Participatory, decentralized local government is key for achieving the Millennium Development Goals and many practitioners are undertaking exciting experiments in its development and promotion.
Yet the importance of local governance does not receive the priority it deserves in mainstream development policy discourse.
We aim to address that.
The Hunger Project is working in partnership with the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF) on a two-year project to cultivate a global community of practice among individuals working to build capacity for effective, responsive local governance with a particular focus on impoverished rural areas.
We plan to establish:
- A dynamic community of practice that provides value to its members and is able to develop a shared advocacy agenda via online tools, email digests, etc.;
- A community scorecard for effective local governance, based on shared, multi-dimensional local governance indicators, created and tested by the community; and
- Publication of an annual “State of Participatory Democracy” report, examining key issues affecting participatory democracy, detailing the results of the community scorecard and providing a tool for advocacy. The first two issues of the report will be released at the opening of the UN General Assembly in 2013 and 2014.
We are currently organizing and holding a number of meetings and consultations in different regions of the world, co-hosted by organizations committed to work in this area, to begin establishing the community and to gather perspectives on the community scorecard and its indicators.
We are eager to learn from and partner with the many practitioners, organizations and networks working in this area in order to create a transparent, welcoming community that will provide value in the work to which we are all committed.
If you are interested in attending a consultation in your area or in joining our email distribution list, we gladly welcome your participation and invite you to subscribe to our newsletter or contact us for more information.
Please help us create and launch this initiative!