What We Do

Decentralised Cooperation

With only 9 years left to achieve the SDGs, UCLG and UCLG ASPAC have been actively supporting cities and local governments to support the 2030 Global Agenda. In its acceleration, it is always emphasised how local governments play the biggest role.  

In the Asia Pacific region, local and regional governments (LRGs) have played a central role in the achievement of the SDGs, as well as have encouraged the strategic regional partnership that could significantly help achieve the SDGs at the local level. Therefore, this is in line with the spirit of decentralisation.  

Decentralisation, refers to a reform measure that reconfigures power relationships between and among the different levels of a country’s governance institutions. In other words, mutual understanding and partnership between all levels of government will widen the pathways for more sustainable urbanisation, hence more sustainable cities. Furthermore, city and local governments, as well as local government associations (LGAs) will also be able to better understand and provide for the needs and preferences of the local people, following negotiation of power and reallocation of resources from national to sub-national governments, and then local governments.  

Within the scope of UCLG ASPAC, effective decentralisation can come in the form of decentralised cooperation, as UCLG had discovered a growing number of local governments who have established city-to-city cooperation to address their domestic challenges. Automatically, decentralised cooperation forms an essential part of the SDGs localisation process. It also opens up a new field and new opportunities for Asia-Pacific local governments internationally to share and enrich their knowledge in decentralised cooperation.  

Here is how the essence of decentralisation is reflected through the strategies within the UCLG ASP 2020-2025 Manifesto. 

  1. Effective decentralisation is an element of good governance, and an expression of democratic practice, as well as a pathway to a more efficient and public administration (referring to the UN-Habitat guidelines on decentralisation) 
  2. A need to build awareness and capacitate local governments and local governments associations towards establishing enabling environments for effective decentralisation and negotiating reallocation of authority and resources, taking into the consideration the varied levels of readiness of leadership, resources and capacity of said institutions in the region.  
  3. A need to establish database/inventory of cities/local government decentralisation experience for evidence-based policy and decision making in decentralisation. 
  4. A need to improve capacity building in cooperation between cities, national governments, regional associations, international organisations, research centres, private sectors and technology developers on key integrated sustainable urbanisation issues. 


To promote strong and effective democratic local self-government throughout the region/world by fostering unity and cooperation among members.

To ensure the effective political representation of local government to the UN and other international communities.

To be the worldwide source of key information on local government, learning, exchange, and capacity building to support democratic local governments and their associations.

To promote economic, social, cultural, vocational and environmental development by enhancing the services to the citizens based on good governance.

To promote race and gender equality, combating discrimination, promoting decentralized cooperation and international cooperation between local governments and their associations.

To promote twinning and partnership between local governments and peoples.