This policy brief analyses how participation and inclusivity relates to influence in local decision-making in two post-conflict contexts. Peacebuilding increasingly overlaps with development research in the turn to a local level, bottom-up approach which puts emphasis on including all groups in society in decision-making.
The authors find that inclusion and participation in local decision-making can advance local influence but also perpetuate conflict divides. It makes three recommendations to local governments in post-conflict contexts divided along ethnic or sectarian lines.
- Implement practices for including those not usually heard,
- acknowledge what voices are included in national versus local arenas, and
- reflect on alternative avenues for influence and how less influential actors use these avenues for influencing local decision-making