IDEAL (Inclusive Decisions At Local Level) is a programme by VNG International implemented in seven countries facing fragility or conflict: Burundi, Mali, Palestine, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda. Despite the diverging contexts and topics in the IDEAL programme, we still pursue one common overall objective: “Involving citizens in local governance in order for local authorities to better deal with fragility risks.

To guard this objective, each of the seven country programmes is centred around the same three outcomes:
Effective services – Local governments offer many services to their citizens. It is important that these services address the most pressing challenges in a community and tackle the problems they are designed to solve.
Inclusive decisions – The policies of local governments have a direct impact on the daily lives of citizens. Therefore it is important all citizens can influence the local decision-making process, as well as be consulted
and informed about these decisions. This also extends to local business, civil society organisations and other local institutions in which citizens are represented.
Enabling environment – When challenges are too big to be addressed at a local level, local governments need to work together. Through their associations or other mechanisms they can overcome these challenges,
participate in all levels of governance, and defend interests of local communities.

The social contract between citizens and local authorities which follows from inclusive decision-making improves local governance and the quality of basic services. Thereby increasing security, reducing poverty, and leading to sustainable social and economic development.

At country-level, the priorities are the following:
- Burundi: By enhancing citizens' voices in local governance, IDEAL Burundi aspires to improve human
security in 8 local governments, in particular for vulnerable groups such as women and youth.
- Mali: The IDEAL programme in Mali supports five pilot communes in their integrated water resources management. It also supports the national association of municipalities in their lobby efforts to improve the institutional environment.
- Palestinian Territories: The IDEAL programme supports Palestinian municipalities in developing a joint approach with their communities to create job opportunities and to promote prosperity.
- Rwanda: The IDEAL programme supports six growing Rwandan cities in dealing with the challenges brought by rapid urbanisation. By closely involving local citizens in this process, we ensure that their needs are reflected in policies and services developed to address these challenges.
- Somalia: Somaliland is in the early stages of decentralisation. Local governments struggle to be resilient in coping with the impact of climate change and other development challenges. The IDEAL programme supports the Association of Local Government Authorities of Somaliland (ALGASL) to strengthen the voice and capacity of local governments
- South Sudan: The IDEAL programme supports local governments in improving the delivery and accessibility of WASH services, which promotes local development and stabilisation.
- Uganda: In dynamic and volatile Uganda, the voice of citizens becomes increasingly relevant to ensure locally driven development, which is why the IDEAL programme supports six Ugandan local governments and two local government associations in aligning their actions and services to the needs of citizens