With cities poised to absorb all of the world’s population growth in the next few decades, sustainable urban development will only be possible with more robust systems for generating, spending and managing local government funds.
That’s the message of a new United Nations policy framework, drafted by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in partnership with the World Bank and 19 international experts.
The Draft Policy Paper Framework for Municipal Finance and Local Fiscal Systems lays out challenges, priorities and strategies for strengthening local government finances. Its recommendations include increasing collaboration between multiple levels of government, establishing and strengthening local revenue sources, reforming government grant processes, building the capacity of local governments to carry out sound financial management, and laying the regulatory and institutional groundwork needed to expand access to capital markets.
As part of a campaign to promote municipal fiscal health, the Lincoln Institute is working closely with the United Nations and stakeholders in preparation for Habitat III, a UN conference in October in Quito, Ecuador, where member states will adopt a New Urban Agenda for sustainable urban development.
The Lincoln Institute and World Bank are working this week to fine-tune the municipal finance framework, which will be transformed into a policy paper that will inform the New Urban Agenda.
The Lincoln Institute is co-leading a group of experts focused on municipal finance – one of ten “policy units” organized around different issues – and contributing to the Urban Spatial Strategies policy unit. The institute also plays a leading role in the General Assembly of Partners, a platform for non-governmental engagement, and has engaged in many other Habitat III activities, including the second UN Preparatory Committee meeting in Nairobi, Kenya the Urban Thinkers Campus and Urban Journalism Academy in New York City, the Thematic Conference on Intermediate Cities in Cuenca, Ecuador, and expert group meetings on Land Based Finance and New Legal Frameworks in Barcelona, Spain.