Time To Speak Up For Participatory Local Democracy in the Post-2015 Goals

Courtesy of The Hunger Project

Courtesy of The Hunger Project

As the discussion on Post-2015 UN development goals moves to the High-Level Panel in Bali this month, questions about effective governance are becoming increasingly important. After its most recent meeting in Monrovia, the High-Level Panel stated:

“Economic growth alone is not sufficient to ensure social justice, equity and sustained prosperity for all people…The protection and empowerment of people is crucial. This will require peace building and stronger domestic institutions – including effective, accountable and transparent governments and peaceful, just and equitable societies that protect and promote human rights and eliminate all forms of violence.”

The Global Thematic Consultation on Governance and Accountability in Johannesburg followed the Monrovia meeting, taking place at the end of February. The consultation examined ways to promote democracy and good governance issues in the evolving discussion around the Post-2015 development goals. The group observed that good governance not only requires active government institutions, but also must empower people to engage with these institutions and to hold them accountable. Members at the Consultation discussed the recent My World survey, which found “an honest and responsive government as the second most important issue in the Post-2015 Agenda behind education for individuals and families around the worldThe Global Thematic Consultation on Governance further agreed that “local governance and local development” and “Empowerment and participation” were among the highest priorities of attendees.

The conclusions gained from the My World survey and the Global Thematic Consultation on Governance  serve as a great step in advancing the discussion of the role of local democracy in the Post-2015 development agenda and international development in general. Many focus areas of the Post-2015 development goals are linked local participatory democracy including eradicating extreme povertywomen’s empowermentChild and Maternal Healthclimate change and resiliency, among others. As the UNDP states in its reason for focusing on local democracy:

“Sub-national institutions constitute one of the most important avenues for poor people, women and minorities to participate in the development of their communities and influence the decision-making processes that are directly relevant to their lives.”

Now is the time to raise your voice in the post-2015 discussion! And you have plenty of options:

It is important that we both promote and practice participatory democracy, so make yourself heard!

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