When there is a trust deficit between the public and the government and where public services are not provided in an inclusive manner, grievance may arise, resulting in further polarization of society, providing a breeding ground for violent extremism and triggering protracted conflict.
Government Institutions that are capable, responsive and accountable to the public also gain their trust. This also results in meeting expectations and rights that the public has on the state. At IEGS, we believe that vulnerability to conflict and other natural or manmade disasters is a product of the social, economic and political systems in place that generate governing institutions and processes unable to legitimately wield authority and protect the social contract, i.e.. a mutual understanding of the respective roles of state and society.
Our approach towards enabling accountable governance to challenge the traditional interventions by donors and other multi-lateral organizations. While we do think, capacity development of the government institutions is necessary, we are also very convinced, it is not sufficient.Our approach focuses beyond capacity development. We link effective governance with long term political and social stability as well as sustainable peace and inclusive development.
We are confident of our approach as we mainly focus on how government works with other institutions to serve the interests of its citizens, without excluding any group. Our greatest asset is our ability to mobilize political will to persuade government authorities fulfill the expectations and the rights of the public. We believe that if there is capacity of citizens and local civil society organizations, political parties and people’s representatives, including at local level and If sufficient critical mass is reached, pressure from society can help change the behavior of governing elites.
We convince donors and international organizations including the UN that international development cooperation should address more the political drivers of weak governance, because many of our present day’s challenges are not merely technical, but largely political. Therefore, IEGS focus in the areas of conflict prevention through effective governance move beyond capacity development, more towards reconfiguring relationships and the functioning of the state; and supporting forms of democratic governance which effectively meet public rights and expectations and mediate conflict through institutions that work. We choose this approach, because we believe, legitimate governance processes and institutions are key mediators of social conduct, and thus central to any effort to address the structural causes of conflict and the triggers of violence.