The Active Learning Centre (Scotland) and the Women’s Legal Resources Centre (Malawi) have secured funding from the Royal Norwegian Embassy for a 3-year project: Capacity Building and Strengthening Transparency in Local Government. It aims to:
- strengthen elected councillors’ capacity to scrutinise and track budget spend and performance and strengthen elected councillors’ confidence to address financial irregularities
- develop a culture of co-operative oversight and promote the achievements of elected councillors by involving councillors, chiefs, community leaders and citizens in a straightforward citixen engagement process
- to increase the understanding among community leaders, citizens and other key stakeholders on the relationship between central and local government
- disseminate the work of elected councillors and local government through a comprehensive media and communications strategy, including social, print and broadcast
The project has distinct but inter-linked elements:
- A programme of regional roundtables, bringing elected councillors together in a non-partisan safe space, for peer support and sharply focused modules on anti-corruption, scrutiny and budget tracking. These will include input from the National Audit Office, the Anti-Corruption Bureau and the police.
- A programme of citizen engagement, led by elected councillors, to showcase the work of local councils, and to foster a culture of consultation and transparency. The focus of this will be the local delivery of the District Development Funds.
- A political mentoring programme for the 2019 intake of elected councillors.
- A training programme for WOLREC’s core team of trainers, to build a local team of experts in active learning for adults, gender and politics and to strengthen the capacity of WOLREC.
It will run from January 2018 to December 2020, with a mid-term review in the second half of 2019 and will involve councillors from 10 districts and one city.
A briefing note is available here.