English language publications

Experiences of and priorities for local governance reform in Tanintharyi Region
Promotions of participatory and accountable local governance in Tanintharyi Region
Findings from the Local Governance Mapping in Tanintharyi Region
Published February 2017 – Emilie Röell and Susanne Kempel

Sustainability Reporting: What’s in it for Local Governments? Lessons from practical examples
VNG International  report regarding sustainability

Financial Management in a Local Government Association
This manual aims to provide useful insights to help Local Government Associations in addressing the challenges of financial sustainability of their association. In case you are interested to receive a copy, please contact the VNG International secretariat: vng-international(at)

Improving local government performance by strengthening their 5 core capabilities

 Local Government Associations in fragile states
Local Government Associations engines for stability and development in fragile states – the VNG International approach. Published within the framework of the Local Government Capacity Programme 2012-2016.

Advocacy and Lobbying by a Local Government Association (LGA) Also available in French and Spanish
A handbook to help local government associations develop their advocacy and lobbying strategy. Published within the framework of the LOGO South VNG Association Capacity Building programme 2003-2010.

Benchmarking housing in South Africa
This publication shares some of the experiences of municipalities in their work on housing based on the results of benchmarks on housing and social housing that were conducted from May to November 2010. In this booklet six housing themes are addressed. Per theme one or more good practices are given, as well as some guiding principles that can assist municipalities in their housing service delivery.

City Diplomacy: The Role of Local Governments in Conflict Prevention, Peace building, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Also available in French and Spanish
A book published as part of the First World Conference on City Diplomacy in the Peace Palace in The Hague on 11-13 June 2008. Contributions include the legal basis of City Diplomacy, the role of local government in peace-building and case-studies from Colombia, Croatia and the Middle East.

Closing the Circle: Bringing Integrated Sustainable Waste Management Home
A reference book for practitioners in the field of waste management in developing countries. It treats the framework for Integrated Sustainable Waste Management and integration of solid waste management in municipal policies, financial sustainability and community participation and communication. Includes case examples of the LOGO South programme.

Dutch Municipalities Supporting the Millennium Development Goals: A VNG campaign explained
A brochure published for a non-Dutch audience explaining the success of the Millennium Gemeente (Millennium Municipality) Campaign in the Netherlands. It goes into questions such as: ‘Why do local authorities sign up, and what do they do?’ ‘What support does VNG offer?’ and ‘What lessons can be learned from the experience so far?’

E-Service Delivery, a Manual for Delivering E-services as a Local Government in the Digital Information Society
Offers an overview on how to implement and deliver e-services successfully. Includes four best practices of the development of effective and efficient  e-service delivery.

Establishing a Local Government Association (LGA) Also available in French and Spanish
A practical, easy-reference manual designed to help prepare for and create a LGA. For local government leaders, members of decentralisation task forces and ministries of local government.

Gender Changing the Face of Local Governance
This publication combines theory and practice. In the first chapter of this publication it is discussed why gender matterss to Local Government. In the following chapters the sub-themes of the LOGO South Thematic Programme are discussed: (1) Gender sensitive leadership, (2) how to mainstream gender related issues within the LOGO South programme. For each case, examples are given from LOGO South Gender programmes and activities.

How can we help you? A toolkit for establishing a local government one stop desk Also available in Turkish and Russian
This toolkit presents the step-by-step approach VNG International has developed over the years in various projects, mainly in Central and Eastern Europe. Its final objective being the creation of fully operational one stop
desks wherever these may be needed.

Inter-municipal cooperation: Introduction Guide to the VNG International
Approach to a Successful IMC
 Also available in Spanish and French
This document is a general description of all phases of the process and key issues to take into account in the decision-making, implementation and evaluation as regards inter-municipal cooperation.

Internal Management, a Process of Change
A handbook with practical exercises and techniques for local government managers and politicians. Topics include among others changing internal management, time and problem analysis, the manager’s role, planning and objective setting, performance appraisal and communication.

Leap forward: Local authorities exchange
A special of the P+ magazine about Municipal International Cooperation. With inspiring examples about a.o. social housing in South Africa, the Millennium Municipality Campaign and separation of waste in Uganda.

Local Government in The Netherlands
An introduction to the structure, the work and the finance of Dutch local government, with notes on the other tiers of government, Europe and the Association of Netherlands Municipalities.

Municipal Development Strategy Process: A toolkit for practitioners Also available in Turkish and Russian
This publication suggests a practical four-stage process to strategic planning at the municipal level, including the setting up of effective structures for managing the strategy process (1), preparing a good strategic analysis of the municipality (2), strategy formulation (3) and strategy implementation (4).

Municipal Partnerships in Combating HIV and AIDS
Analyses the relationship between local government and HIV and AIDS, including eight examples of twinning projects between Namibian, South African and Dutch municipalities.

Poor People, Poor Services? How the poor can influence the effectiveness of  local services
The lecture “Making Services Work for the Poor” by Mr Shantayanan Devarajan, lead author of the World Development Report 2004, is followed by a case-study of local government accountability in Gedaref, Sudan by Peter van Tilburg and Arne Musch.

Service Delivery, a Challenge for Local Governments
An overview of service delivery as a task of local governments and of the tools for improving service delivery. Extensive attention to quality assurance.  Includes descriptions of achievements made within the programme LOGO East.

Service provision by a Local Government Association (LGA) Also available in French and Spanish
A guide on how to decide which services to deliver, how to deliver them and how service delivery can improve the association’s performance.

Strengthening Local Government through International Partnerships
Illustrates in what way international partnerships can contribute to enlarging the performance of local governments. Mentions obstacles in establishing or executing partnerships and provides practical solutions.

The Role of Local Government in Local Economic Development: A step-by-step approach developed by VNG International
This step-by-step approach consists of six primary steps or phases, and provides a logical progression from the situation in which there is no organised structure for Local Economic Development to more advanced programmes. For local governments that are able to provide basic infrastructure and support services.

Toolkit on Accountable and Transparent Service Delivery at Local Level
This publication is the product of an intensive cooperation between the Union of Municipalities of Montenegro (UoM) and VNG International within the project “Increasing accountability and transparency at the municipal level in Montenegro”. The Toolkit provides its readers with practical examples and useful tools and tips on how to include participatory mechanisms in the daily work of local governments and civil society organizations.

Twice as Much: seven years of the Netherlands twinning programme for pre-accession support to local and regional governments
An evaluation of the programme ‘Gemeentelijke Samenwerking met Toetredingslanden’ (GST).

Developing a Communication Strategy for a Local Government Association (LGA) Also available in French and Spanish
This document can be used as an application-oriented, easy-reference manual in developing a communication strategy. It is especially tuned to local government institutes and LGAs whose leadership wishes to improve and to strengthen the way the organization communicates, both internally and externally.

Strategic Planning in a Local Government Association (LGA) Also available in French and Spanish
This document can be used as an easy-reference manual in developing a systematic strategic planning system. It is especially tuned to local government institutes and LGAs whose leadership wishes to improve and strengthen the structure and performance of the organisation.

Strenghtening Local Governance and Decentralization: Lessons and Experience from LGAs in Asia
This document presents a series of initiatives that LGAs in Asia have undertaken to enhance their own viability and financial sustainability while improving the services they provide to their member local governments. These services range from policy, advocacy and intergovernmental relations on issues affecting local governments, to training and knowledge dissemination.

Water politics
There can be no two ways about it: water management involves more than just technology. The LOGO South programme, in which Dutch municipalities and district water boards collaborate with local parties, illustrates that water management also includes a very important political aspect.

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