What is the nexus between local governance and sustaining peace in fragile and conflict-affected settings? What needs to be taken into consideration when designing local governance programs in fragile contexts? What are specific tools and approaches for analysing the situation of local governance contexts and proposing corrective strategies with regards to local planning, management and monitoring? These and other questions were addressed during DeLoG´s joint learning event on ‘Local Governance and Sustaining Peace’, organised by DeLoG under the lead of UNDP, UNICEF and UNCDF. The event took place from 22nd to 25th January 2018 in Brussels on the premises of the European Commission. 34 selected professionals from 12 different DeLoG member organisations and over 20 countries, based in both headquarters and the field, came together to learn and discuss their work on local governance in fragile and conflict-affected settings.
The event was structured around thematic sessions on three main topics and how they link to local
governance and sustaining peace. Namely; social cohesion, service delivery and local economic development. Each of the thematic session was introduced by experts in those fields. Presenting were Patricia Justino (IDS), Bob Babajanian, Richard Mallet and Joanna Buckley (DfID) who shared their academic expertise and thought-provoking theories of change on how their subject area can impact local governance and sustainable peace processes. An online, live connection with Seth Kaplan was also established where he spoke of the role of cities for peace/state building in fragile contexts.
Through case study presentations from Syria, Ukraine and Somalia, participants were provided with insight into the peculiarities and challenges of the respective contexts. On the last day of the event, representatives from the French ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) also offered their perspectives as donor organisations.
In addition to academic input, discussions were further stimulated through parallel, interactive working sessions which allowed participants to share their experiences and discuss the challenges they face in their countries of assignment. Many sessions offered the opportunity for joint reflection and networking.
This kind of event is one of several learning formats organised by DeLoG. The course outline can be found here. DeLoG also organises E-Learning event on ‘Enhancing Development Effectiveness for Decentralisation and Local Governance’. For more information on past and upcoming learning events organised by DeLoG, please click here.