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Municipal Finance
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While the financial structure of local governments may not be as ‘eye-catching’ as other governance related issues, it is nevertheless a burning issue in so far as it links with customary administration, national development priorities and the emergence of modern local government management ethos. Undoubtedly, local government financial management systems are highly diverse and complex. They reflect complicated trade-offs among competing demands and interests. They maintain a range of relationships with a variety of stakeholders from national government regulators, the private sector service providers, civil servants, and the public at large. 

In order to assist local authorities to strengthen their financial management capacity, UN-HABITAT, together with Earthscan, has published the Financial Management for Local Government Series (FMLG). It focuses on the needs and potential obstacles that developing countries may experience as they move towards decentralization and democracy and it is packaged in four volumes; Creating a Financial Framework, Managing the Operating Budget, Managing Capital Investments and Managing Performance.

The chapters within each volume are divided into basic and advanced concepts and a Trainer’s Guide is provided at the beginning of each volume to help trainers and other key individuals use these materials as widely as possible. Learning applications are sprinkled throughout each chapter at appropriate stopping points and each chapter has a set of training exercises that may be used in a group setting.

Order hard copy (volume 1-4)

Volume 1: Creating a Financial Framework
The first volume provides decision makers with a basic financial foundation. Financial policies, planning and citizen participation are cross-cutting topics that impact all aspects of local government decision-making. Volume 1 is especially good for policy makers and chief executive officers.

Download as PDF; English

Volume 2: Managing the Operating Budget

The second volume is more technical in nature but the basic concepts can still be used for policy makers. The advanced concepts are written primarily for chief executive officers, finance managers and department heads. The short-term operating budget and long-term capital investment plans, the engines that drive local government, have a central role and there is an added emphasis on the need for citizen input.

Download as PDF; English

Volume 3: Managing Capital Investments

The third volume is somewhat technical but the basic concepts will work with policy makers.  The advanced concepts can be used with the chief executive officers, finance managers and department heads. Citizen participation, transparency and accountability are highlighted in this volume.

Download as PDF; English

Volume 4: Managing Performance

The fourth volume includes the topics which help focus on a local government’s performance. It is more technical in nature, but the basic concepts portions can be used for policy and decision makers.

Download as PDF; English

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