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Empowerment through local citizenship

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Poor people live their daily lives at the local level where they engage with the state, public services, markets and the political system. Their empowerment requires participation and accountability in local governance and decision making through effective and inclusive local citizenship. Supporting inclusion requires an understanding of existing power relationships and the practical obstacles to participation faced by poor people. Public sector decentralisation is an important opportunity for empowerment through increased accountability for public expenditure allocations and local delivery of pro‐poor policies. Capacity development, for both communities and citizens, must promote leadership and facilitation, communication, advocacy and political skills. Widely available, transparent and substantive information is a critical but easily achievable first step in capacity development. All development aid modalities can support local empowerment and donors should co‐ordinate to identify and maximise opportunities for empowerment at the local level.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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