Tuesday, 22 Mar 2022  |  Reading time:  11 mins  | Read online

Local government and the impact of the Ukraine invasion

As this week's content is directly relevant to your topics of interest, we're sharing the latest edition of Global Local with you. This edition brings together our most recent resources, commentary and events about the Ukraine invasion. More information about Global Local is available here.

Mayors and local government remain the last line of defence and support for their people. Local governments both near to and far from conflict are often the first line of comfort and support for refugees.

Local governments around the world are standing up for the people of Ukraine, by signing declarations of supportlighting up prominent landmarks to show solidarity, cancelling energy deals with Putin-linked supplier Gazprom, and revoking twinned city relationships with Russian cities.

As a local democracy charity, LGIU will always stand with those who support truth, transparency, and keeping decision-making power with local people and their democratically elected representatives.

In this edition, we highlight resources and perspectives from the LGIU team to help local government cope with the evolving impacts of this conflict.

We're also sharing an urgent call for skilled workers to help refugee resettlement in the UK and the opportunity to hear from Ukrainian academics and councillors in an important local peacebuilding discussion this Thursday. 

Urgent call: Use your home check skills to help refugees

The charity Refugees at Home has issued an urgent call for volunteer home visitors as the number of people offering rooms to those fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine reaches unprecedented levels. 

Many local government officers have the skills needed now to make the Homes for Ukraine scheme work in practice in the UK. 
Click here to find out how you can help.

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We are a non-profit, non-partisan organisation for anyone with a passion for local democracy and finding local solutions to global challenges.
Click here to find out more about Global Local from LGIU

This week's featured resources

Local government and the impact of the Ukraine invasion

LGIU has gathered key resources for local government to provide information on the many ways that the sector can provide leadership or will need to adapt. We will continue to add resources as we know more.

As the rest of the world watches, waits and takes action, local government will feel the impact of Ukraine's invasion by Russian forces.

Councils will be dealing with the fallout from the war, including but not limited to the following:

Refugees and displaced persons
From supporting basic housing needs to helping refugees live productive, engaged lives during resettlement, councils play a vital role. We highlight key information we first brought together at the height of the Afghan refugee crisis last year and examples of effective global resettlement schemes.

Trust in systems and information security
The war in Ukraine isn’t just being fought in the fields and the streets, but also online. Local government must continue to play a key role in combatting misinformation, representing the importance of local democracy and protecting data assets.

Energy and cost of living
Russia is a major exporter of gas and oil. Global energy prices were already on the rise and, with post-pandemic supply chain issues and labour market disruption, many councils and families were feeling the squeeze. How can local government deal with this?

LGIU Perspectives


Honouring the Ukrainian spirit

The events unfolding in Ukraine offer us all an important reminder of how important our democracy is and how we must fight to protect it. LGIU Chief Executive Jonathan Carr-West explains the vital role local government needs to play right now and in the future. 
Read this article here.

Lessons from Ireland and their humanitarian response to Ukraine

In Ireland, much debate and discussion recently have been centred around the required humanitarian response to Ukraine. LGIU’s Dr Seán Ó’Riordáin explores the ways in which local government will need to continue to step up in the coming months and years. 
Read this article here.

Energy affordability: building community resilience

With higher energy costs globally contributing to cost of living concerns, last week’s Global Local edition explored some of the steps local government can take to reduce energy costs and fuel poverty. 
Read our content here.

Online Event: Local Governments in Ukraine: constraints and opportunities for peace and democracy – March 24, 9:00 GMT

The current situation in Ukraine calls for a better understanding on the role of local governments and local democracy in peacebuilding and a broader understanding about how they experience and cope with war. 

This panel includes local government officials and politicians from Ukraine, providing insights into their current role and the role they hope to play post-conflict. It is jointly organised by LGIU, the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy, and the Malmö Association of Foreign Affairs.

Register here to attend this important discussion.

Cyber attacks: how might the Ukraine invasion make local government more vulnerable?

By Ivan Minguez Guillem, LGIU Associate

Local authorities are among the most targeted organisations for cyber attacks globally. As cybercriminals seek to take advantage of current disorder, local government should remain vigilant and adopt preventive cybersecurity measures and policies across their workforce as soon as possible.
Find the excerpt below, or Click here for the full article.

NATO member governments have been preparing and responding for months to cyber attacks launched directly by the Russian military and its virtual collaborators.

The bulk of cyber defence systems are focused on financial institutions, power plants, communication systems and other vital infrastructures. These cyber defence systems are supported by law enforcement and military personnel, as well as a broad community of companies with expertise in different aspects of cybersecurity, such as hackers, computer scientists, specialist lawyers, and insurers.

Although this high level of activation is reassuring, it may be bad news for local authorities, which might be left vulnerable to cybercrime. In essence, most local authorities will not be able to rely on the usual support to defend themselves against cyber attacks and are likely to be virtually on their own for some time to come.

Moreover, municipalities that are attacked may have trouble recording what they have lost and it is doubtful that cybercrime insurers will be able to respond quickly to requests from all insured local governments. The best strategy now is to rapidly increase all prevention mechanisms and protocols.

So, which cybersecurity measures should councils prioritise?

Policy perspective: Can local government learn from Ukraine's information war?

Ukraine seems to be winning the information war. Two really insightful podcasts look at how they’re doing that.

The Tortoise Slow Newscast covered the information war in a 40-minute podcast looking at the tactics and human approaches as well as the subtle twists that get the message through.

Another 15-minute podcast from the New Yorker which features an interview with Igor Novikov, a former adviser to President Zelensky, on the attention economy with insight for anyone who works in comms.

In a time when it can feel difficult to to get to grips with misinformation whether it be political or public health (or both), these podcasts not only highlight the human tragedy in Ukraine but also how we can learn from the tactics developed in crisis to support our own communications challenges.

Find more insights about tackling misinformation locally here.

Coming up

Next week, we will publish a new briefing about the UK Government guidance relating to the Homes for Ukraine refugee scheme and what it means for local government.

As the crisis unfolds, we will continue to update our bundle of resources to support councils, bringing you original briefings and curating links to support elsewhere.

If you have story to share, please let us know.

Thanks for reading!

Next week, we'll look at how local governments can use social procurement to benefit their communities. At the start of April, we're sharing a quarterly roundup of the topics we have explored so far this year.

If you would like to share your story, you can fill in this simple form or drop me a line at [email protected]. Please forward this free newsletter to a colleague or share it on social media to help us reach even more people who value local government globally. We tweet from @GlobalLocalLGIU.

Want more content? Visit our website to access our Global Local briefings, blogs, podcast and more.

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