Local First In Practice: Unlocking the power to get things done

Local First is an initiative that promotes prioritizing the views and leadership of local people and organizations in the countries affected by specific issues over those of outsiders from the international community in international development cooperation. Local First announced the release of their new book  ‘Local First in Practice: Unlocking the power to get things done’, which…

V-Dem: Varieties of Democracy

V-Dem, short for Varieties of Democracy, is an exciting project that brings a new  dimension to the discourse of democracy . V-Dem describes their project as a new approach to conceptualizing and  measuring  democracy. It is a collaboration between more than 50 scholars worldwide and co-hosted by the Department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg,…

Tackling Poverty Through Decentralization and Local Governance

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”; this timeless saying embodies the sustainable poverty alleviation approaches few development organizations are currently implementing. The conventional, aid focused, top-down poverty alleviation strategy has not been able to deliver its promise.…

Lebanon’s Decentralization Draft Law Anchors Political Accountability at the Core of Development

In April of this year, the president of Lebanon launched a draft bill for administrative decentralization. The following article analyzes provisions in this new draft law. Reprinted from The Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS) June 2014 By Sami Atallah, LCPS Executive Director The new decentralization draft law may not solve all the country’s ills but, if…

Decentralization in the Arab World

Based on a book published by the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS) and funded by the Open Society Foundations, Mona Harb and Sami Attalah recently wrote a policy brief entitled “Decentralization in the Arab World Must be Strengthened to Provide Better Services.” The authors note that decentralization in the Arab world falls behind other…

Can Sub-National Autonomy Strengthen Democracy in Bolivia?

Jean-Paul Faguet addresses the issue of decentralization and accountability in Bolivia in the article “Can Sub-National Autonomy Strengthen Democracy in Bolivia?” published in 2013 by the Journal of Federalism. He notes that Bolivia is one of the most radical decentralization reformers, and has recently implemented new reforms granting autonomy to local governments. Faguet seeks to…

Decentralization and Governance

In January 2014, World Development dedicated a special issue to the subject of decentralization and its role in development. Jean-Paul Faguet, who has written about decentralization in Bolivia and Colombia, wrote the editorial article called “Decentralization and Governance.” One of the main benefits of decentralization, as argued by its proponents, is that it makes governments…

Transforming Relations between Local Government and the Urban Poor in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation (ZHPF) was founded in 1998 and is one of 33 members in the Shack/slum Dwellers International (SDI) Network. Writing for the Human Settlements Group of The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Beth Chitekwe-Biti explains that the ZHPF partnership with the City of Harare has led to more inclusive,…

IIED Publishes Paper on Inclusive Cities and Community-Based Engagement and Monitoring

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) works on sustainable development  worldwide. Writing for IIED’s Human Settlements Group, Celine d’Cruz, Sonia Fadrigo Cadornigara, and David Satterthwaite recently published a working paper called “Tools for Inclusive Cities: The Roles of Community-Based Engagement and Monitoring in Reducing Poverty.” The paper was prepared in response to a…