Title Better Cities, Better World
Subtitle A Handbook on Local Governments Self-Assessments
Author Catherine Farvacque-Vitkovic, Mihaly Kopanyi
ISBN 9781464813368
List price USD 45.00
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 346
Book size 191 X 235 mm
Publishing year 2019
Original publisher The World Bank
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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The planet is becoming increasingly urban. In many ways, the urbanization wave and the unprecedented urban growth of the past 20 years have created a sense of urgency and an impetus for change. Some 54 percent of the world’s population—3.9 billion people—lives in urban areas today; thus, it has become clear that “business as usual” is no longer possible.

This new configuration places great expectations on local governments. While central governments are subject to instability and political changes, local governments are seen as more inclined to stay the course. Because they are closer to the people, the voice of the people is more clearly heard for a truly democratic debate over the choice of neighborhood investments and city-wide policies and programs, as well as the decision process on the use of public funds and taxpayers’ money. In a context of skewed financial resources and complex urban challenges—that range from the provision of basic traditional municipal services to the “newer” agenda of social inclusion, economic development, city branding, emergency response, smart technologies, and green investment—more cities are searching for more effective and innovative ways to deal with new and old problems.

Better Cities, Better World: A Handbook on Local Governments Self-Assessments is at the heart of this debate. It recognizes the complex past, current, and future challenges that cities face and outlines a bottom-line, no-nonsense framework for data-based policy dialogue and action; a common language that, for the first time, helps connect the dots between public investments programming (Urban Audit/ Self-Assessment) and financing (Municipal Finances Self-Assessment). It helps address two key questions, too often bypassed when it comes to municipal infrastructure and services financing: Are we doing the right things? Are we doing things right?

Better Cities, Better World: A Handbook on Local Governments Self-Assessments offers a bit of everything for everyone.

  • Central governments will be attracted by the purposefulness and clarity of these tools, their impact on local government capacity and performance building, and how they improve the implementation of transformative actions for policy change.
  • City leaders and policy makers will find the sections on objectives and content instructive and informative, with each issue placed in its context, and strong connections between data and municipal action.
  • Municipal staff in charge of day-to-day management will find that the sections on tasks and the detailed step-by-step walk through the process give them the pragmatic know how that they need.
  • Cities’ partners—such as bilateral and multilateral agencies, banks and funds, utility companies, civil society, and private operators—will find the foundations for more effective collaborative partnerships.




About the Authors


Chapter 1. Genesis, Objectives and Rationale, Process and Methodology: The Story behind Local Governments Self-Assessments • Genesis • Objectives and Rationale for Local Governments Self-Assessments: Connecting the Dots between Municipal Investments and Finances • Local Governments Self-Assessments: Process and Methodology • References • Additional Readings

Chapter 2. Making Sense of the City and Sorting Out Investment Needs and Priorities: The Urban Audit/Self-Assessment • Objectives and Approach • Block 1. City Profile • Block 2. City Diagnosis and Needs Assessment • Block 3. Priority Investment Programs: Selection, Consultation, and Implementation • The “So What?” Question: Beyond Investments, A Solution Package of Supporting Measures • Note • References • Additional Readings

Chapter 3. Getting the Finances in Order: The Municipal Finances Self-Assessment • Objectives and Rationale • MFSA Methodology • Step 1: Setting Up Core Databases • Step 2: Historical Analysis • Step 3: Ratio Analysis • Step 4: Financial Projections • Step 5: Financial Management Assessment • Step 6: MFSA Action Plan • References

Chapter 4. Way Forward and Perspectives for the Future: Transformative Actions for a New Urban Agenda • Beyond the Nuts and Bolts of Local Governments • Self-Assessments: A World of Applications • Institutionalization of LGSA: Integrating LGSA into Current Practice of Local Governments • LGSA Contribution to City-Based Knowledge Products: Data with a Purpose, Data with a Voice, Deep Dive into Storytelling • LGSAs: Tapping External Sources of Funding and Accessing Multiple Windows of Financing • From LGSAs to Green Financing • From LGSAs to Municipal Programs: Partnership Agreements and the Municipal Contract • Keeping an Eye on the Prize: A Bottom-Line Approach to Better City Management • References • Additional Readings

Appendix A: Local Governments Self-Assessments: Simplified Framework or Version “Light”

Appendix B: Detailed Methodology and Procedures to Help Calculate Specific Results in MFSA

Appendix C: Municipal Finances Self-Assessment Online Application: An Interactive Platform for Mainstreaming of Use

Appendix D: MFSA Action Plan: Long List of Possible Key Actions

Appendix E: Self-Assessed Shadow Credit Rating


About the Authors:

Catherine Farvacque-Vitkovic has more than 30 years of World Bank experience in many regions of the world. As Lead Urban Development Specialist at the World Bank, she has led the preparation and implementation of a large number of urban development, municipal management, and infrastructure projects in many cities around the world. She is the author or coauthor of several sector studies as well as several books. Among them are the following:

Reforming Urban Land Policies and Institutions in Developing Cities/ Politiques foncières des villes en développement (available in English and French)

The Future of African Cities: Challenges and Opportunities for Urban Development/L’Avenir des villes Africaines, enjeux et priorités (available in English and French)

Street Addressing and the Management of Cities (available in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish) and companion E-Learning Program

Municipal Finances: A Handbook for Local Governments (available in English, French, Mandarin, and Spanish) and companion E-Learning Program.

She has a keen interest in translating lessons from experience and cutting-edge know-how into practical knowledge products and capacitybuilding programs for local governments around the world. Her interests, work experience, and extensive field practice have led her to connect the dots between land management, city planning, investment programming, and municipal finances.

Mihaly Kopanyi has more than 25 years of World Bank experience and has worked in cities in 30 countries and on four continents. His key areas of expertise include financial management, municipal finances, own-revenue enhancements, and property taxation. He led the Municipal Finance Thematic Group of the World Bank for over a decade until his retirement. He is a municipal finance adviser to project teams in urban lending projects and capacity-building programs, with special focus on assessing the financial health of local governments and seeking options for improvements.

He has written or edited numerous books and book chapters, and dozens of papers for the World Bank and the London School of Economics. Major volumes he has coauthored for the World Bank include Municipal Finances: A Handbook for Local Governments (2014) (English, French, Mandarin, and Spanish); “Municipal Finances E-Learning Program” (2015); Intergovernmental Finances—A Case of Hungary (2004); and the MFSA Online Application (a forthcoming companion document prepared by the authors).

Target Audience:

This book will be useful to people interested in public finance, audit, urbanization and .economic development.

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