The DDP Local Government Learning and Advocacy Network (LGLAN) is a network for civil society organizations that work in the local governance sphere nationally.  The network believes that civil society has a critical role to play in promoting good governance in the local government sphere and having a collective voice toward advocating for an effective and efficient local government.


A capacitated civil society network supported by an active citizenry working together as partners toward pro-poor local governance in South Africa.


This advocacy network champions the rights of citizens by promoting the inclusion of their views in policy relating to service delivery and public participation processes aimed at improving local governance and municipal performance.

To fulfill its mission, LGALN is committed to:

  • Providing engagement platforms for civil society to interact with municipalities and provincial departments responsible for public services delivery.
  • Ongoing peer learning through exchange of ideas, sharing of information resources and joint reflection of work done by individual member organizations in the network in relation to local governance.
  • Responding to policy statements, bills and development plans issued by local, provincial, and national departments in reference to public participation and other related aspects aimed at enabling effective citizen engagement in governance matters.
  • Convening and coordinating activities between and among organizations in the network.
  • Offering capacity building workshops, seminars, public education, and professional development activities to members of the network regularly. 
  • Raising awareness of democracy, political and human rights in society.


To mobilize civil society in advocating for a participatory, effective, accountable and responsive local government in South Africa.


  • Citizen-centered and citizen-driven advocacy – advocacy that champions citizens voices to be heard and their aspirations be met.
  • Accountable civil society – to its constituents and society at large.
  • Partnerships and collaboration – collective voice through coordinated action by members of the network. 
  • Social justice – mobilizing and activating citizens to advocate for equitable access to public resources at the local government level.
  • Networking – learning together for stronger and informed advocacy.


The membership of the network is civil society organizations working in the local governance sphere. The membership is by invitation, free (no fees) and renewable annually. Members must subscribe to the core values of the network and those of the DDP as its secretariat.

The responsibilities of the members are:

  1. Attend quarterly meetings of the network
  2. Demonstrate sustained work in the local government space through regular(quarterly) reporting to the network.
  3. Convene information-sharing sessions for/with the network in respect of their organization’s priority areas
  4. Lead advocacy in their organization’s priority areas, with the network providing the necessary support, leveraging on respective constituencies



The network will be held by the Democracy Development Program, covering the national organization of the network.

In the pilot year, the work of the network is to be run on the strength of the initial group of the members; that is that it will be broken up into subcommittees, including but not limited to:

  1. Sustainable settlements and housing
  2. Service Delivery
  3. Public Participation

The network will develop a pledge for it’s members to engage with, and on the basis of this pledge, the members commit to undertake the work necessary towards achieving the aims and objectives of the network.


  • Advocacy issues to focus on – LG related – service delivery, responding to national, provincial, and municipal policy statements etc
  • Activities
    – Quarterly meetings (April, July and October);
    – Capacity-building webinars/seminars/workshops


The network will convene three times annually and reflect on its work as a collective and capture insights gained from the various interventions undertaken by individual member organizations. The insights gained and lessons learnt will inform the networks’ annual activity plan. 

Data will be collected via members, who will be responsible to share their stories of change and other pieces of information that demonstrate impact of their work such as a submission to a government authority in response to a policy statement, petitions signed and submitted to a relevant government authority, campaigns organized in response to a societal issue with direct adverse effects on the citizenry to mention just a few. 

Draft reports will be shared with the network membership for their input and thereafter a final assessment report will be written. 


The network is a project of the DDP under its local government programme and will be domiciled at the DDP as its secretariat. As the secretariat, the DDP will be responsible for the following:

  1. Provide direction for the network aligned to the organizations’ vision.
  2. Convening the members quarterly.
  3. Secure financial resources for the networks’ activities.
  4. Coordinating the activities of the network guided by its annual activity plan.
  5. Coordinate communication between the DDP and the network members.
  6. Collate reports received from the network members and generate an annual report for the network.
  7. Develop and maintain a database of network membership.


Sphamandla Brian Mhlongo

Senior Programs Officer, DDP (brianb@ddp.org.za)


March 27, 2023

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