|Trainer's Guide for Training of Elected Officials (HABITAT)|
As shown by the results of training needs assessments conducted by the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), training needs of local-government elected officials (councillors), or of local politicians, appear among the most urgent worldwide and, at the same time, the least attended areas of capacity-building for local development and municipal management.
In the last few years, a number of countries as varied as Nepal and Poland or Uganda and Paraguay have embarked for the first time in several decades, and in some cases for the first time ever, on a process of electing their councillors and mayors. Training needs of local-government elected officials are also at the top of the agenda in established municipal democracies such as Ecuador, India, and the United States of America.
To respond to these needs, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) has developed and tested a series of training handbooks to assist councillors to represent the citizens, provide civic leadership and effectively work with central government and with the management, technical and professional staff in local authorities and other local institutions. The handbooks cover policy and decision-making, communication, negotiation and leadership, attending, managing and conducting meetings, councillors' enabling and facilitating activities, financial management and other related needs. Each handbook is intended for use primarily by trainers in national training institutions for local government or training units within local governments themselves.
As further assistance for trainers using these handbooks, the Centre has published this companion, Trainer's Guide for Training of Elected Officials, containing trainer's notes and information prepared exclusively for the benefit of these trainers in planning workshops for local elected officials based on the handbooks.
It is expected that this trainer's guide will contribute greatly to strengthening the capacity of local governments through the introduction of good leadership practices, one of the major objectives of the 1996 United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, Habitat II.
I wish to thank Dr. Fred Fisher and Mr. David W. Tees for preparing this and other handbooks in the series in collaboration with the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) Training Section within the Centre's training programmes supported by the Government of the Netherlands. I also wish to acknowledge the contribution of the trainers and local-government officials in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Kenya, Lithuania, Romania and Uganda who assisted in the fieldtesting of these training materials.
Dr. Wally N'Dow
United Nations Centre for Human Settlements