As responsibility shifts from the national to the local level in many countries, ICMA has the expertise to strengthen local capacity.
Providing a reliable supply of potable water and a functional sanitation system are basic local government services. ICMA has substantial experience and extensive resources that have been applied to the development and management of water and sanitation services worldwide.
Local governments around the world are recognizing the need to address systemic, and often severe, urban solid waste and environmental problems--problems that must be solved if cities are to prosper economically and socially in the twenty-first century. ICMA helps them meet this challenge.
Earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes occur in all parts of the world. ICMA has provided leadership in helping jurisdictions mitigate, prepare for, and recover from natural disasters.
Climate change affects the sustainability of coastal communities, agricultural production, water supplies, and urban livability. ICMA provides assistance in adaptation and mitigation to communities worldwide.
Sound financial management, including the generation of revenue, is fundamental to a municipality’s success. Without it, service levels can’t be measured, losses can’t be accounted for, citizens can’t be accurately informed about service costs, and leaders can’t assess staff performance or justify tough decisions to citizens. ICMA has worked at both the national and local levels worldwide to foster changes in financial policies and improvements in financial management practice.
Providing an environment in which private-sector jobs can be created or maintained at the local and regional levels is a critical and often underappreciated role of local governments. ICMA has worked with municipalities in the United States and internationally to develop strategies that allow them to compete for business in a local, national, regional, and global environment.
Crime prevention requires joint efforts by the police and other community actors to solve problems that foster crime. ICMA has been a leader in promoting community-oriented approaches to crime and violence prevention.
Local government professionals are increasingly pressed to demonstrate sound management decision making and resource allocation. Performance management is a commonly used method to quantify and improve performance and to engage citizens and other stakeholders. ICMA is a leader in the development and effective use of performance measurement and management systems.
Gender awareness and opportunities for women constitute an important component of ICMA's international programs, particularly in traditional societies.
Young people represent a significant--and often under-recognized--resource for their communities. ICMA has incorporated youth initiatives into its programming, particularly in conflict-prone areas.
Combating corruption by enhancing transparency at the local level is fundamental to providing efficient and effective services to citizens and increasing their trust in government. ICMA is a leader in fostering transparent governance.
By involving citizens in priority setting and decision making, a local government increases its legitimacy and accountability. ICMA has employed an array of techniques to increase public engagement.
Associations enable their members to unite their efforts toward common goals. ICMA has helped develop the capacity of local government and professional associations on five continents.