While the current MDG framework focuses strongly on material dimensions of poverty, immaterial dimensions have not been formally included, even if implementing mechanisms of DPs have partly been trying to address them. Immaterial dimensions of poverty include, but are not limited, to voicelessness, dignity, lack to access of information, inability to participate in the political discourse, dependency and lack of access to networks. To lessen these immaterial dimensions of poverty and improve the quality of life for citizens, strengthening local democracy can be a key in both developing and developed countries. This is where the link to the thematic roundtable can be found.
Moving forward toward a new development framework after 2015, this aspect of local democracy should be reflected in the debate. It seems especially relevant for the debates around inequality and governance that are currently emerging.
- What role have local governments played in the past 15 years in improving service delivery for all citizens?
- How can local democracy improve citizens’ quality of life – for both material and immaterial dimensions?
- How does the international agenda shape the ability of local governments to play a developmental role and what are actions that local governments can take to influence this agenda?