Local governments operate in more than 20 countries across the Pacific Islands. What constitutes ‘local government’, however, varies greatly through the influence of the region’s unique geographies, cultures, and histories. The small size of local government areas, coupled with fragile local economies and lack of human resource capability, invariably results in local government authorities struggling to provide essential services using the resources available to them. The expansion of informal settlements through rural-urban migration is adding to the pressures on urban infrastructure. Given that many national governments also struggle for resources, the future success of local government in the Pacific Islands depends largely on improving models of intergovernmental relations and financing, cultivating relationships with citizens and other stakeholders, building capacity and capability, and working effectively with domestic and international development partners. Global development programmes, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, help focus the development agenda on the needs of government at local level.