The Team CPPR got the chance to represent India in the international Seminar on “Local Government and Civil Society” organized By Friedrich Neumann Foundation, Germany. Mr. Antony Dawson D’silva, Research Scholar of CPPR and Ms. Caroline C. Neriamparampil, Project Coordinator, Livelihoods represented CPPR in this international seminar. There were 24 participants from 14 countries. The programme was conducted from November 23- 29 in Gummersbach, Germany.
The programme was focused on the functioning of local government. The programme began with the introduction to the participants by Dr. Brigit Lamm, Director, IAF. The review of online seminar followed by a discussion on the “preconditions of Local governments “in the beginning was really helpful to organize the further discussions and sessions according to the needs of the participants.
There were interesting sessions on the various aspects related to the functioning of local governments. The discussions were really helpful to the participants to reflect on the process in their respective countries and also to discuss the issues in a global perspective. The Session on “privatization and competition” and “New Public management “ really challenged the participants by discussing the privatization in local governments and the necessity of the new model of Public management, where the voice of citizen is heard to the maximum. The discussion followed by this on the Decentralization, privatization and New Public Management helped to analyze the various approaches and the problems faced in each one. It was helpful to think of the innovative models for the development of local governments in various countries. After that when the session and discussion on “Local Government Funding “ was over all the participants received a clear idea of the various aspects of governance in Local governments and their issues and challenges.
The presentations Of Christopher Dammerman( chairman of Liberal Parliamentary Group, Werne) , and the visit to Mr. Uwe Uffer ,(Mayor Huckeswagen), Mr. Joachim Hoffmann, (CEO City Council Cologne) was an opportunity to learn the structure of German local government and its functioning. The Interaction with the independent lMayor Mr. Uwe Uffer really encouraged the participants to learn about the commitment of a leader, while the Formation of association and the programmes of the association in Cologne were meditative with regard to development work going in the political sphere of a local government.
The further sessions on “Actors and Local Politics”, Local development issues and challenges, and the participation and Self –Administration” helped the participants to identify the issues and to develop various possible solutions. The session on Actors in Local Politics helped to identify the various groups / change agents to be channelised for bringing change. The Various group works and role plays was really an opportunities for the participants to formulate solutions. As majority of participants were associated with the political, administrative and development fields in their home country, this seminar really helped to create a good network of people and that is the key essence of this programme.