Forum Program Head Felix Knuepling participated in an international conference on “Federalism and Decentralisation: Perceptions for Political and Institutional Reforms” on the 4th and 5th of September in Manila, Philippines. Mr. Knuepling gave a presentation entitled “Structuring Governance in a Weak State: Federalism and Multilevel Governance”, based on the experience and the lessons the Forum has garnered during its work in post-conflict and fragile countries, such as Iraq, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Yemen and others.
The conference was organized by the Local Government Development Foundation (LOGODEF) and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, one of the Forum’s long standing partners.
Invited speakers from Asia, Australia and Europe shared regional and country perspectives on the topic with over 100 local stakeholders including mayors, academia institutional heads and local governance practitioners. The first day introduced conceptual conundrums and regional comparative experiences from Africa, Asia and Europe, followed by a more focused discussion on Asian cases of decentralization and federalism on the second day, in light of the national discourse in the Philippines.
The conference concluded with an opportunity to meet Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III who opened the panel on “Strategic Outlook for the Philippines” with the emphasis on the need to work towards a more inclusive agenda for the Philippines in making the case for a federal system. The conference ended with a policy panel on next steps for the Philippines, taking note of presentations heard during the conference and its main takeaways.