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Frontpage News 2016 Modernised governance for local authorities

Capacity building Latvia
Photo credit: Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS)

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).

    Read more about the project

    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

    Read more about the EEA and Norway Grants to Latvia

  • Country:


    Project title:

    Smart governance and performance improvement of Latvian municipalities

    Project number:


    Priority sector:

    Human and Social Development


    € 1866192



    Project promoter:

    Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments

    Type of Institution:

    Other type of NGO

    Project website:

    Project duration:

    35 months

    Project cost:

    € 2,110,599

    Grant from:

    Norway Grants

    Latvian local governments do not always use their resources in the most efficient manner. The objective of the project is therefore to improve the quality of local governance, raise the performance of municipal government structures and encourage a strategic approach to governance. The project outcome is the creation of a sustainable benchlearning system in Latvia, while the project outputs will consist of four cooperation and efficiency improvement networks of local governments and a benchmarking database for the assessment of municipal services. The direct target groups are local politicians and municipal employees, while indirect target groups include local residents and state administration institutions. As donor partner, the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities will introduce the benchlearning methodology, and work together with the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments in order to attain the project objective.