How to improve local public services?

The second policy debate took place on 16th of September and focused on the subject of the development of public services on local level in public-third sector cooperation.

Most primary services are offered to people on the local level. That makes for justifiable expectations that the services are accessible, trustworthy and with high quality. For local governments it means obligations, that sometimes can turn out to be difficult to fulfill. Can local governments cope alone with the public demand for variety of local public services? Or should there be more cooperation between Estonian local governments, civil society organizations and ministries?

According to the policy analysis, prepared by the analysts Annika Uudelepp, Maiu Uus and Jon Ender from the civil society and governance programme in PRAXIS, 87% of Estonian population live in local governments, where local governments and non-profit organizations work together to provide public services. However, the full qualitative potential of contracting out and delegating services is still not used. Thinking about the near future we asked, what can ministries, local governments and non-profit organizations do today to improve local public services? Different experts on the fielt – policymakers, NGO-s, researchers – gathered to discuss these issues and find solutions.

The discussion, chaired by Rivo Noorkõiv (OÜ Geomedia), focused on three main topics:

1. Key issues of developing services at local governments. A short introduction into the view of local governments by Kaupo Reede (Harju Economic Development Centre), which was fallowed by discussion.

2. Non-governmental organizations as resource in providing and developing local public services. A short introduction into the view of non-governmental organizations by Liina Lokko (NGO Anni`s Playground), which was followed by discussion.

3. Where to start for better cooperation? The quests were asked to discuss in tables, what should be done on government, local government and NGO level to improve the quality and accessibility of local services.

Unfortunately the policy analysis and other materials are available only in Estonian. For more information please contact the project coordinator Maiu Uus (maiu.Uus(at) ) or the Governance and Civil Society programme director Annika Uudelepp Annika.Uudelepp(at)