In many contexts, sub-national decision-making arenas are critical points of leverage for holding and challenging power. In federal systems, such as the United States or India, state level governments are very important actors, with their own decision-making bodies as well.
In the last two decades, programmes of decentralization have also made the local level very important, both through local government programmes, as well as a host of other structures for participation in development projects, service delivery, or NGOs. Strategies for participation in local governance have been very important for planning, allocating and monitoring budgets, and holding local institutions to account. Equally, local level non-governmental bodies are also important for change. For examples, read the Citizenship DRC’s Citizens in Action case study series: Citizen Prescriptions for Better Health Policy, and also the case study Councillors and Residents in Hove Park from a student research paper by Suvojit Chattopadhyay.