The Good Governance Learning Network

The Good Governance Learning Network (GGLN) is a network of South African NGOs promoting participation, accountability, and good governance at the local level. GGLN provides “… an interface for civil society organisations working on issues of local governance and citizen participation to network and share information towards strengthening local democracy in South Africa.” GGLN hosts…

The Isandla Institute: Innovation and Implementation

Isandla Institute is a public interest think-tank based in South Africa. Focusing on fostering just, equitable, and democratic urban settlements through innovative research and advocacy, Isandla “functions as an experimental ‘hot house’ where policy ideas about the reduction of urban inequality, poverty, racism and social exclusion are nurtured.” Isandla’s work centers around ‘the right to the…

Consultation in Capetown, South Africa

The latest in our UN Democracy Fund Consultations on Participatory Local Democracy was hosted by the Isandla Institute  in Cape Town, South Africa, on the day following their own local governance meeting – “Speaking Truth to Power.” South Africa has adopted strong approaches to participatory local governance, but participants emphasized the constraints faced in implementation.…

The Political Component of Participatory Democracy

We’re holding consultations around the world to create a scorecard to evaluate the State of Participatory Democracy. Over the next month we’ll outline each of the components of the scorecard— why it is important in a participatory democracy, why we are including it in the scorecard, and some of the feedback we’ve heard around the…

Decentralizing Education

Improving access to primary education remains a key aspect of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Still, many children, especially girls, face many obstacles to attending school daily.  On a mission to improve access to education, policymakers and organizations have employed a variety of innovative tactics ranging from radio programs to interactive tools. However, they also look to innovations…

National Democratic Institute (NDI)

For more than 20 years, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) has conducted programs to activate and empower citizens and civic groups, has established strong civic cultures, and has achieved an appropriate balance of power between citizens and government. The NDI works throughout the world creating safe spaces for citizens to learn, train and engage on…

Grassroots Development Journal

The Inter-American Foundation (IAF) directly funds grassroots organizing at the local level. The Grassroots Development Journal highlights a few of the organization’s joint initiatives and research. One of IAF’s efforts, “Mobilizing the Deaf Community in Uruguay,” analyzes strategies from a disadvantaged community aiming to build coalitions to advance its needs. Results from the research demonstrate that deaf Uruguayans…