institutional obstacles to expanding local-level engagement, including a "centralizing bias" within the international development community, remain and must be overcome if the MDGs are to be achieved.