Local Democracy

Available also in Arabic

Overview

What? 

  • Local democracy is the self-government of cities, towns, villages and districts by democratic means—typically, but not exclusively, through elected mayors, councils and other local officials. 

Why?

  • Local democracy is often considered a tool to facilitate public participation, improve service delivery, strengthen communities, end marginalization and improve development outcomes. 

Why not?

  • Excessive localization can result in patchy and fragmented service delivery, especially where powers granted to local authorities outstrip the capacity of local authorities to deliver. 
  • Localization of power can create local oligarchies or local autocracy in which unaccountable powers are exercised without real democratic representation or accountability.

Where?

  • All countries in the world, perhaps with the exception of some micro-states, have some form of local democracy. The degree of constitutional specification varies, however.