The second UCLG GOLD report, “Local Government Finance: The Challenges of the 21st Century” analyzes the architecture of fiscal decentralization in over a hundred countries.
It finds that the majority of countries, local authorities are taking on greater responsibilities in terms of public investment and the provision of basic services, but that revenue sources too often remain limited and irregular, especially for small and middle size cities.
GOLD II also identifies universal, as well as regional and country-specific financing challenges facing local governments. Some of the most common and consequential challenges include unpredictable and problematically structured transfers and grants, excessive budget controls imposed by higher-level governments, and unfunded mandates.
The report gives recommendations for national and local policy-makers and intended to strengthen the fiscal role and performance of local governments around the world.