Stabilization through Democratic Governance

Blue Sky

Stabilization through Democratic Governance

In fragile and post-conflict settings, initiatives aimed at building accountable, responsive and legitimate governance processes encounter a number of challenges, including:

  1. Weak rule of law and judiciary, leading to a culture of impunity which in turn leads to losing the hearts and minds of the public. This results in grievance, and grievance leads to violence.
  2. Ineffective or lack of essential public services such as health, education, policing and water.
  3. Corruption, lack of accountability and integrity
  4. Control by non-state armed actors, such as warlords, gun lords, drug lord, criminal networks and terrorists.
  5. NGOs and CSOs provide services that otherwise should be provided by the government. Weak or no watchdog role by CSOs.
  6. The need to deliver results quickly and to show peace dividend.

Ineffective governance is therefore one of the major drivers of protracted conflicts. We have seen that ineffective governance processes have resulted in the breakdown of delivery of critical political goods like security, rule of law and basic services, when armed conflict emerges within the borders of a state. Equally, violent conflict has a strong impact on governance in its different dimensions.

IEGS aims to build effective, legitimate and resilient states at local and national levels. Our stabilization through effective governance programming approaches therefore focus on the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority to effectively manage a society’s affairs. Our approach also encompasses civil society and the ways in which civil society organizations (CSOs) and groups are structured and organized. Our focus is not only on capacity building but focus more on processes, mechanisms, and institutions through which societies collectively make decisions and implement them, and the ways in which individuals, groups and communities articulate their interests, and exercise their rights.

Our programmatic priorities:

Anti-corruption for peace initiative: The overall objective of this initiative is to deepen knowledge and awareness on the critical knowledge between corruption and insecurity, violent extremism as well as to contribute to strengthening national capacities to integrate anti-corruption measures into national development processes and to enhance integrity in service delivery with the aim to contribute to the implementation of the SDGs agenda, in particular Goal 16 (Targets 16.5 and 16.6) on “Building Peaceful and Inclusive Societies” and the links between these targets and other SDGs.

Accountability for Peace Initiative:  Grounded in a Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA), the project engages with civil society actors and the private sector as well as government institutions to advance change on both the supply and demand side of the development equation. The overall result envisaged by this project at national/local level is to identify and remove corruption bottlenecks in selected service delivery sectors, to mainstream anti-corruption measures in national/local development processes, and to promote global knowledge and advocacy so that anti-corruption continues to be perceived as a global and national development priority.

Justice, Peace and Security: The lack of formal or informal legal systems to which people can bring their grievances threatens security and may lead to conflict. Access to effective, legitimate justice enables peaceful settlement of disputes, and reduces the likelihood that conflicts are settled in a violent manner. Legal certainty fosters investment in development and enterprise.

IEGS aims at building a functioning legal system and effective, predictable and transparent criminal justice institutions. We believe it is important because for legitimate stability, it is essential that both citizens and government be subject to the law and that the courts be independent. The justice system should also be able to settle disputes relating to the lawful exercise of state power, and powerful elites, private actors and individuals should not stand above the law. We also work to mobilize political will and awareness that citizens feeling that justice is being done has a preventive effect and that there will be no peace without justice and respect for human rights.

The Role of IEGS:

  1. Institutional and Capacity building including technical support to CSOs and public authorities/power-holders from the local up to the national level.
  2. Developing models and scaling them up: piloting new models, assessing their impact, and using this evidence base to lobby for their uptake by public authorities.
  3. Undertaking applied and participatory research: supporting and/or funding research, promoting the dissemination of innovative and best practices
  4. Influencing policy: promoting evidence based advocacy (directly or indirectly, through partners and/or joining policy influencing initiatives and coalitions)
  5. Facilitating interactions between citizens and public authorities/power-holders, and supporting the creation of mechanisms for dialogue.
  6. Brokering relations between multiple stakeholders, bringing different actors together, and making sure that the “right people” and decision-makers are seated at the table.