Local governments are often the first to collapse when factions fight for territorial control. In post-conflict settings, the state is often unable to effectively reach parts of its territory for years. Given these challenges, it is no surprise that decentralization and local governance provisions are increasingly prominent in peace agreements and national post-conflict peacebuilding agendas.

This online course explores how decentralization contributes to peacebuilding and identifies the elements of local governance that are most relevant in a post-conflict/peacebuilding context. Concrete case studies are used to illustrate successful decentralization reforms and peacebuilding efforts at the local level.



Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the different forms of decentralized governance (deconcentration, delegation, devolution) and their implications on the organization of the state at the subnational level;
  • Identify key elements that can improve the effectiveness of a decentralization process for peacebuilding;
  • Examine the relationship between decentralization and peacebuilding, and assess the extent to which effective decentralized governance can help prevent or mitigate the risk of violent conflicts, and/or contribute to their peaceful resolution

Course Methodology

Course Methodology: 

This programme is delivered entirely online over five weeks. It combines self-paced modules with live online sessions. Featuring subject-matter experts and seasoned practitioners, the programme utilizes interactive spaces for experience sharing, joint reflection and peer exchange. A UNSSC tutor will guide and support you throughout your learning journey.

The programme is hosted on the UNSSC online learning platform, eLounge, which allows you a high degree of flexibility to access content at your own pace, from anywhere and at any time.

Course Contents

Course Contents: 

In this programme, you will explore the necessary conditions for decentralization and local governance to make positive contributions to peacebuilding.

The course modules focus on:

  • Decentralized Governance: Key Concepts;
  • Effective Decentralization for Peacebuilding;
  • The Politics of Decentralized Governance;
  • Fiscal Decentralization and Accountability;
  • Violence, Security and Peacebuilding in a Decentralized Framework;
  • Role of Decentralization in Improving Local Economies and the Delivery of Basic Services;
  • Decentralization: Case Studies.

Target Audience

Target Audience: 

UN staff as well as practitioners and representatives from governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, civil society and academia.

Cost of participation

Cost of participation: 

The programme fee is $750. The fee includes access to all training and learning materials as well as participation in live online sessions and one-to-one support from a UNSSC tutor.

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