Thursday, January 28
The impact of the global economic downturn has been felt across all regions of the world, with varying fiscal impact across regions. While much focus and analysis has been devoted to national economies and their fiscal implications, less attention has been given to the impact on local governments, both in economic and fiscal terms. This session reviewed the economic and financial impact of the crisis at the local level on both sides of the Atlantic, focusing on Washington, DC and a number of Eastern European local governments. Key indicators and trends were reviewed and early lessons derived from this experience that are relevant to the developing world. What impact has economic contraction had on fiscal policy and practices at the local government level? What impact has there been on service delivery quality and coverage? What coping strategies have been adopted by local governments and to what effect? What localities have been hardest hit and which have proven to be the most resilient and why? These questions and others were explored and discussed with prominent academics, practitioners and policy analysts during this session.
Video recording of session 1 and session 2.
Abha Joshi-Ghani, Sector Manager, Urban Development & Local Government Anchor; Finance, Economics and Urban Development Unit, Sustainable Development Network, World Bank
Presenters & Commentators
Stephen Fuller, Dwight Schar Faculty Chair and University Professor & Director, Center for Regional Analysis; School of Public Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
Natwar Gandhi, Chief Financial Officer, District of Columbia
Robert Ebel, Chair, Steering Committee of the Local Government and Public Sector Service Initiative (Open Society Institute), and Adjunct Professor in New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Administration
Ken Davey, Special Advisor, Open Society Institute’s Local Government Initiative and former Professor, University of Birmingham, Institute of Local Government Studies and School of Public Policy
David Grossman, Director, International Division, International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
William Dillinger, Lead Public Sector Management Specialist, PREM Network, Europe and Central Asia Region, The World Bank