Citizen Engagement


ISE’s support for citizen-centered governance is deeply informed by robust engagement with citizens themselves. Civil society organizations, social movements, and activist groups constitute the crucial mechanisms of how citizens demand greater inclusion, accountability, and change from their state. In turn, citizens have a set of responsibilities to the state and to each other. ISE’s work focuses on how states and citizens better harness inclusive politics, particularly involving women and youth, to build governance agendas that benefit all citizens.

Bihar: Transformation from a Dysfunctional to a Redistributive State

Confronted by set of deeply entrenched obstacles, the government of Bihar adopted a carefully structured approach to state-building. In this paper we assess the measures it took to consolidate the rule of law, build key…

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The Case of Finnish Transformation: Balancing Growth with Equity

One of the most interesting characteristics of Finland’s long-term ascent of many of the world economic and governance indicators has been how, instead of focusing on problems, it tended to adopt a pragmatic, solution-based approach.…

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Karnataka: Understanding State Level Transition in India

We explain why Karnataka is an instructive case study, containing both positive and negative lessons. In the last decade income growth has been spectacular; self-interested policy making have led it to be branded India’s most…

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EU Accession: Norms and Incentives

The EU accession process has been truly remarkable in its scale and scope. The nature of the changes it has brought about across diverse societies through incentives, normative pressure, conditionality and social learning is unmatched…

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Nepal: From Politics to Progress

This paper considers how, at an ‘open moment’ in its history, Nepal might meet the challenge of moving from slogan to implementation. It suggests national programs have a role to play in facilitating this process…

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Nepal: The Future in the Present

This paper explains how unstable dual power sharing defined Nepal’s predicament in May 2006. It explains why resulting structural uncertainty affects stakeholders and threatens further development – or even risks collapse. The paper then explains…

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A Citizens’ Charter facilitating partner training CDC members in Balkh Province, Afghanistan, 2018. Credit: World Bank

 

On Wednesday, October 14th, the International Peace Institute (IPI) together with Catalyst for Peace and the Institute for State Effectiveness, is cohosting a virtual policy forum on “Governance That Centers Communities: Lessons from Afghanistan and Sierra Leone.” This event is co-sponsored by the Government of Sierra Leone and the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations. The event will focus on the practical steps and challenges involved in supporting people-centered peace and development efforts in both the short-term and the long-term.

October 14th, 2020 | 6:00am PST / 9:00am EST | View the livestream here
Opening Remarks

H.E. Ms. Francess Piagie Alghali, Minister of State for the Office of the Vice President, Government of Sierra Leone
H.E. Ms. Adela Raz, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the UN

Speakers

Ms. Clare Lockhart, Director, Institute for State Effectiveness
Mr. Rasoul Rasouli, CDD Operations and Development Expert, Former Director General, Citizens’ Charter, Afghanistan
Mr. John Caulker, Executive Director, Fambul Tok International
Ms. Libby Hoffman, President, Catalyst for Peace

Moderator

Ms. Jimena Leiva Roesch, IPI Senior Fellow and Head of Peace and Sustainable Development Program

Background

The world is struggling with both a global pandemic that has challenged national capacities to respond and increasing pressures on funding from both governmental and nongovernmental donors. As a result, there has been increasing attention on the potential of community-owned and -led initiatives to address poverty, mobilize in crises, and increase security and well-being in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. Engaged and organized communities are able to identify their priorities, work through conflicts, access and use existing resources efficiently, and identify creative and contextual solutions. Local solutions and capacity are especially relevant during times like these, when COVID-19 travel restrictions make local action especially important. However, there are many practical challenges when governments and organizations that are designed to deliver solutions shift their practices to make room for community ownership.

Sierra Leone and Afghanistan are two countries that have important experience with integrating community-centered initiatives into national government policy. They offer different contexts, solutions, and challenges that contribute to a growing body of knowledge on how policy can better support community-centered initiatives.

Sierra Leone is just a few years into determining how to scale up the Wan Fambul National Framework for Inclusive Governance and Local Development. This framework was founded following a decade of inviting communities to participate in their own peace and development through a process facilitated by the NGO Fambul Tok. Afghanistan is twenty years into implementing national community-driven development programming, first through the National Solidarity Program and now with the Citizen’s Charter National Priority Program. While Sierra Leone’s government is in the midst of designing and supporting the implementation of these initiatives, the government of Afghanistan has developed and refined structures and practices to support its programming. Each country also faces different realities with conflict as Sierra Leone consolidates peace in the aftermath of civil war while Afghanistan continues working towards peace in the midst of an ongoing conflict.

For more on ISE’s work on CDD/CLD see here

ISE is working with the Movement for Community Led Development, and community-led organizations globally to collate and share ways in which CLD and CDD have been responding to the primary and secondary effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All over the world, we are reminded that communities are the first responders in any crisis. During this difficult time, they are coming together to share accurate information, detail precautionary measures, set up hand washing stations, and collect and distribute relief. In this way, they are supporting stretched government responses, building connections and taking collective action, and helping mitigate the social, economic, and health impacts of the crisis.

Sharing examples of the quick mobilization and innovation by communities and CLD/CDD organizations help showcase what can happen when communities are at the center of development and will allow people to learn from one another.

Please fill in an action you have supported or seen here.

Please fill one form per innovation/action/example.

 

Image courtesy of Movement for Community Led Development.