ASD 2024

Applications for 2024 are open!

Course Description

The theme for the Fourth African School on Decentralisation (ASD) is ‘Decentralisation and Human Rights’. The 2024 ASD will examine whether, and if so how, decentralisation can create favourable conditions for the protection and realisation of human rights on the African continent, and how local governance can be informed by human rights.

Human rights are not just a national government issue. Local and regional governments are critical actors in respecting, protecting, realising and promoting human rights. They govern and regulate local spaces, and impact the rights of individuals and groups. They deliver services that are essential for human dignity and development, and impact the environment.

Flowing from the international, regional and domestic frameworks for human rights, the 2024 ASD will cover themes such as –

  • how civil and political rights (democracy, accountability, transparency) underpin good local governance
  • how group rights (language, culture) and the protection of marginalised groups (children, persons with disability, LGBTQ) underpin local government policies
  • how local governments pursue gender equality
  • how socio-economic rights (water, sanitation, housing, shelter and food) shape municipal service delivery
  • how the right to a healthy environment for current and future generations informs how municipalities regulate and manage land, service and mobility
  • local governance and implementation for human rights: right-based planning, budgeting, delivery and reporting

The course will be offered in Cape Town, South Africa. It will be presented by leading experts in the field from a regional and international perspective. The course includes lectures, interactive discussions, case studies and study visits. It offers a platform in which African practitioners, academics and activists can be educated and encouraged to innovate and experiment, and to learn from one another in order to address the challenges in the implementation of decentralisation. Participation also offers entry into a Pan-African Network of decentralisation practitioners. The ultimate goal is to advance good governance in local government in Africa.

Costs for the 2024 Course

Costs covered by the organisers:

  • participation in the Course
  • accommodation and meals
    • accommodation will be shared (2 persons per room)
    • depending on availability, upgrades to a single room may be available at your own cost

Costs not covered by the organisers:

  • travel expenses to and from Cape Town
  • visa fees
  • health and travel insurance
  • personal travel expenses within Cape Town
  • personal expenses during your stay in Cape Town
  • any upgrades to a single room
  • any local travel within your country of residence


  • limited number of bursaries will be awarded, based on need, to cover an economy class return ticket to Cape Town


This year's African School on Decentralisation will take place in Cape Town, South Africa.

Key Dates

Activity Due Date
Submit online application 31 May 2024
Notification of acceptance 18 June 2024
Registration and confirmation of participation (with secured ticket) 31 July 2024
Course to be convened 13-26 October 2024

We shall have an information Webinar on the application process on Wednesday, 15 May 2024, 3:00pm – 4:00pm (SAST).

Click here to register for the Webinar.


The working language will be English.

Assessment & Certification

The ASD concludes with the issuance of a postgraduate certificate awarded, jointly by the University of the Western Cape and Addis Ababa University, to successful applicants who meet the academic assessment criteria.


Admission is open to practitioners and scholars who –

  • work in or with local or regional governments in Africa;
  • demonstrate how the course will amplify their impact on good local governance in Africa; and
  • are proficient in English.

Apply for the 2024 course

Click here to apply.

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