Sri Lanka Institute of Local Governance (SLILG) emerged in the background of the search for a developmental vision for Local Government in the country. Accordingly, a Presidential Commission was appointed to study and make recommendations on the vision in 1997. In their recommendations, the Presidential Commission emphatically addressed the needs for a new Institution that would cater to the requirements of capacity building in the Local Government sector in the country. The emphasis herein was to consider Local Government as an autonomous, independent sector that could be directly linked to the development of the people’s expectations to live up to the standards of effective, efficient service delivery and to up lift the living conditions of the people. The implying characteristics in this endeavour was that they are the best suited institutions that could meet the expectations. They were endowed with the characteristics of being a representative body of the people, being the democratic organization closest to them. In pursuance of these expectations the Parliament by Act No. 31 of 1999, established the SLILG which commenced functioning in October that year.
Under the 13th amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka, a three-tiered devolved system of governance was created in the country in 1987, as the effective exercise of devolved power is a necessary condition for the realization of democracy and objectives of power sharing. The objective of the SLILG is to facilitate the enhancement of institutional and managerial capabilities of Provincial Councils and Local Government Institutions for the efficient and effective delivery of services to the people and to ensure good governance at regional level.
The goals of decentralization can be categorized as follows:
The capacity building responsibilities are delegated to the SLILG which operationalises its mandate fitting into a time frame each year.
The Institute was established as a public sector agency to perform the following functions:
Training Members & Officers and Servants of Provincial Councils and Local Authorities and to assist in building up of a cadre of competent provincial and local government officers and the personnel in the country with a view to ensuring good governance.
Making available to Provincial Councils and Local Authorities services of specialists in improving their organizational systems and management capability.
Providing a forum for the critical appraisal of Provincial and Local Government Organizational Management Systems and Practices.
Assisting the provincial Management Development and Training Units (MDTU) in management development.
Providing the necessary data and information to the Minister for formulating national policies in Local Government are the additional operational features of the SLILG.
Network with local & foreign institutions in disseminating information, holding conferences, seminars and publishing books and magazines on Provincial & Local Government are the additional operational features of SLILG.
To ensure the development of human resources of Provincial Councils and Local Government Institutions in order to strengthen their institutional and management capacity.
To function as the leading centre for Training, Research and Consultancy Services on issues relating to local governance in Sri Lanka.
The above mission leads to the following objectives;