Strengthening local governance

There can be no sustainable development or lasting peace without a social contract deeply rooted in local communities. It is at the local level where people’s engagement with public institution is vital and has the most potential of change. At a time when trust in government globally is decreasing, we at UNDP recognize that it is as much how services at the local level are being delivered as what is being delivered.

Drawing on our global reputation as a trusted partner and our multidisciplinary expertise, UNDP promotes an integrated, area-based, multi scalar approach to local governance and the implementation of the SDGs at the local level in over 80 countries around the world with an annual budget of USD 500 million on average.

We believe that local governance for sustaining peace cannot only be a community-driven development approach – which fails to contribute to state building – nor a top-down decentralization reform approach – which often ignores the political economy reality of conflict-affected countries. We work with national and local governments and different local stakeholders such as the private sector and civil society to help address inequalities, prevent violent conflict, and ensure that responses to fragility are locally-owned, gender-responsive, inclusive and effective.  Our demand-driven support is designed to kick-start progress towards:

  • Conflict sensitive local development planning and delivery for public services, including crisis response capacity of local governments
  • Local economic recovery through multilevel governance approaches and public-private partnerships
  • Strengthening multi-stakeholder engagement at the local level for more community participation and capacity and the inclusion of marginalised groups
  • Decentralization and strengthening institutional capacity at sub-national levels of government
  • Localizing the SDGs through supporting policy, implementation and monitoring at local levels
  • Area based approaches to stabilization, migration and displacement issues
  • Women’s equal participation in decision-making and representation in government

As part of these efforts, UNDP works closely with UN Habitat, UNCDF, UNICEF, UNHCR, and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments.

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UNDP Around the world