UCLG Champions to promote local government development cooperation


On 16 and 17 January, the UCLG Capacity and Institution Building (CIB) Working Group will provide a training to a group of elected local government officials from around the world. In the years ahead, these so-called Champions will advocate the key messages from the UCLG policy paper on Development Cooperation and Local Government at conferences and meetings of relevant organizations.

The paper provides political recommendations to the international community as well as towards local governments. It emphasizes the need for the full recognition of local and regional governments as development partners occupying an equitable place in international development cooperation and it calls for substantially increased financial support for local government development cooperation programs, designed to match their specific role and contribution.

National governments, as well as global and regional organizations, will be approached to make sure the messages are dispersed on multiple levels. The nine elected local government officials that will carry out this task, were approached based on their excellent capacity to become ambassadors of the CIB Working Group agenda. Special attention was given to regional balance. The composition of the group of Champions was approved by the UCLG Development Cooperation and City Diplomacy Committee in October 2013. Diverse as they are, they all share a substantial expertise in local government development cooperation and are therefore given the title of ‘Champion’.

The selected Champions consist of two global champions:

  • Mr. Hubert Julien Laferriere, Vice-President of Grand Lyon, France;
  • Mr. Berry Vrbanovic, Councillor of Kitchener, Canada.

Regional Champions are:

  • Mr. Alexis Soulama, Mayor of Banfora, Burkina Faso;
  • Ms. Celestine Ketcha, Mayor of Baganté, Cameroon;
  • Mr. Amiri Nondo, Mayor of Morogoro, Tanzania;
  • Ms. Nomveliso Nyukwana, South Africa;
  • Mr. Hugua Hugua, Regent Mayor of Wakatobi, Indonesia;
  • Mr. James Matayoshi, Mayor of Rongelap, Marshall Islands;
  • Mr. Tunç Soyer, Mayor of Seferihisar, Turkey.

On the 16th and 17th of January, the Champions will visit the head office of VNG International in The Hague, the Netherlands, to take part in a two-day training course. This training aims to prepare the Champions for their task ahead as well as possible. The training will cover multiple aspects of advocating, including developing action plans, pitching and targeting organizations and national governments.

In addition to the training, the Champions will receive a toolkit containing several documents, such as fact sheets, best practice cases and template letters, that will support them in their efforts. In this way, the CIB Working Group wants to make sure that the importance of local governments in attaining the goals of the post-2015 agenda is recognized and that local governments subsequently are included in policy making and execution.

For more information, please visit the Champions website.

For more information on the work of the CIB Working Group, please visit its website.