Course introduction

Local public services, including access to health, waste management and social services, have a huge impact on our daily lives and well-being. Unfortunately, the poor often lack access to these important services. Local governments have an important role in ensuring access and quality of these services for all citizens.

In this course you will discuss questions such as:
How can the different layers of government work together to ensure basic services also reach the poorest people?
How can they set up the financial management of services in a transparent and democratic way?
How can partnerships with NGOs and the private sector help local governments to better deal with challenges?

The course equips you with a number of practical and analytical tools and brings you new ideas to conceive and implement policies and projects on pro-poor local service delivery. Separate modules will zoom in on the development of local systems for waste management, health and social services. The Sustainable Development Goals will be an important starting point for discussion and knowledge sharing.

This training course is designed for

Professionals working in the field of decentralisation, local governance, public service provision and development. The course offers a combination of presentations by top experts and innovative exercises, as well as ample opportunity to reflect on your own working context and an exchange of experiences with experts and other participants.  Furthermore, you will visit Dutch best practices in waste mangement and one-stop-shops.

Learning objectives

This course will help you to:

  • increase your insight into the basic conditions for good local service delivery;
  • better understand the roles of the different layers of government, including central government in creating conditions and maintaining oversight;
  • gain insight on the implication of the SDGs for local service delivery and local governments;
  • understand challenges and possibilities in financing service provision at the local level;
  • increase collaboration and interaction between public and private sector (public private partnerships), with the civil society and between central and local government.

The experts

Contributions come amongst others from:

David Jackson, works for UNCDF in New York as a Director of the Local Development Finance Practice Area  where he leads the Unit’s strategy to strengthen public finance for local development. He has  more than 20 years experience in public sector governance, planning and budgeting at local and central levels and has published papers on the political and technical challenges of decentralisation in Africa, where he has worked in the 1990ies.

Maarten Siebel is associate professor of Environmental Biotechnology with a PhD in Bioprocess Engineering from Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, U.S.A. His professional expertise and interest are related to different aspects of smart water management, cleaner production applications, the management of solid waste in urban or suburban areas and the application of industrial ecology systems. He is in charge of various research and capacity building projects in different countries such as India, China, Indonesia and Guatemala.

Wilma Meeus  is an independent consultant. Wilma (MD, MPH) focuses on supporting health systems strengthening in fragile states. She utilises her prior experience (28 years) in managing NGO health programmes and advising national and provincial health authorities in emergency and long-term public health programmes. She has worked in Tanzania, Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, Burkina Faso, the DRC, Rwanda, South Africa, Kosovo and Zambia and has provided public health consultancy services in Afghanistan, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Mozambique, India, Ethiopia, Liberia and South Sudan.

Practical information

The course fee is € 2.950,-. This includes all training-related costs, as well as drinks, lunches, training materials and travel during the training programme. Travel to and from The Hague and accommodation is not included.
Group discounts are available if you participate with three of more colleagues in this course. Email us for more information.

The course language is English. This course takes place in our office in The Hague, The Netherlands.

If you would like to receive more information or in case you have any questions, you can contact us at or +31(70) 37 38 695.

Application procedure

Deadline for application is 16 September, 2016. For more information about the application procedure and the online application form, click here.

Fellowship opportunities

Nuffic Fellowships:
The Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education (NUFFIC) offers fellowships for training courses, as part of the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) for short courses and the MENA Scholarship Programme (MSP). The aim is to promote capacity building within organisations in eligible countries (51 for NFP en 7 for MSP) via training and education for professionals. This is initiated and fully funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the budget for development cooperation.

The application deadline for these fellowships has passed already.