In the summer of 2009, the eThekwini Municipality in Durban, South Africa initiated The Municipal Institute of Learning (MILE), the first-ever local government-driven, practitioner-based Institute of Learning. The knowledge management initiative is to help position Durban as a learning city and enhance the capacity of officials within the municipality, other municipalities in South Africa and the African Continent.
The MILE’s mission is “To support African municipalities with capacity and knowledge in order to be effective in the delivery of local government’s old and new core competencies”. Along with the vision, the purpose of MILE is to help capacity building of professionals working in local government on the continent (and beyond) to respond more effectively to meeting the continuum of developmental local government challenges.
MILE is being run as a five-year pilot program and has the following five strategic objectives:
- To facilitate the enhancement of professional and technical capacity of local government professionals on the African continent;
- To position the eThekwini Municipality as a platform for innovating, learning and sharing with other municipalities, associations and networks, both locally and internationally;
- To leverage partnerships with tertiary institutions in order to promote collaborative research programs that will ultimately improve the effectiveness of local government;
- To provide a municipal technical support service to other municipalities in an empowering and innovative manner; and
- To coordinate the internal knowledge management agenda within the eThekwini Municipality.
Although MILE is initiated and coordinated by eThekwini Municipality, it can be an institute of learning for all municipalities and other interested agencies involved in local government. MILE will start collaborating with municipal partners and agencies from all over the world after focusing on Africa initially.
To learn more, check mile.org.