Local Governance after Conflict: Community Empowerment in East Timor
A necessary ingredient for peacebuilding and development after conflict is stable and participatory local governance. Yet peacekeeping and state-building operations conducted by the international community still focus on the establishment of national institutions and do not ensure local participation. The World Bank’s Community Empowerment and Local Governance Project (CEP) was supposed to create sub-national governance to supplement the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). The programme was an innovative attempt to combine development with state building in an emergency phase of a post-conflict setting. The results pose questions about the timing of establishing local governance and the degree of social engineering that can be conducted in a post-conflict environment. They show the relevance of sufficient ‘local knowledge’ in project design and the need for improved inter-organisational cooperation.