Local Cross Border Development Initiative (LOBI) and Local Transformative and Uplifting Solutions (LOTUS)

Cross-border cooperation is crucial for peace, stability and increased economic development in many cross-border zones, where social, cultural and economic ties are intense and result in active and dynamic movements of people and resources across borders. These areas often lack basic infrastructure, and local authorities are unable to access investments, limiting socio-economic development, even when there is potential for greater development due to existing ties and the common challenges local authorities on both sides of the border face. The creation of cross-border governance and investment mechanisms could help alleviate these development challenges and provide a platform for a coordinated cross- border approach to development.

The ultimate objective of this programme is to contribute to peace and security, especially in fragile states by increasing investment capacities of local communities in cross-border areas. This requires a reinforcement of governance and financial mechanisms for cross-border investments in public and private sectors, and the piloting of replicable institutional and financial support systems for the promotion of cross-border initiatives with high development impact. To this end new investment mechanisms adapted to local communities will be developed and put in place with the involvement of regional bodies and national institutions.

The programme will support regional and national entities in improving the decentralization framework, with a specific emphasis on cross-border cooperation and the needs of local authorities in border regions. Scalable and replicable mechanisms will be created to develop planning and budgeting processes at the local level. UNCDF will test innovative planning, budgeting and procurement processes in specific cross-border areas. The objective is to reinforce the capacities of local authorities across borders to develop a common understanding of their shared needs and identify priority investments that leverage local development across borders. Emphasis will be put on the joint formulation of investment plans and pipelines that strengthen local forward and backward linkages between investments. It will test planning, budgeting and impact monitoring tools for cross- border development.

June 2016