As part of The Hague Academy’s efforts to strengthen its ties to leading research and implementing organisations in the field of local governance and decentralisation, The Hague Academy for Local Governance has recently formalised its ties with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the Urban Institute Centre of International Development and Governance through a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

UNCDF works with partners in numerous countries to promote sustainable development, eradication of poverty, advancement of women, good governance and the rule of law. It contributes to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Least Developed Countries through a variety of innovative approaches in both local development and microfinance.

The Hague Academy has been training many UNCDF staff-members in the last years and through this MoU, now officially committed to support UNCDF on enhancing its development activities in strengthening countries’ capacities for effective decentralization, local government and good governance; improve access to basic social services; and promote public dialogue and accountability.

The Urban Institute Center on International Development and Governance is widely recognised as a leading centre of knowledge in the areas of local governance and service delivery, public finance, and other areas of government interaction with citizens. Its experts contribute to training programs and capacity building activities for institutions including the World Bank, government counterparts in developing countries and the Duke University Center for International Development (DCID).

During 2010, the Urban Institute and The Hague Academy already collaborated on a series of training courses, including courses on Decentralisation and Local Governance; Service Delivery and the MDGs; and Peacebuilding, Decentralisation and Local Governance. This collaborative effort has now been formalised, and in addition to collaboration on The Hague Academy’s existing course offerings and other projects of mutual interest, the two institutions will offer a joint course on Fiscal Decentralisation and Local Finances in The Hague in November 2011.