Global Local quarterly round-up

Catch up with what we’ve been covering in our quarterly round-up. Make sure you’re signed up for our global insight package so you never miss an issue.

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This Global Local edition brings together the content we’ve featured so far this year, along with survey findings and a look ahead to the coming months.

It has been a turbulent start to 2022 so far for local government globally.

Challenges have kept coming: from high Covid-19 cases and uneasy hybrid working transitions, to major flooding in Australia and New Zealand, to ongoing cost of living and refugee crises exacerbated by the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. However, there have also been signs of hope, as pandemic restrictions finally started to ease in many places and thousands of people united to donate money, essential objects, and living space to support people affected by the Ukrainian war.

Across 12 Global Local editions this year, we have provided a local government perspective on headline topics, highlighting practical examples, best practice case studies, and fresh thinking and research. We’ve also looked at some overlooked topics, showcasing innovation and inspiration. As well as this, we’ve listened to your survey feedback and shaped our service accordingly. We’ll highlight some of the headlines later in this round-up.

This curated edition allows you to revisit your favourite topics – and gives our new readers a chance to catch up on what they have missed. Keep reading for a new edition of our popular Think Tank Review and a glimpse of what’s coming up over the next few months.

Thank you for reading Global Local. As always, please feel free to get in touch with your ideas for this service or to share your story with us. You can also follow us on Twitter or share this free newsletter to help us reach more global innovators in local government.

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Ukraine Crisis

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special edition focused on the implications of the Ukraine invasion for local government globally. LGIU is continuing to gather key resources for local government about how the sector can provide leadership and adapt.

This edition included a new briefing on how the Ukraine invasion might make local government even more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

We also shared an urgent call for volunteer home visitors to support refugee resettlement in the UK and co-hosted a moving event on Ukrainian local democracy, featuring Ukrainian councillors and regional experts (see below).

“I’m used to working with life and death matters of local government. … [But] life and death decisions around democracy and survival in Ukraine took that combination of inspirational and heartbreaking to another level.”

LGIU’s Ingrid Koehler reflects on ‘Local Governments in Ukraine: constraints and opportunities for peace and democracy’: a partner event between LGIU and the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy. Read about the event in full here.

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Cost of living

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Across two editions, we explored innovative ways that local government can help to address rising cost of living concerns.

We explored steps that local government can take to reduce energy costs and fuel poverty, from energy efficiency initiatives to more radical projects such as district heat networks. We highlighted best practice case studies including Spain’s community energy initiatives and the district heat network in Copenhagen, Denmark.

We also looked at how local governments around the world are tackling housing affordability issues – faced by almost 90% of cities globally. We featured innovative local solutions to this issue from an affordability strategy including rent controls in Berlin, Germany, to a strategy helping senior citizens to ‘rightsize’ in Cork, Ireland.

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Governance

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After the launch of the ‘Levelling Up’ White Paper in the UK, we explored regional inequality and centralisation globally. We outlined insights from CIPFA’s paper on global city-led levelling up best practice and featured a New Zealand case study on the impacts of central-led cuts.

Local government reform was the focus of our first Global Local Executive Panel this year with the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA). The event featured local government CEOs and experts from England, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand. Read our live event thread for key panellist insights.

Global Local Executive Panel Series
With global partners, we’re offering you regular panel events bringing together senior local government executives from around the globe to share ideas, compare approaches and explore learning opportunities.

Our next panel will explore ‘Trust and Culture in Local Government’ on 26 May. Find out how to take part in this event and future panels here.

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Equalities

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Our International Women’s Day edition turned a critical eye to both the role of women in local government and local government’s role in supporting women and girls. We featured initiatives to improve women’s political participation, plus targeted gender mainstreaming interventions.

Most recently, we focused on how local government can use procurement powers to improve social outcomes – both locally and throughout the supply chain. Featured examples included ethical ICT procurement recommendations, sustainable food procurement strategies, and policies empowering Indigenous people.

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Healthcare

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The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted and exacerbated health inequalities, significantly impacting many people but also creating a new impetus to address the root causes more comprehensively than before.

We explored the challenge of global health inequalities in an edition featuring a new long read about local government’s key role in addressing this issue, supported by inspiring local policy examples.

To mark Valentine’s Day, we focused on local government’s role in sexual health services. Many sexual health services are still severely disrupted, creating significant, lasting impacts on gender equality globally. We featured a briefing with innovative service delivery case studies from the UK and Canada.

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Tech & data

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Rapid technological changes in recent years facilitated the structural shift to global working culture initiated by the pandemic.Local government has a key role in adapting to the changing nature of work in recovery and beyond – both within their organisation and the communities they serve. To support this, we highlighted innovative approaches to regional coworking, European ‘right to disconnect’ policies, and public sector hybrid working guides.

Open data was ubiquitous during the pandemic in the form of dashboards and statistics, but local government can expand its use in other areas. Good practice examples range from user-friendly platforms to resources supporting collaboration.

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Transport

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Our weatherproofing active travel edition focused on how local government can help to make active travel safe and appealing all year round.

We highlighted a new briefing with practical examples of how Nordic cities are designed to support mobility year round, plus equitable cycle investment case studies and wider policy lenses incorporating local weather conditions.

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Survey: what you told us

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In January, we asked Global Local readers to tell us what you wanted us to cover  this year. We had some fantastic responses. Here are the headlines.

The top 3 global issues that interested you the most were:

1    Democracy & governance (59%)
   Social welfare & equalities (53%)
3 = Housing & planning (44%)
3 = Environmental issues (44%)

You told us you wanted more global content on community engagement and finance. We’ve listened and will cover these topics later this year. Some of you asked us to cover sexual health services and active travel, which we featured this quarter.

75% of you use Global Local to improve your knowledge of topics, while 57% use it to inform your current work and/or stay up to date with the latest sectoral innovation.

More than 90% of you want to see more global best practice, research and resources in Global Local, while 87% want to see more news and inspiration. You overwhelmingly prefer an equal share of both upbeat, skimmable content and deep, technical exploration of issues.

Nearly 85% of you prefer to receive Global Local emails once a week or less, which has informed the direction we are taking this service.

Have an idea you’d like us to cover?

Let us know here or drop us a line at ingrid.koehler@lgiu.org

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More from Global Local

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See our December 2021 Global Local roundup

NEW: March 2022 Global Local Think Tank Review

This month’s Think Tank Review focuses on democracy and governance, particularly in Europe and North America. We also cover data, urban and rural development, energy and Covid-19 recovery, as well as healthcare satisfaction. Read this new briefing here.

Instant insight to global innovation

Each week LGIU looks at another tough policy problem faced by local government around the world. We provide you an instant overview of local solution to global challenges through a newsletter packed with practical examples of innovation and inspiration. Sign up for Global Local now.
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