Whose voice matters? Inclusion in local decision-making in Kenya and Lebanon

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.

  1. Implement practices for including those not usually heard,
  2. acknowledge what voices are included in national versus local arenas, and
  3. reflect on alternative avenues for influence and how less influential actors use these avenues for influencing local decision-making