Localizing the Post 2015 Development Agenda

Background The post 2015 development agenda has been engaging one of the largest and longest multi-stakeholder deliberations starting from 2012. The United Nations Development Group (UNDG) estimates that almost two million individuals from all corners of the world have taken part in  the global consultation process. The multi stakeholder dialogues were conducted in two phases.The first  phase…

IDEA Local Democracy Workshop

I’ve just returned from having been invited to speak at a workshop “Local democracy today and tomorrow – Learning from global knowledge and practices” that the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) held at its premises in Stockholm, Sweden, on 5-6 November 2014. The purpose of the trip was to share our approach to participatory local democracy…

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.…

Right to Participation: Moving from Symbolism to Substance

The rise of global  inequality and the concentration of wealth is undermining democracy and citizen participation. The rise of urban elites in developing countries in Africa and Asia is affecting and slowing down the process of decentralization. Institutional spaces are becoming inadequate to foster citizen participation in decision making for mobilization and utilization of public…

Making Local Government Work

One could argue that citizens are more aware of local problems than are public officials. However, active citizenry that takes party in decision making on both locally concerning and national issues requires an enabling environment that empowers and incentivizes people. The very aspect of initiatives on local democracy or social accountability should be empowering enough…