Modernised governance for local authorities
Latvian municipalities deliver many services to the public but they have tight budgetary constraints. Norway has developed a ‘smart’ governance approach which is being used as a model in Latvia.
The public wants better quality services and less bureaucracy. Latvia has committed itself to the creation of a public administration that is not only efficient and responsive to change, but which also encourages public involvement and listens to the concerns of local businesses.
“Local governments are the main providers of front line services to the citizens. This project stimulates local government to take more initiative, improve their work and achieve a more efficient use of resources,” explains Andris Jaunsleinis, Chairman of the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments.
A system that measures the performance of local governments in terms of cost and quality of services is supported through a database. This has two main aims: to compare local authority performance and to share innovative ideas and methods. The information will help local authorities objectively to assess whether they are improving.
The project also involves training for local government employees and politicians. “It is very important for us to meet politicians and staff from Norwegian municipalities. The Norway Grants are providing the possibility to exchange knowledge and learn from the Norwegian experiences,” Jaunsleinis says.
“We see a high level of motivation from our Latvian partners,” says Elita Cakule, Head of International Projects Department at Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS).
The project is one of four projects supported under the €5 million 'Capacity building and institutional cooperation' programme in Latvia.
Results from selected programme
1 Database for local service performance under development
4 Networks established
36 Exchange events between Latvia and Norway
42 Planning documents drafted or updated