A vibrant civil society and engaged local government can serve as an important defense against extremism taking root in a community.
PDev II supported local governments to help them to better understand the needs of their communities and address those needs through a participatory approach. By working concurrently with civil society to represent community needs and act effectively in their interest, PDev II strengthened local democracy and governance. A motivated, engaged local government can build trust with its citizens and undermine the narrative of government neglect upon which many violent extremist groups rely.
Three Approaches to Strengthening Local Democracy
1. Supporting Civil Society
After a participatory assessment of their strengths and weaknesses, Civil Society Organizations (CSO) received training to help build their capacity to plan and manage projects and to be a positive force in their communities. With PDev II’s support, youth groups, women’s associations, community development initiatives—all manner of local organizations—successfully managed projects that addressed community challenges, from land tenure disputes to youth unemployment to political party conflict around elections.
2. Community Action Committees (CACs)
To improve communication and collaboration between government and the community, PDev II helped to establish CACs. Consisting of representatives from various sectors of society such as youth, women, religious leaders, businessmen, etc., CACs serve as liaisons between communities and local government, improving dialogue and ensuring community concerns are raised.
Nearly 90 CACs established and functioning.
400+ CAC members trained in advocacy, participatory governance and conflict resolution, among other things. Read More→
3. Participation in Local Governance
PDev II worked with municipal government to identify best practices in local governance adapted to the Sahel. Through training of government officials, experience-sharing workshops, and municipal staff exchange programs, PDev II supported local governments to implement a number of important practices, such as participatory municipal budget development, interactive radio debates, town hall meetings, sharing of annual municipal activity reports with citizens, best practice competitions among municipalities, and recording and broadcasting municipal council working sessions. Lastly, PDev II supported community development projects that addressed expressed community needs in at-risk communities.
30+ best practices in local governance identified. Read More→
17 municipalities implementing identified best practices. Read More→
260+ community events held to discuss local governance issues. Read More→
Nearly 70 community development projects completed.
1,600+ government officials trained on best practices in participatory, accountable and transparent local governance.