How Close Is Your Government to Its People?

“How Close Is Your Government to Its People? Worldwide Indicators on Localization and Decentralization”  by Maksym Ivanyna and Anwar Shah UPDATE: the author published revised version of the paper on November 11, 2013. The Revised version includes new charts and graphs, and rankings of 182 countries on political, fiscal and administrative dimensions of decentralization and localization are…

Planning: Preparing for the Worst and Creating the Best

Local government planning serves as an integral part of ensuring effective government service delivery. In some countries, the inability to adequately plan on the local level has lead to an inability of local governments to carry out beneficial community projects. Whether providing water, electricity, schooling, health care, or more long-term issues of adaptation and disaster preparedness,…

Administration Component

The administration of local governments and the ability to operate independently are widely agreed upon as important in order to achieve both the MDGs and local priorities. Unfortunately, administration capabilities are  one of the most difficult aspects of government to measure. By focusing on specific countries, regions, or local communities, it is possible to gain a more…

Urban Institute: Post-2015 MDGs

Video streaming by Ustream The talk titled: “The Post-2015 Global Development Agenda: Addressing Inequalities and Fostering Inclusive Growth” occurred at the Urban Institute on April 8, 2013. It focused on the current state of the Post-2015 global development agenda, and the importance of equity and inclusiveness in the formulation of new development targets. This small clip focuses…

Review: Cultivating Communities of Practice

We are working to create a vibrant community of practice around participatory and decentralized local government. This community will be used by its members for a variety of reasons, including elevating local democracy in international development discussions, but what exactly is a community of practice and how is one best formed? Etienne Wenger, Richard A.…

Solving the Problem of Participation: Putting Arstein’s Ladder into Action

In the World Bank’s most recent report “Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?”, the authors look at participatory development and test the idea that “a more engaged citizenry should be able to achieve a higher level of cooperation and make government more accountable.”  They found that participants in civic activities tend to be wealthier, more educated, of higher social…

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, NED makes more than 1,000 grants to support the projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries. NED fosters the growth of a wide…