Researchers at the University of Mzumbe in Tanzania have received funding from the UK’s Economic and Research Council and the Department for International Development to explore how citizens can meaningfully hold local government to account. The research project runs from 2014-2017.
One of the most powerful ideas in development in recent years has been good governance. At its most basic, good governance describes all the things governments do in order to allow development to happen. Checklists of good governance have usually contained elements such as transparency, accountability and the practice of democracy and the rule of law. In this sense, good governance is about having national institutions that can make fair and appropriate decisions about how a country is governed, and effective systems in place to deliver public services.
It is against this background that this review of available evidence considers how the performance of local governance can be improved in relation to the better delivery of services, through the use of a local governance performance index. We also consider how the public tracking of locally meaningful measures of governance can be used to improve the accountability of local government bureaucracies and politicians.
Working paper 1. Improving the delivery of public services. What role could a local governance index play?