The challenge, as ever, is making such aspirations a reality. This is particularly so in contexts where the practice of violence and confrontation, rather than transparent decision-making and dialogue, has been the prevailing form of governance and has undermined trust at all levels. It is also a challenge where groups most affected by conflict are excluded from decision-making, where governance institutions are weak and dysfunctional, or where their very existence is contested by parties to conflict.
This paper offers some conclusions and practical lessons as to how governance can be transformed or reinvigorated in societies affected by conflict. It focuses on work to improve government accountability and responsiveness through increased public participation carried out by Conciliation Resources with local partners in the Mano River Union subregion, northern Uganda and South Sudan, the Georgian-Abkhaz context and Fiji.