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. In doing so, IDEAL works closely works with the Association of Burundian Local Governments (ABELO).
- Mali: The IDEAL programme in Mali supports five pilot communes in their integrated water resources management. It also supports the national association of Malian municipalities (AMM) in their lobby efforts to improve the institutional and policy environment.
- Palestinian Territories: The IDEAL programme supports 5 pioneering and 10 small 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. The Rwandan Association of Local Government Authorities is an important partner.
- Somalia:. The IDEAL programme supports the decentralisation process by strengthening the Association of Local Government Authorities of Somaliland (ALGASL) to bold the voice and capacity of local governments. In addition, IDEAL Somalia supports 3 pilot districts to improve inclusive decision-making processes and responsive services in the area of local economic development.
- South Sudan: The IDEAL programme supports local governments in improving decision making procedures, access to and delivery of services in the policy area of WASH, which promotes local development and stabilisation.
- Uganda: . The IDEAL programme supports six Ugandan local governments and two local government associations (UAAU, ULGA) in aligning their actions and services to the needs of citizens by making optimal use of the discretionary space