If you only read one thing this week…

Local Government and Conflict by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
February 23, 2007, 8:06 pm
Filed under: conflict, governance, If you have 30 mins

This USAID paper on local government and conflict juxtaposes two concerns that we usually don’t consider together. Generally when we think of local government we think of corruption, lack of capacity, lack of resources, incompetence and apathy. We do not usually think of it as a player in conflict. This paper draws attention to the very real role that local governments play in conflict and how we as development practitioners can support them to mitigate rather than exacerbate violent conflict. It is central to the Do No Harm sort of approach to work with local governments as they work to enhance security, provide better representation, improve service delivery, and cope with decentralization.

As the paper notes, “Local governments can cause or contribute to violence; because local government power and authority is a valuable resource, it may be a point of contention worth fighting for by groups in the community. Or local authority can be used to instigate and organize violence – against some members of the community or against outsiders… Programs that target local government officials, institutions, and their constituents can [therefore] make conflict over local government power and authority less damaging.” You can download the document here: Local Government and Conflict Toolkit.


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