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Idasa Local Governance Barometer Project Update

Idasa’s Local Government Unit, working with its partners, designed the Local Governance Barometer as a tool to analyse the state of local governance and develop the capacity of local actors to promote and sustain development at this level. After 28 months of hard work, the project is now at a stand-alone level.

In South Africa, Idasa has been applying the Local Governance Barometer in five Districts of Alfred Nzo, Mopani, Sisonke, Ugu and Xhariep since January 2006. The tool was first piloted in Ugu for a District wide approach and the following four local municipalities: Greater Tzaneen, Kopanong, Ubuhlebezwe and Umzimvubu. After a review of the tool in early 2007 Idasa has been applying the tool in all the remaining 17 local municipalities in these five Districts and the reports will be ready by the end of November 2007. Idasa will be hosting the 4th LGB National Steering Committee meeting in February 2008 to present the findings of LGB applications to the participating municipalities.

The three partners in the Local Governance Barometer project, Idasa, Pact and SNV Netherlands, met with the following development agencies on the 6th and 7th November 2007: CIDA, GTZ and SDC to present the LGB. GTZ indicated that they would like to facilitate a session in early 2008 where the Local Governance Barometer, Good Governance Survey (GGS) and DPLG's Capacity Assessment Tool (CAT) should be discussed. On the 8th November the LGB project partners met to discuss the future management, structure and ownership of the Barometer following its successful testing, piloting and application phases.

The objective now is to have the new institution registered by January 2009. Its founding members, who will continue to have ownership of the project, will be joined by new staff who will be responsible for checking the quality of the project as well as training. The aim is to use the Barometer to measure and assess conditions within local government not only in South Africa but in other countries as well.

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