Citizenship rights are translated into tangible benefits at the level of local communities and neighborhoods as citizens participate in decision-making, interact in communities and interface with public services. National community programs have had significant impact globally in creating democratic governance structures at a local level, and have helped communities benefit from national funding to advance infrastructure and other key projects. They have often enabled funds to reach the poor more quickly and effectively than traditional government or aid programs. How can resulting local governance capacity reduce corruption and break the cycle of aid dependence?
We assess the key elements of this approach and compare it to the dominant contracting model of development, explaining and evaluating its relative strengths. We then provide an overview of how to design and manage a successful program. Individual chapters on implementation at distinct levels, such as for capital cities or at subnational level, make this an indispensable guide for development practitioners, strategic planners and governments.