In South East Europe, local governments currently face a wide range of challenges, including fiscal decentralization, mismatch of revenue and expenditure management, absence of infrastructure investments, weak local institutions, weak mechanisms of social accountability, increased need to combat corruption, frequent shifts in political structures, and slow institutional reform.
The World Bank-Austria Urban Partnership Program aims to strengthen the capacity of local governments in the South East Europe region, and to equip locally-elected officials, city administrators and technical staff with practical tools for decision-making – in order to more effectively manage urban development for inclusive and sustainable growth.
Although global in scope, the Urban Partnership Program targets the Western Balkan countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
During its first phase (2011-2014), the Program reached over 60 municipalities in the region. The second phase, which started in 2015, aims to scale-up engagement and reach an even larger number of municipalities, by offering a very holistic and collaborative approach to evidence-based policy making.
The Mayors Symposium held in Graz, Austria on February 29 – March 1, 2016, organized in cooperation with the City of Graz and the Austrian Ministry of Finance, gathered over 160 representatives from seven South East Europe countries. Participants included central and local government officials, including 50 Mayors and Deputy Mayors, representatives of finance departments, urban planning practitioners, Local Government Associations, Non-Governmental Organizations, Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South-East Europe, and other partners and key stakeholders of the Program. To read more click here.
The 9th International Urban Design Conference will be held in Melbourne in November. To express your interest in the 2016 Conference CLICK HERE.