Is Municipal Cooperation a Silver Bullet? Experience from Australia, Brazil, and Canada


Municipal cooperation on planning and service delivery is often advanced as a means to strengthen local government and address fragmented governance in metropolitan and other regions. If municipalities could work together, we could improve efficiency, lower service delivery costs, achieve better outcomes, and provide an alternative to municipal mergers. But, is municipal cooperation a panacea, or is it just a convenient solution to address some immediate problems?
On June 14, the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG) and the Forum of Federations will convene a panel describing how municipal cooperation is used in three countries – Australia, Brazil, and Canada – and evaluate how well it works.
Constantino Cronemberger Mendes is an economist specializing in the public sector economy. He is a researcher at the Institute of Applied Economic Research in Brasilia where he coordinates Urban Studies and the Interdepartmental Working Group for Federative Development. He is also country director of the Forum of Federations office in Brazil. Constantino is currently a Visiting Researcher at the University of Ottawa.
Graham Sansom is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance. He was the inaugural Director of the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government, based at the University of Technology Sydney. Previously he had a long career in local and state government, and as a consultant to all levels of government across Australia.
Zachary Spicer is a Visiting Researcher with the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance. He recently served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Brock University. His first book, The Boundary Bargain: Growth, Development and the Future of City-County Separation, was released by McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2016.
Rupak Chattopadhyay is the President and CEO of the Forum of Federations. Over the last decade he has contributed as an expert in support of political and constitutional reforms in Mexico, Myanmar, Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, and Yemen. His edited and co-edited collections include, “Unity in Diversity: Learning from Each Other” (Viva Books 2008), “Dialogues on Diversity and Unity in Federal Countries” (MQUP 2009), “Finance and Governance of Capital Cities in Federal System” (MQUP 2009), and “Governance and Finance of Metropolitan Area in Federal Countries” (OUP 2013).
This event is co-sponsored by the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance and the Forum of Federations.

Forum of Federations