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Cymraeg

People power

18 December 2007

A Cardiff University academic has met with the Indian government to discuss how local people can have a greater say in the way their community is governed.

Professor John Loughlin, Cardiff School of European Studies, is Chair of the Advisory Group of Experts on Decentralisation for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), which has produced a set of Guidelines on Effective Decentralization.

The Government of India invited Professor Loughlin and his group of experts to meet in New Delhi this month to discuss the implementation of the Guidelines.

The Guidelines outline the principles of practice of local democracy and were inspired by the Council of Europe’s European Charter of Local Self-government. They lay out the practical steps that governments must take to ensure the practice of local autonomy which is now seen as an essential element of good governance.

Professor Loughlin, whose expertise lies particularly in the areas of local and regional democracy said: "It is very gratifying to be part of a process which is helping people around the world to have a greater say in the way their communities are governed.

Implenting effective decentralization can be particularly challenging in those countries with a long history of centralization and weak local capacity and this was the primary focus of the New Delhi meeting."