Problems of the Lithuanian Local Government Strategic Planning

Malvina Arimavičiūtė

Abstract


The article discusses the notion of local government development spatial planning and analyses the preparation of Lithuanian local governments’ development plans applying The Regional development planning and revision methodology. The article analyses 4 types of problems of strategic planning in local governments: 1) strategic analysis, 2) strategy formation and implementation, 3) evaluation and monitoring, and 4) annual and community plan preparation.
Through normative limitations (policies), spatial strategic planning in local governments would create opportunities to improve the protection of biological diversity, improve the preservation of landscape and culturally and ecologically vulnerable territories, maintain cultural identity in protected territories, ensure the stability of landscapes by expanding forests in the most important natural land zones and giving priority to recovery of natural forests in fertile regions, apply integrated development principles in territory planning and urban development, and preserve and appropriately utilize current natural and cultural resources by creating high quality public spaces.
The priorities for Lithuanian local governments’ development strategy are set on both topical (horizontal) and sector basis. There is no special methodology prepared for local governments’ development plan preparation. Planning is not strictly regulated by laws. The Regional development planning and revision methodology is most often applied to local governments’ strategic development planning, and the Strategic planning methodology, approved by Lithuanian Republic, is applied to strategic activity planning, but it is not adapted to local governments. These two methodologies do not agree with each other and do not reflect the particularities of local governments.
In preparation of Lithuanian local governments’ annual action plans, it is most difficult to determine process and input criteria for different tools. Therefore, it is recommended to prepare standardized process and input criteria for all local governments, which each local governmentinstitution could apply directly or adapt them according to its capabilities.
It is suggested to prepare Unified community strategy in Lithuanian local governments, which would be treated as a part of strategic planning system, as per examples of foreign countries. . This strategy, which would be targeted at problem identification, would not be in conflict with LEADER+ program currently implemented in local governments, which is not only initiating changes, but also is implementing them. Both local governments and other interest groups, such as representatives of business, culture, education, social security, and environmental protection, and prominent public representatives, should be involved in the preparation of this strategy. This strategy would be not compulsory, but only recommended to local governments. This strategy may be primarily used for establishing goals and visions, not for their implementation. The analysis areas in Unified community strategy may vary across local governments and depend on each local government specifics.

Keywords


local governments; self-government institutions; development plans; action plans; annual plans; strategies; policies; vision; mission; goals

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"Public Policy and Administration" ISSN online 2029-2872 / ISSN print 1648-2603