Peacebuilding and Local Governance

IDG, May 2013 - After violent conflict, local governments face enormous challenges. For stability and development, it is necessary to improve and maintain citizens' security, integrate internally displaced persons or ex-combatants into the local community and overcome existing divisions within the society. Citizens will also need access to basic services - such as roads, water, schools and health care - and tangible economic opportunities. Finally, local authorities will often need to regain the trust of their populations.

Based on its research and policy reform efforts around the world, the Urban Institute has first-hand experience with the fact that the nature of statebuilding interventions, public sector reform and support to sustainable development is influenced greatly by whether these activities take place in fragile or post-conflict countries. This is why, since 2010, the Urban Institute has teamed up regularly with The Hague Academy for Local Governance -based in The Hague, The Netherlands- on its Peacebuilding and Local Governance Course, which will be offered again in The Hague from May 7 - June 27, 2013.

During the course, we distill lessons from cases in Afghanistan, Burundi, South Sudan, the Balkans, and numerous other fragile and post-conflict countries, apply theories and concepts to the local context of the participants, and discuss the impact of donor interventions on peace and stability. The learning objectives for the course include helping participants:

  • analyze the state of local governments and the local political economy in fragile countries;
  • judge the impact of local governance and decentralization on realizing a sustainable peace and building state legitimacy;
  • increase insight in the role local governments can play in increasing human security;
  • design and implement initiatives aimed at strengthening local governments;
  • cooperate more effectively with local governments, the private sector, NGOs and other stakeholders.

The training course is designed for staff of bilateral donors, multilateral agencies and NGOs, and civil servants working for ministries and local governments, who wish to be well-informed about the local dimensions of peacebuilding in fragile states. Part of the course is facilitated by Jamie Boex, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute's Center on International Development and Governance.

Please visit the website of The Hague Academy for Local Governance for additional course information and registration procedures for its 2013 courses on decentralization and local governance.