July 07, 2022     cib    

On 8 and 9 June, 45 practitioners from local governments and their associations traveled to Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, for the first in-person CIB annual meeting since september 2019, hosted by the Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities (VVSG) and the municipality of Sint-Niklaas. CIB members really appreciated to catch up with each other, ongoing programmes and donor developments. During the meeting former CIB chair Peter Knip handed over to Dr. Neila Akrimi, senior manager at VNG International and director of CILG-VNG International as new chair of the CIB working group. Pascal Lavoie, director International and Governance and Social Inclusion Programs at FCM, was installed as co-chair.

Intensive two-day programme
After welcome remarks of Mayor of Sint-Niklaas, mr. Lieven Dehandschutter, the first day revolved around knowledge exchange and policy work. Members got to reconnect during an extended tour the table, in which we also exchanged on the impact of COVID and on how the SDGs have been integrated (or not) in our organisations in recent years. In the afternoon, CIB arranged for a policy debate on the role of local governments in development cooperation, based on the findings and recommendations of the new UCLG-CIB policy paper on development cooperation and local governments. Former co-chair Sebastien Hamel moderated a debate between CIB members and Andrea Ferrari-Bravo, head of sector of local authorities at DG INTPA (European Commission), Tonni Ann Brodber of UN Women, Stefano Marta from the OECD, Christian Luy from DeLoG and Hemanthi Goonasekera from the Federation of Sri Lankan Local Government Authorities. CIB endorsed the final draft, which was sent to the UCLG Executive Bureau and then approved by the broader UCLG network. 

The second day was opened by Neila Akrimi and Pascal Lavoie, as new leadership of CIB. The first session served to get to know them better, learn about their ambitions for CIB and look ahead at upcoming activities and events. The CIB members expressed the interest to better connect to UCLG processes, such as the UCLG world congress in Korea in October, diversify the membership and boost knowledge exchange, among other priorities. The last component of the programme were more in-depth working sessions on gender & programming, climate resilience in international programming and Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning practices. Members agreed to keep in touch on these important topics and build on each others experiences and lessons learnt.

Main take-aways & next steps

  • A more detailed report of the meeting will be shared with CIB members in the week of the 11th of July, including information on the financing of the Working Group
  • The CIB secretariat will organize an online debriefing session in September, to catch up on the latest activities of members and of CIB. UCLG will be invited to this session, as members expressed an interest in learning more about UCLG and how to connect to the ongoing UCLG work.
  • During Summer, the CIB working group will focus on three CIB activities, together with members: i) the further development of the concept of a CIB gender hub; ii) the development of a MOOC on Voluntary Subnational Reporting and iii) the launch of a study on the work of cities in the field of global justice & international cooperation
  • Moreover, we will be preparing different activities in the run-up to the UCLG world congress - stay tuned through our newsletter, social media and the CIB whatsapp group
  • Neila and Pascal will be introduced to various partners in the network. If you want to connect to them on something in particular, please reach out to uclg.cib@vng.
  • We gladly announce that next years' meeting will be hosted by UCLG Africa in the city of Marrakesh. Dates will be communicated to you soon!