December 02, 2020     cib    

The Secretariat of the Development Partners Network on Decentralisation and Local Governance (DeLoG), Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), VNG International and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) jointly invite you to a webinar on:

"Decentralisation and Local Governance in Authoritarian Contexts."

The webinar will take place on Thursday, 10 December 2020, at 10 am - 11:30 am CET.

To register for the webinar, please click here.


Over the past decade, we have witnessed an increase in authoritarianism all around the world. Incumbent and newly emerging regimes have not only shown little willingness to reform but also closed existing spaces for citizen participation and civil society engagement more widely. Given this “authoritarian backslide”, development cooperation faces both obstacles and risks: Not only does citizens’ limited or inequitable access to political decision-making impede upon inclusive and sustainable aid delivery, international cooperation may also be instrumentalised to grant legitimacy to authoritarian leaders and thus be a threat to long-term inclusive development. Where authoritarian regimes’ grip goes down to the local level, prospects for local self-government and constructive state-society relationships are poor. But there are also cases where authoritarian regimes display a commitment to decentralisation and local governance (DLG) reforms.


Taking SDC’s Policy Note "Governance in Authoritarian Contexts (2020)" as starting point, in this webinar we will bring together the experiences of SDC, VNG International and GIZ. Besides giving concrete examples from Burundi and Cambodia the webinar will offer a space for exchange on the effects of authoritarianism on local governments and its implications for development cooperation. Special attention will be given to whether and how decentralisation reforms can open space for local communities and citizen engagement, underlining developmental actors’ responsibility to design contextual and conflict-sensitive strategies.


  • Melina Papageorgiou, Thematic Advisor Governance, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA – Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC
  • Channisai Muong, Programme Officer Governance, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA – Swiss Cooperation Office and Swiss Consular Agency for Cambodia
  • Volkert Doop, Project Manager, VNG International
  • GIZ, tbd

To register for the webinar, please follow this link.

Please note that this webinar will not be recorded.