November 30, 2018     cib    

In 2016, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities started what became a 2-year process to reflect on its approach to capacity development with municipal institutions worldwide.

Their conceptual framework dated back to 1997! FCM felt the need to review its assumptions and experience, and to bring its approaches up to date. A major phase of growth and reorganization of the (Canadian and international) programs contributed in making this initiative strategic and timely. The aim of the review was to bring better clarity to FCM's development efforts and build stronger program coherence.

The central questions FCM asked included:

  • What development problems are our projects trying to solve?

  • What is FCM’s niche in solving these problems?

  • Who are the main stakeholders we are seeking to support or influence?

  • How do we define our end-game with municipal partners?

The discussions resulted in a conceptual framework that identified six conditions to municipal development, including four at the local level and two related to intergovernmental relations. This diagram now helps to engage partners to define municipal development in their country context. It also helps to align tools, such as organizational assessment (see

As FCM shared in the last issue (, they also developed video capsules to help exemplify these ideas through stories of partners and experts involved in its work. As promised, FCM is sharing the full series here. Get in touch with FCM at or if you have comments or questions!


  1. Local government (LG) strategic and inclusive leadership (2 videos): and

  2. LG administrative and functional competency (2 videos): and

  3. LG access to technology and resources:

  4. LG engagement with community and stakeholders (2 videos): and

  5. Inter-municipal cooperation and association:

  6. Intergovernmental relations: