Consultant-French Decentralized Cooperation (including water management)
Over the past decade, Decentralized Cooperation (DC) has gained rapid recognition as a means to support decentralized governance, promote local development as well as consolidate stable ‘North-South', 'South-South' and ‘Triangular’ partnerships. In recognition of the key strategic role of DC in the international development cooperation arena, in 2005 UNDP introduced the ART Initiative as an entry point for all international cooperation actors interested in aligning and harmonizing their respective actions in support of national policies for sustainable human development at local level. Within an evolving development landscape, ART capitalizes on the complementarities of actors at the local level and puts in place multi-level governance systems for sustainable human development. ART’s objective is to enhance the capacities of national and local institutions and actors working at the local level, thereby supporting the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and thus attaining inclusive and sustainable development.
In this context, French partners (through the Delegation for the External Action of Local and Regional Authorities and local communities - DAECT) and UNDP are working closely together to support the local implementation of the SDGs. France has indeed a long tradition and experience in engaging in decentralized development cooperation. Over the years decentralized cooperation has become an integral part of the French foreign development cooperation policy by evolving from more traditional north – south development aid towards strategic cooperation and exchange of experiences between equal partners.
According to the Atlas on French DC, almost 5,000 French sub-national governments have links with partners in partner countries; the majority of which are in Francophone countries. The main themes of interventions are urban strategic planning, water management, waste and sanitation, economic development, environment, and youth. The Delegation for the External Action of Local and Regional Authorities (DAECT) defines and implements, in consultation with ambassadors and the National Commission for Decentralized Cooperation (CNCD), the decentralized cooperation support and development strategy. It serves as a resource and support centre for local and regional French authorities, providing legal support, information services, analysis, and advice. Furthermore, DAECT implements a series of tools designed to encourage consistency and information pooling (bilateral meetings, decentralized cooperation portal, publications). For several years, the DAECT has been providing support to local government projects as well as national networks and regional consultation and coordination bodies in the form of calls for proposals. DAECT also acts as general secretary of CNCD, the French national institution of dialogue between the French state (9 ministries and operators involved) and local & regional authorities’ national associations.