Forum News

Regional Workshop for Elected Women Mayors in Mexico

On May 3, 2017, the Forum of Federations, in cooperation with the National Institute on Federalism in Mexico’s Interior Ministry (Secretaría de Gobernación), the Center for Municipal and Metropolitan Studies (National Autonomous University of Mexico), the State of Queretaro and the Embassy of Canada in Mexico, held a one day workshop on tools to support the election of women to executive political positions. With specific focus on the municipal sphere, this workshop brought together mayors and public officials from the States of México, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Querétaro and San Luis Potosí, to exchange experiences and practices with national and international experts. The Forum of Federations identified and sponsored the participation of Catherine Fortin LeFaivre from Equal Voice Canada, and Mukta Tilak, Mayor of Pune, India.

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Workshop in India on Health Services in the Federal Context

With over 1 Billion people living on the Indian subcontinent, health care delivery has become vitally important and challenging for government structures. The Government of India released a report outlining different priorities and goals for government to improve.

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Forum Hosts Ethiopia in Canada

During the final week of April 2017, the Forum of Federations facilitated and hosted a study visit of Ethiopian members of the House of Federation funded by the United Nations Development Programme.

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Forum of Federations in Myanmar

Georg Milbradt, Chairman of Board, and Hon. Bob Rae, Forum Fellow, meeting with Mahn Win Khaing Than, the Speaker of the House of Nationalities, to discuss Federalism.

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Federalism in Germany

On January 19-20, 2017, the Forum gathered an eminent group of German and international experts to analyse the current state of Germany’s federal system and to provide an outlook towards the future at a two-day conference hosted by the German Bundesrat. The Bundesrat is Germany’s chamber representing its 16 states, or Länder, as they are called.

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Federal Countries Sharing Knowledge and Best Practices

A nine-member high level Ethiopian government delegation visited New Delhi on 11 December 2016 on a ten-day experience-sharing international programme on ‘Inter Governmental Relations and Practices of Fiscal Federalism’. The programme was sponsored by the Government of Federal Democratic of Republic of Ethiopia, the UNDP and the Forum of Federations (FOF) of which India is a member and represented by the Inter State Counc…il Secretariat, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Government of India.

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Forum of Federations’ Annual Report

The current year marks a period of consolidation for the Forum of Federations. Through its foundational programs in support of countries transitioning to federal or decentralized governance models the Forum has built a reputation as a credible source for comparative international expertise on building peaceful pluralism. Ongoing programs in Tunisia, Burma (Myanmar), Nepal, and Ethiopia assisted a number of these countries achieve major political and constitutional milestones. A pilot program in Somalia has laid the groundwork for long term engagement in that country’s federalization process, as has the Forum’s support to IGAD’s Federal-Decentralized Governance Network. The Forum worked closely with a number of stakeholders to deliver major research programs in support of policy making in partner countries. Programs addressing the institutional choices for bridging territorial cleavages, intergovernmental relations, and fiscal federalism were at the heart of these efforts. New programs on education and federalism, and immigration and integration, have also been launched with promising starts. The intellectual capital produced by these programs allows the Forum to remain at the cutting edge of federalism expertise, while also bolstering its development assistance activities.

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Study tour of Yemeni Delegation to Germany

On November 1-5, a Yemeni delegation headed by former Prime minister and Vice-President of Yemen, HE Khaled Bahah, visited Germany. The purpose of the visit was to have an exchange with representatives of various governmental and non-governmental organizations on current developments in Yemen and what could be done to promote peace and reconciliation in Yemen. A specific focus was laid on studying German federal structures to explore which lessons could be drawn for Yemen.

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FORUM OPENS BRAZIL OFFICE

Between 26 and 30 September, Forum representatives Mr. Rupak Chattopadhyay, President and CEO, Mr. Hans Altherr, Forum Swiss Board Member, and Diana Chebenova, Head of Partnerships undertook a visit to Brasilia, Brazil with the purpose of engaging with different Forum partner institutions in the country. The visit was coordinated by the Undersecretariat for Federative Affairs (SAF) of the Brazilian Presidency, Forum’s main partner within the Brazilian government, under the guidance of its Brazilian Board member Ms. Ana Carolina Lorena.

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Federalism Workshop in Myanmar

Organized by both Forum of Federations Myanmar Office and the Amyothar Hluttaw on August 23 and 24 in Nay Pyi Taw. The forum was made in the Amyothar Hluttaw Dining Hall. Forum of Federations is proud to participate and help Myanmar lawmakers during their transition to Federalism.

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DEIL S. WRIGHT SYMPOSIUM 2017 CALL FOR PAPERS

The Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management (SIAM) of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) invites scholars and practitioners to submit proposals for papers to be presented at the 4th annual Deil S. Wright Symposium. The symposium honors the career and contributions of Professor Deil S. Wright, who was a charter member of the Section and remained active until his passing in 2009. The Wright Symposium will be a preconference event held on Friday, March 17, 2017 at the national conference of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Forum Hosts Ethiopian Delegation to Study IGR in Germany and Switzerland

The objective of the study tour was to closely study and draw lessons from the system of intergovernmental relations (IGR) of the German and Swiss Federations. Specifically, the study tour helped examine and draw lesson on the issue of accountability in IGR, the place and role of judicial organs, and the mechanism by which the overall system of intergovernmental relations is coordinated.

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The Quest for Federalism in Nepal

The video portrays the transition to democratic federalism in Nepal, as of the spring of 2016. It endeavours to portray the very great range of opinion that exists in Nepal among the numerous groups and political actors. Perhaps more importantly, it also aims to explain the nature of the federal system that is now being implemented in Nepal.

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Forum in Myanmar

As part of its outreach campaign, the Forum recently implemented federalism workshops for community leaders in Mandalay in cooperation with EBO (Euro Burma Office) and two local NGOs. The workshop was facilitated by local trainers who had successfully graduated from the Forum of Federation’s “Training-of-Trainers” seminar, a program designed to equip local trainers with the skills to deliver federalism courses.

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Forum of Federations Appoints Prof. Thomas Pfisterer of Switzerland and Senator Raza Rabbani of Pakistan as Fellows of the Forum of Federations

Thomas Pfisterer is a former judge of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court and has served for 25 years in the Swiss judicial system. He was also a Member and President of the Canton of Aargau and a member of the Swiss Senate. He taught Constitutional and Administrative Law and Mediation at the University of Saint Gallen. A graduate of Basle, Berne, Yale and the Swiss Bar Association, Prof. Pfisterer is an Attorney at Law and expert in law and politics and also served on the Board of the Forum of Federations.

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Forum Promoting Governance Reform

On March 29, 2016, Forum of Federations with School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation jointed hosted a seminar titled: Financial Governance Reform In Multi-Level Systems of Government. This forum was located in Stellenbosch, South Africa as a pre-conference event prior to the bi-annual International Winelands Conference.

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Canada Renews Forum Work on Federalism in Myanmar

During a special trip to Myanmar on April 6-7 2016, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion announced Canada’s commitment to the Forum’s new project supporting the development of federalism in the country.

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Federalism and Education: Governance, Standards, and Innovation for the 21st Century

The Forum of Federations and the Gimenez Abad Foundation in Zaragoza (Spain) organized a 2-day conference on Federalism and Education: Governance, Standards, and Innovation for the 21st Century, held in Zaragoza, Spain on 4 and 5 April, 2016. Particular attention was given to functional division of responsibilities between governmental layers and to mechanisms of intergovernmental cooperation in education. The conference took place in the framework of the program with the same name that examines how 10 (ten) federal and decentralized countries design, govern, finance and assure quality in their educational systems spanning from early childhood to secondary school graduation.

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Forum Expertise Tapped for Smart City Expo in Mexico

The Smart City Expo Puebla, held in the city of Puebla from February 16-18, 2016, brought together over 8000 experts and public officials from 36 countries to examine how local governments can innovate to provide improved service delivery, mobility and quality of life. Organized in partnership with FIRA Barcelona, the Government of Mexico, the State of Puebla and the City of Puebla, the Expo focused on themes of sustainability, equity, participation and mobility, and featured numerous case studies of successful experiences from the Americas.

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Forum in Nepal: Empowering Women

Women in Nepal have played an important role in the nation’s history, more recently being a significant part of the two Constituent Assemblies (CAs) that drafted Nepal’s federal constitution. Women’s presence in the CAs assured that the issues of diversity and inclusion from a gender equality perspective were included in the final constitution. The challenge ahead is to implement the constitution and create government bodies and design policies that would assure women’s rights as embodied in the constitution.

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Forum Launches New Joint Program on Federal Governance in Somalia

Bob Rae speaks to group on the “Federal Idea”

The Forum of Federations launched a new program on Somalia over 12-14 January with a workshop entitled Joint Program on Federal Governance in Somalia, organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior & Federal Affairs (MOIFA). Senior officials attended the event from all the Somali regions, interim member states and key federal government offices, led by the State Minister for MOIFA, HE Abdirashid Mohamed Hidig. In his opening remarks the Minister urged the participants to “… work hard in making this sharing of international experiences relevant to the real issues affecting Somalia today.”

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Ronald L. Watts (1929-2015)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ron Watts. Ron Watts was one of the founders of the Forum of Federations. He served as a Board Member of the Forum between 1999 and 2006 and as Forum’s fellow from 2006 onwards.

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Germany renews partnership with the Forum

Germany joined the organization in 2007 and is represented in the Forum by the Federal Ministry of the Interior. The Federal Foreign Office as well as the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development also support the Forum. In addition, the Forum holds close working relations with the Bundesrat (Federal Council), the German states (Länder).

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Forum gives talk at International Conference on Federalism and Decentralization

Forum Program Head Felix Knuepling participated in an international conference on “Federalism and Decentralisation: Perceptions for Political and Institutional Reforms” on the 4th and 5th of September in Manila, Philippines. Mr. Knuepling gave a presentation entitled “Structuring Governance in a Weak State: Federalism and Multilevel Governance”, based on the experience and the lessons the Forum has garnered during its work in post-conflict and fragile countries, such as Iraq, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Yemen and others.

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Decentralization, Local Governance and Women’s Political Participation: Role of Civil Society

Under the auspices of the Tunisian Ministry of Women, Family and Children, the Forum of Federations (The Forum) held a workshop in Kairouan in the center west of Tunisia. This activity was undertaken as part of the Forum’s Project “Support for Decentralization in Tunisia Phase III” funded by the Government of Canada. The Kairouan workshop took place from 21 to 23 May 2015 and was the second in a series of five workshops aimed at establishing a dialogue with Tunisian civil society on the role that civil society can play in the process of implementing the Tunisian decentralization process as well as the role that women can have through increased involvement and participation in local governance. The event brought together active members of civil society in the region, representatives of the Ministry of Women, Family and Children and four Forum regional and Tunisian decentralisation and gender experts.

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Leadership Summit on Federalism

The Forum of Federations in collaboration with the Ministry of Interprovincial Coordination and the Hanns Seidel Foundation hosted a Leadership Summit on Federalism on the 12-13 November in Islamabad.

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