Strengthening local governance with a view to promoting democratic representation, establishing entitlements, and improving the provision of goods and services, can play a critical role in human development. The evaluation concludes that UNDP has not fully capitalized on its comparative advantage in strengthening local governance, and suggests that, in part, this relates to the absence, within UNDP, of a common understanding of and sufficient corporate guidance on strengthening local governance. While there are numerous examples of support to local governance that have been innovative and effective, other initiatives have had limited impact and some have tended to be ad hoc and isolated, rather than systematic and strategic.
For UNDP to play a more effective role in strengthening local governance reforms, the evaluation recommends that it should more explicitly and effectively mainstream local governance into all programmatic focus areas by developing a coherent framework that is firmly grounded in the practice of human development. The evaluation also recommends that UNDP should strengthen its partnerships with its associated funds and programmes in order to enhance the effectiveness of its initiatives in local governance.