Decentralization and Local Governance Policy Specialist
I'm Clare Romanik, and I lead our work on local governance and local development in the region.
My main areas of expertise cover:
- Decentralization: assessing levels of decentralization and the design of intergovernmental fiscal systems including equalization grants
- Sustainable local development: integrating energy and environmental issues with economic development and transparent resource management
- Municipal management: inter-municipal cooperation, oversight mechanisms, performance management to improve service delivery
I have 17 years experience providing policy technical assistance and performing analytical research, monitoring and evaluation in areas of decentralization, local governance, local economic development, housing, and social protection.
I'm supporting country offices and national partners in the region of Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on area-based development, local economic development, fiscal decentralization, public service delivery, and public accountability at the local level. An exciting new initiative is attempting to integrate climate changes issues into UNDP’s local development work.
Prior to joining UNDP, I worked for the American think tank The Urban Institute, where I performed policy research, conducted evaluations, and delivered technical assistance for projects in Europe and the CIS. I was based in Kyrgyzstan for three years, where I directed the USAID Decentralization and Local Government Programme, which assisted 160 municipalities and provided policy advice at the national level.
2007- 2009 In Kyrgyzstan, I led a complex project that introduced the concept of local economic development to Kyrgyzstan, supported intergovernmental fiscal reform, introduced a new property tax, and helped institute public information practices including the country’s first municipal web portal that publishes municipal property registries and information on budget execution. With our encouragement, city administrations began to use citizen surveys for unbiased information from their residents that assess performance delivering municipal services. The former project staff have formed one of the country’s leading think tanks.
2005 - 2006 I also managed a large local economic development program in Serbia, and local governance programmes in Montenegro and Moldova. Leading monitoring and evaluation for various projects, I have designed survey instruments, performed complex analysis, and trained local staff in defining meaningful project indicators and organizing data collection and analysis. The Policy Fellows Course I developed has been used in several countries to teach government officials and advocacy NGO staff how to think critically about public programmes.
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