Promoting local governance through Municipal International Cooperation

As the spread of decentralisation and democratisation gathers speed, so local governments in developing countries are taking more and more responsibility for improving their perfor- mance, managing the interface between the state and citizens, and providing services, despite having access only to limited resources. Thanks to decentralisation and the holding of local elections, a variety of organisations, interest groups and professional associations – some of which were previously dormant whilst others are new – are now able to participate in the development process and to claim a political role in social and economic development. The impact is being felt most keenly at the municipal level, where local governments and non-state actors are best placed to express and defend local interests.