Whose voice matters for what? Local government inclusion and social accountability in post-conflict contexts

Regional focus: Kenya and Lebanon

Time: January 2020 – December 2022


While long-standing debates in the field of development have promoted participatory and inclusive
approaches, post-conflict contexts offer additional challenges through continued divisions along
former warring lines. As divisions also infiltrate the local level and its policy-making, local participation
does not necessarily offer an answer to issues of voice and inclusion at the local level. This project
compares local inclusion in Kenya and Lebanon, two post-conflict contexts divided along ethnic or
religious lines. The aim of the project is to identify who has voice and over what in local policy-making
and to explore what challenges and opportunities exist for local inclusion in post-conflict recovery.
Thereby, we will pay particular attention to local groups excluded from local power and resources.
The project generates new findings on how local inclusion and participation is hindered or enabled,
and what it means for post-conflict societies continuously divided along ethnic or religious lines.

Research questions

  • How do local communities participate in local policy-making in Kenya and Lebanon?
  • How do local communities exercise influence in local policy-making in Kenya and Lebanon?
  • How do post-conflict opportunities and challenges impact local inclusion and social
    accountability in Kenya and Lebanon?

Research team

Hanna Leonardsson, Assistant researcher, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg

Jean-Bosco Habyarimana, Lecturer and researcher, Centre for Conflict Management, College of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Rwanda