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Capacity for Integrated Urban Development: INTEGR-ABLE
GDL is the Romanian partner in this project funded by the European Commission through the Joint Operational Program “Black Sea Cross Border Cooperation” 2007-2013. The project aims to promote the use of the integrated urban development model in four countries bordering the Black Sea – Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and SE Romania. The project will build on the experience that Romanian municipalities have had with the use of “integrated urban development plans – IUDP” as a tool for planning, and will disseminate this model to the other three participating countries, keeping in mind the differences in administrative and legislative systems in the partner countries. Through this project, local government officials will have the opportunity to strengthen their capacity to use integrated planning tools to plan for the needs of their communities. Also, through its emphasis on cross border cooperation, the project will help local government officials forge relations with one another and create a network of professionals that can exchange common concerns, experiences, and best practices, and take advantage of knowledge relevant for the region. (September 2011 – January 2013)
Visit the Events tab for up to date information on the implementation of the project.
For more details, also visit the website of the project (available soon):

Sustaining community involvement in urban planning
The program funded by Trust for Civil Society in Central & Eastern Europe (www.ceetrust.org ) aimed to increase the capacity of CSOs to advice local governments in the implementation of community consultation mechanisms in urban planning and land development based on the new norms and procedures, to enable participatory planning and foster participatory processes institutionalization. Consequently, the accountability of public institutions in the area of urban planning increased; the civic engagement at the local level is substantiated by direct involvement of local CSOs in local government matters and by their community outreach capacity. Moreover, the project aimd to strengthen a supportive environment for civil society in selected communities.

Elaborate the Procedures to inform and consult the public for urbanism and territorial planning documents
GDL was selected after a tender process by the Ministry of Development, Public Works and Housing to elaborate the procedures and to co-organize the consultation process necessary to develop the document in a participatory way.
Through these procedures, we’ve contributed to the achievement of the following objectives:
  • improve the process of develop, coordinate and plan the urbanism and territorial planning policies and documents;
  • re-plan the process of taking decisions to make an intervention into the urban space and into the territory by including the participative phases (citizens’ participation) in analyse, plan and implement these interventions according to the priorities and necessities pointed to by the local communities;
  • establish compulsory components of information and consulting the public for urbanism and territorial planning initiatives according to the development planning and to the environment evaluation procedures for plans and programmes. 
Moldova Government Wide Functional review
GDL provided the Team Leader for the “Moldova Government Wide Functional Review” a Multi-Donor Trust Funded project in 2006. Based upon agreed Functional Review Methodology, the project has reviewed the structure of around 160 central administrative bodies and authorities, including a set of deconcentrated public services and institutions subordinated to ministries, to identify functions that overlap, are not in line with national objectives, do not fall under the competence of the respective authorities for the purpose of abolishing or transferring them to other entities.
Support to the Development of Standards for Civil Service Provision Kazakhstan; One-Stop-Shop and public participation
Within the “Support to the Development of Standards for Civil Service Provision in Kazakhstan” EU funded project, GDL provided the One-Stop-Shops in Astana and Almaty with specific assistance to develop customer charters, and to incorporate performance standards into their operations; assisted selected pilot entities to develop their programs of public consultation and to incorporate these programs into their operations; also assisted in the development and delivery of a “train-the-trainers” program (in the areas of public consultation and One-Stop-Shops) to develop the capacity of local trainers to guide and assist public entities at central and regional level to develop, monitor and maintain performance standards.
More details about this program in this article (external link)
Macro-level analytical assessment on Kosovo government performance
In a multi-disciplinary international team of experts, GDL consultant conducted a macro-level analytical assessment on government performance as part of Blue Ribbon Series Report in Kosovo, under UNDP funding. The report provided with an analysis of gaps and constraints on different dimensions of decentralization and local governance, suggested future course of actions to address identified needs and gaps for both the PISG and the donors active and/or interested to work in the area of decentralization and local governance in Kosovo and started to stimulate policy debate and discussion on key challenges, development patterns, and major issues related to local governance and decentralization in Kosovo.
Read and download this report here (external link)
Curriculum Development and TOT on Local Self Government Issues, OSCE/SCTM Belgrade, Serbia
During two months Training of Trainers program, GDL was awarded to design and conduct a complex program to increase the training capacity of the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities in Serbia with 24 local trainers within the “Municipal Assemblies Support Project” awarded and financed by OSCE. During each training module, participants were guided throughout an experiential learning process by practical exercises during which they simulated situations similar to the ones they will have to perform for real –“learning by doing” during test-run workshops. In this way, all trainers organized in training teams have already prepared (close to final stage) all the necessary ingredients to conduct a real one-day training workshop for selected local councilors.
More about this program here (external link)
Prognosis and citizen consultation for city Master Plan, Romania
GDL contributed to Piatra Neamt city (120000 inhabitants) 2007-2012 Master Plan in designing and implementing citizens and community stakeholders’ consultation, as well as developing socio-economic-demographic analysis and prognosis.
Support for Devolution of Social Services Provision Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare –Kosovo
As member of Birks Sinclair/DFID team GDL’s Fiscal Decentralization Advisor developed financial analysis of the local budgets and the budget of Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare regarding the sources of revenues, the structure of the expenditures with a special focus on expenses for social services. The advisor proposed an assignment of social services responsibilities among central and local level specific for decentralized systems of governance and designed a grant system to finance the decentralization of social services at level of municipalities. GDL consultant contributed to the design of the policy paper for MoLSW regarding the devolution of social services, document focused especially on: institutional structure required for a success decentralization, assignment of responsibilities among central and local level, financial arrangements and the design of the grant system, capacity building at central and local level.
Project design on Inter-municipal cooperation, Romania
GDL assisted the Romanian Ministry of Administration and Internal Affairs to develop a complex assistance and policy-making project aimed to promote cooperation among local governments in order to improve the quality of local public service delivery. GDL designed articulated project activities from existing cooperation practice assessment to training and assistance for local governments clusters and pilot cooperation projects, as well as dissemination activities and policy impact assessment for cooperation legal provisions.
On-line training course for local elected officials, Romania
GDL assisted Romanian Federation of Local Authorities to design and implement on-line training course for local councilors in areas such as local decision-making, participatory planning, local public finance, communication management, public service delivery and new EU environment and requirements.
Kosovo Local Government Assessment
As part of an international team, GDL consultants contributed with expertise to a Local Government Limited Scope Assessment based on three aspects of local governance development in Kosovo: policy and legal framework, municipal administration and their institutional capacity, and mechanisms of transparency and citizen participation. The work also explored what other donors and the PISG were doing in the area of Local Government strengthening and if the PISG and municipal governments have a political will and capacity to absorb a technical assistance program. The analytical work was funded by USAID Kosovo.
Read and download this report here (external link)
Training of Trainers in Public Service Customer, Kosovo Institute of Public Administration
Within “Support to the Kosovo Institute for Public Administration” EU funded project, GDL consultants prepared and conducted training of trainers on public service delivery customer care.
More about this program here (external link)

Localizing Sustainable Development, UNDP Macedonia
Under the second phase of the project with the purpose of supporting three pilot municipalities to successfully undertake decentralized responsibilities through addressing local socio-economic challenges identified during development planning process, GDL consultants provided capacity building assistance to project staff on the concept of local sustainable development, strategic planning, the role of stakeholders in the development processes as well as on developing of an annual work plan and operational guidance for implementation of the project.
More about this program here (external link)

Participation to “The Principles of Partnerships - Contributions to European Integration and Development Effectiveness” conference in Belgrade, Serbia
Between Dec. 7-9, 2005, Mr. Daniel Serban, GDL’s Director, has been invited to this conference as part of UNDP Decentralization and Local Governance, Civic Engagement and Capacity 2015 Communities of Practice Joint Event. Mr. Serban delivered the presentation “Inter-Municipal Cooperation: partnerships for service delivery” and facilitated the next workshop.
More about this conference here (external link)

Conference paper and exchange experience on Community Participation, Un conference, Brisbane, Australia
The International Conference on Engaging Communities was an initiative of the United Nations and the Government of the State of Queensland, Australia. GDL has been invited to prepare and deliver the paper “Promoting communities participation in local governance in Central and Eastern Europe” delivered during the session Engaged Governance: Local Government III”.
More about this conference here (external link)

6th Global Forum on Reinventing Government: Toward Participatory and Transparent Governance
GDL has been invited and actively contributed to the “6th Global Forum on Reinventing Government: Toward Participatory and Transparent Governance” organized by UN and Government of Korea held in Seoul, Korea, May 24- 27, 2005. GDL contributions focused on “Access to Services for All - through participation and accountability”, “Decentralization and Local Autonomy for Participatory Democracy”, “Auditing for Social Change” and “The Role of Civil Society Organizations in Localizing the Millennium Development Goals”
GDL has signed The Seoul Declaration on Participatory and Transparent Governance

More about this conference here (external link)

Citizen Assistance and One Stop Permitting Center -Serbia Local Government Reform Program (SLGRP)
The activity of GDL consultants consolidated the program efforts to help local governments become more effective, responsive, and accountable, advising several Citizen Participation team members in the establishment of both Citizen Assistance Center (CAC) and One Stop Permitting Center (OSPC) as a way to improve local communication and service delivery in 5 municipalities. Also, an individual evaluation plan and methodology was designed to assess the impact of these centers once established to monitor performance.

In addition, GDL consultants provided assistance to all team members in order to insure that the CAC/OSPC’s are more than just a citizen convenience, and that municipalities are monitoring the workflow, measuring performance, evaluating results, and implementing new processes and procedures to streamline CAC/OSPC operations.
Technical Field Support Services in Decentralization, Participatory Government and Public Management, Romania
GDL consultants delivered hands on technical assistance in opening Citizen Information Centers and facilitated a policy reform consultative process between Romanian Government and Local Government Associations under USAID program. They offered technical assistance to the Central Unit for Public Administration Reform of the Ministry of Administration and Interior on decentralization issues, supporting the development of the workplan and policy paper on decentralization; assisting the ministry in writing draft amendments to the Framework Law on decentralization, providing technical support for drafting the vision of the government on decentralization.
Northeast Bosnia and Herzegovina Local Government Support Activity
GDL consultants provided technical assistance and training in establishment of Citizens Information Centers (CIC), establishment of a functioning complaints system and creating systematic, functioning issue-driven public participation mechanisms, specific participatory budgeting for all project assisted municipalities: Derventa, Odzak, Samac, Srebrenik, Zvornik, Modrica, Lukavac, Orasje, Prnjavor and Brod.

The consultants prepared and delivered training on CIC concept and implementation as well as on the improvement of the existing complaints system to each municipality and series of training workshops on local budget public participation for 10 municipalities. Technical assistance was provided to implement the first activities of participatory budgeting.
Elements of impact: By the end of 2004, 9 of 10 municipalities carefully prepared and organized budget public hearings. “The mayors I believe gained a new appreciation for creating contact with citizens. They said they now know they need to create more opportunities to interface with citizens throughout the year. All around a massive success.” (Peter Ray, Finance Advisor, Local Government Support Activities Project, Bosnia and Herzegovina, December 2004)
Rwanda Increased Community Accountability Model (RICAM)
The anti-corruption activities were supported under the new Rwanda Increased Community Accountability Model (RICAM) funded by USAID mission to Kigali and implemented by ARD Inc. This program was to increase the public accountability and oversight at the local level within both local governments and local public services by addressing the environment that enables corruption to flourish and preventing the mismanagement of the increased resources that will flow to local district governments.

The Local Development Group consultants conducted various training workshops for selected Kigali districts and provided direct technical assistance to district budget department staff as well as Community Development Committee members. The most significant achievement of RICAM was the Training of Trainers program that enhanced the local capacity and provided training plans in the area of Transparency and Accountability in each of the 12 Rwanda provinces. At this moment, each province has qualified trainers and already prepared high quality training materials ready to be used all over the country with various target groups. Moreover, Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA) and Ministry of Local Government ( MINALOC) have the list of these trainers and easily can involve them in various other anti-corruption programs.
Georgia and Armenia: Citizen Participation - Concepts and Mechanisms
Training of trainers workshop conducted by GDL senior trainer within Civitas Georgica’s project "Transboundary Cooperation - Makes Citizen Participation Work", financed by Charity Know-How Foundation
The goal of the workshop was to provide trainers of International Association "Civitas Georgica" (Georgia) and "Millenium" Association for Education and Research (Armenia) with skills and knowledge on citizen participation methods.
Strengthening Local Self-Governing Institutions in the FYR Macedonia through Capacity Development, Transparency and Financial Accountability
Under the United Nations Development Program a GDL senior trainer conducted training for accountable and transparent fiscal management in cooperation with two international experts in budget and financial management and accounting and auditing; training of 15 local trainers followed by two weeks of 30 local/national government elected and appointed officials and civil society representatives.
Rwanda: Fiscal Decentralization Project
The USAID/Rwanda Fiscal Decentralization Project was helping the Government of Rwanda to devolve services to local governments. The project provided policy and technical assistance to ensure that local governments can raise adequate resources, manage and account for their revenues, and efficiently provide local services that respond to the needs of the community.
The GDL consultants prepared and conducted a series of Training of Trainers workshops as well as assistance during pilot workshops conducted by and for Rwandan district accountants in order to increase the capacity to implement a new public accounting system.
Social Policy Reform: Building and Strengthening State-Civil Society Partnerships to Reduce Poverty and Social Exclusion in Serbia
GDL provided a senior expert for technical assistance in the field of social policies, education, health and local public finance; the first stage developed included assessment of present situation, recommendation at the national level in four sectors/ministries: social welfare; education; health; and employment, and in four municipalities - Bor, Zemun, Kraljevo and elaboration of the action plan for future assistance.

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