Strengthening local governance in Africa: Beyond donor-driven approaches is the twelfth paper to be published in ICLD’s Working Paper series. In this paper Göran Hydén is critical of the donor-driven approaches to decentralization that pays little attention to political realities in Africa. He argues that the focus during the last decades has been on prescriptive models that have shown few sustainable outcomes due to the fact that they largely ignore the context-specific situation in the countries.
Hydén further argues that it is time to rethink concepts and practices used to promote local governance in African countries with more creative approaches to ensure the development of democratic local governance in Africa. For example by making strategic and policy analysis more effectively country- based, supporting feasible initiatives in which African institutions are in the lead, supporting institutional twinning arrangements, rethinking capacity-building and investing in funds for local governance and development that generate both demand and collective action all of which Hydén explores further in his paper.