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…

Open Government Partnership

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) has been named the winner of the 2014 Commitment to Development “Ideas in Action” Award for its achievements of encouraging and facilitating the forum for governments worldwide to commit to greater transparency, accountability and citizen engagement. The Commitment to Development “Ideas to Action” Award, bestowed annually since 2003, honors an individual or organization…

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.…

European Union Commits to Increase Development Aid for Tajikistan

On October 20, 2014, the European Union and the Republic of Tajikistan took part in their fourth Cooperation Council meeting, during which the European Commission released its decision to significantly expand its development aid to this developing Central Asian country. The Commission’s aid to Tajikistan will increase by €251 million from 2014 to 2020 and will go towards…

Partnership Between the People, Local Government Bodies and Central Government for Achieving MDGs in Bangladesh

[The following paper was presented by Professor Badiul Alam Majumdar, Ph.D., Global Vice President and Country Director, The Hunger Project–Bangladesh at the International Political Science Association (IPSA), 10 July 2014] “People are poor because they are powerless. We must organize people for power. They must organize themselves in such a way that they can change…

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…

Local Government and Human Rights: A progress report by the Advisory Committee for the Human Rights Council

The Advisory Committee for the Human Rights Council presented its progress report on the role of local government in the promotion and protection of human rights (A/HRC/27/59)  for the 27th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, on September 4, 2014. Local Government is one of the seven thematic issues the Advisory Committee is…