UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Researchers are examining how and why local peace-building efforts succeed in minimising violence in contexts where there are large new investments, focusing on the remote rural areas of Kenya and Sierra Leone, and its impacts on the poor in marginal rural areas.
Advocacy at the community level, Tanzania.
This research is exploring practical ways in which citizens in low income countries can hold their local leaders to account for their performance in delivering basic services and in reducing poverty.

Urban violence is an increasingly significant global phenomenon. Over the past few years, a conventional wisdom has emerged within policy and research circles associating it with four key factors: poverty; youthful populations; the failure to consider women’s safety as a specific concern; and the local-level absence of the state. Taken together, these different factors have underpinned a range of policy interventions in a variety of contexts.

flickr.com/photos/jafsegal/23166725889/ Varanasi, India

Poor people’s lack of voice and influence are globally recurring themes their own accounts of their poverty, and are indicative of their wider political disempowerment. This project evaluates attempts to tackle this core element of poverty through local governance reform. Its central research question is: to what extent do participatory initiatives within local governance enhance poor people’s opportunities for political empowerment?

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