Skip to main content

ICO’s Written Input for the 21st Session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration

Agenda Item 6: Application of the Principles of Effective Governance for Sustainable Development at the Subnational Level

The International Communities Organisation (ICO) is pleased to share its insights for the 21st Session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration, focusing on “Application of the Principles of Effective Governance for Sustainable Development at the Subnational Level.”

Our Institute for Local Government Innovation is dedicated to researching, publishing, and promoting local policies and initiatives that positively impact communities worldwide. Through independent research, stakeholder engagement, and strategic partnerships, we aim to strengthen participatory governance at the subnational level.

ICO recognises the crucial role of local governance in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities. Our activities are designed to support democratic participation, civic dialogue, and sustainable development, ultimately improving the quality of life for communities. We value principles of participation, inclusiveness, collaboration, innovation, and competence.

Challenges and Solutions in Implementing SDGs Locally

We have identified several obstacles in implementing SDGs at the local level, particularly organisational factors that limit collaboration with non-state actors. This hinders public policy formulation and implementation, preventing the creation of coherent frameworks and realistic capacity development agendas. Providing relevant grassroots tools can significantly improve quality of life.

Key Catalysts for Inclusive, Resilient, and Sustainable Outcomes

1. Capacity Development:
In areas like Mitrovica and Douala, effective coordination and sustainable management across multiple governance levels are crucial. Tailored capacity-building programmes, addressing budget management, strategic planning, partnership building, civic engagement, and democratic participation, can support these needs.

2. Strong Local Leadership:
Local leaders who engage in international collaboration and learn from external experiences can drive significant progress. Effective leadership rooted in community benefits is essential for sustainable development.

3. Collaborative Ecosystems:
Empowering community members and civic society actors, especially women and young people, fosters inclusion and participation. In Jerusalem, women have demonstrated a strong ability to promote cross-community development, while young people’s commitment to a prosperous future makes them valuable collaborators.

4. Shared Vision:
Collaboration is most effective when founded on a shared vision devised by local people. Local knowledge and participation are essential for outlining the most appropriate actions for community development.

5. Local Government Advantages:
Local governments, with their smaller constituencies and geographical mandates, can act as laboratories for new ideas and hyper-localised implementation of SDGs. They are well-positioned to enact change within practical parameters and present themselves as unbiased community champions.


With the right external support, strong local leadership, and active participation of women and young people, local governments can drive impactful change. A collaborative ecosystem that values inclusion and combines traditional knowledge with innovative tools can empower communities to become self-reliant and advance sustainable development.