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Measuring Local Governance. Objectives 1.Introduce local governance and its present dynamics in terms of decentralisation and democratisation trends and.

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Presentation on theme: "Measuring Local Governance. Objectives 1.Introduce local governance and its present dynamics in terms of decentralisation and democratisation trends and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Measuring Local Governance

2 Objectives 1.Introduce local governance and its present dynamics in terms of decentralisation and democratisation trends and processes 2.Provide guidance on planning, selecting, adapting and implementing LG assessments Both objectives should help you in taking several critical decisions around the development of a country specific strategy regarding local governance assessment and capacity development.

3 Outline 1.Users’ Guide to Measuring Local Governance 2.Decentralisation and democracy 3.Measuring local governance 4.Issues to consider for carrying out LG assessments 5.Practical application

4 1. Users’ guide to Measuring Local Governance Decentralisation and democracy Measuring local governance Issues to consider for carrying out LG assessments Practical application

5 1. Users’ Guide to Measuring Local Governance Purpose Compile existing knowledge Provide a framework for understanding existing assessment tools. Highlight priority issues (for UNDP) for selecting tools or developing new measurement approaches: Inclusive processes Assessments reflect the concerns/rights/interests of vulnerable groups Rigorous and scientifically sound

6 1. Users’ Guide to Measuring Local Governance Structure 1.Understanding local governance and description of issues, concepts and priorities that assessment tools focus on 2.‘Good practice’ for developing and implementing assessments of governance at the local level 3.Case Studies 4.The Source Guide: Overview of 22 assessment tools

7 1. Users’ Guide to Measuring Local Governance Provides guidance on How to deal with the preparation and launch How to ensure the most inclusive process How to ensure that the assessment methodology is rigorous What to do with the results How to address problems of sustainability

8 Outline 1.Users’ Guide to Measuring Local Governance 2.Decentralisation and democracy 3.Measuring local governance 4.Issues to consider for carrying out LG assessments 5.Practical application

9 2. Decentralization and democracy Why decentralize? Development rationale. Improved service delivery by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of public services Democracy and good governance rationale. Decentralisation has the potential to promote transparency and accountability in public administration and to promote democracy, from both the ‘supply’ and the ‘demand’ side. Conflict management and peace building rationale. If people have better development opportunities and their voice is taken into account, they are less likely to resort to violence to resolve their grievances.

10 2. Decentralization and democracy Degrees of decentralization Deconcentration. Transferring responsibilities to field and subordinate units of government (no distinct legal entity). Devolution. Transfer of competencies from the central state to distinct legal entities at lower level. Importance of local ownership and the need to adjust planning and resource allocation to specific local settings or priorities.

11 2. Decentralization and democracy Local government Local government? or Government at local level? What to include in an assessment? Only the local government? Or all government institutions at the local level?

12 2. Decentralization and democracy Functional decentralisation Political decentralisation. The transfer of political and legislative power and authority to the sub-national level. Administrative decentralisation. The transfer of decision-making authority on functional responsibilities (like planning, implementation, HRM) related to the delivery of a select number of public services or functions to the sub- national level. Fiscal decentralisation. The transfer of funds and resources as well as the revenue generating authority to the sub-national level of government.

13 2. Decentralization and democracy Trends in decentralisation From “decentralisation of government” to “decentralised governance” or “democratic local governance”: the art of governing communities in a participatory, deliberative and collaborative way to produce more just and broadly acceptable outcomes.  more attention in basic service delivery process is nowadays placed on government-citizen relationships, civil society engagement, public private partnerships, social accountability, etc.

14 2. Decentralization and democracy Why is the quality of governance important? It affects quality of service delivery (good governance as a means to improve livelihood) It affects legitimacy of the state (good governance as an end: building local democracy)

15 2. Decentralization and democracy Democratic Local Governance Emphasizes the importance of the process in which decisions are made and implemented, as well as the results in terms of improved services of the people in democratic local governance.

16 2. Decentralization and democracy Universal priorities for local governance UN-Habitat Guidelines on Decentralisation and the Strengthening of Local Authorities (April 2007): 1. Governance and democracy at the local level Appropriate balance of representative and participatory democracy, and governance in accordance with principles of transparency, integrity and downward accountability 2. Powers and responsibilities of local authorities Public responsibilities should be executed by those elected authorities closest to citizens (subsidiarity), and incremental decentralisation combined with capacity development

17 2. Decentralization and democracy Universal priorities for local governance 3. Administrative relations between local authorities and other spheres of government recognition of the legal autonomy of local authorities, respect for the practice of autonomy, as legislatively defined, by higher levels, and provisions for legal recourse where such autonomy is unjustly infringed 4. Financial resources and capacities of local authorities local authorities should be supported by other spheres of government, as much as possible determine their own administrative structures and adapt them to local needs, and have the financial autonomy to carry out their responsibilities

18 2. Decentralization and democracy Exercise 1 In your setting… What are the big issues in governance at the local level? How do you define good local governance?

19 Outline 1.Users’ Guide to Measuring Local Governance 2.Decentralisation and democracy 3.Measuring local governance 4.Issues to consider for carrying out LG assessments 5.Practical application

20 3. Measuring local governance Why address and assess governance at the local level? It’s at the local level where: There is direct interaction between government and citizens More services are decentralized An increasing part of government budget is spent Citizen dissatisfaction is most apparent The state derives a large part of its legitimacy If governance is important, then measuring governance is also important, to know if these objectives are being achieved, or whether adjustments are needed. Not simply a disaggregated national governance assessment!

21 3. Measuring local governance Reasons for assessing local governance Diagnostic. For identifying gaps and constraints in local policy implementation; for identifying specific capacity-building needs, for evidence based planning on local governance. Monitoring and evaluation. Monitoring results of capacity building efforts and changes in governance and for providing an objective account of achievements of local government, and thus building accountability. Dialogue and advocacy. For creating a platform to involve civil society and citizens in local governance and to empower stakeholders to demand change based on evidence.

22 3. Measuring local governance What kind of assessments are possible? 1.Comprehensive local governance assessment approaches based on mutiple stakeholder perspectives 2.Local Governance assessments based on citizen (or single stakeholder) perspectives 3.Local Governance and performance self-assessments by local government institutions

23 3. Measuring local governance Normative foundations Governance indicators measure the relationship between the actual and desired state of governance. Critical step: valued principles  measurable indicators Principles of democratic governance e.g. accountability Specific indicators e.g. public review of the budget (quality scale) Profile of democratic governanc e Operational questions e.g. Does the local gov. announce and disclose the budget for public review?  It’s important to make these normative assumptions explicit so users of reports understand how ‘good’ or ‘democratic’ governance is being assessed.

24 3. Measuring local governance Exercise 2 Brainstorm Generate as many indicators as possible within the time allocated. Use the principles of good governance you discussed in the previous exercise, and, if helpful, the format below (with intervening indicator questions). Principle Accountabilit y Indicator Public review of the budget Indicator question Does the local government announce and disclose the budget for public review?

25 3. Measuring local governance Example principles and indicators Effectiveness - LG revenue per capita - LG revenue transfers - Published performance standards Equity - citizen’s charter: right of access to basic services - percentage of women councillors - pro-poor pricing policy for water Participation - elected council - voter turnout and representation by sex - public forum for women, youth and vulnerable groups - citizen capacity to engage in decision-making

26 3. Measuring local governance Example principles and indicators (2) Security - facilities for citizen complaints - protection against crime and violence - security of land tenure and use Accountability - Formal publication of contracts, tenders, budget and accounts - codes of conduct - disclosure of income and assets - regular independent audit Institutional capacity - degree of professionalization or personnel and selection criteria - mechanisms for attention to citizens

27 3. Measuring local governance What kind of data sources? Use existing (secondary) data, and collect new (primary) data Administrative data: policy and legal documents, codes of conduct, organizational set-up and management systems, processes for decision-making Statistical data and indexes: expenditure tracking and budgetary information, organisational audit reports, election data, census data Perception and fact based evidence from individuals, households and private sector through surveys, report cards, focus groups

28 3. Measuring local governance Selecting an assessment tool The tools profiled in the Source Guide are classified according to the following features: Cost benefit analysis Purpose Information sources Lead actors applying the tool Use of explicit poverty measures Use of explicit gender measures

29 Outline 1.Users’ Guide to Measuring Local Governance 2.Decentralisation and democracy 3.Measuring local governance 4.Issues to consider for carrying out LG assessments 5.Practical application

30 4. Issues to consider Are you ready to assess? Is the basic decentralised system functioning according to certain minimum standards? e.g. delivery mechanisms, basic institutional procedures, planning and budgeting, staffing, clearly delegated mandates, inter-governmental relations Are you able to tackle the issues raised and the capacity needs of stakeholders that emerge from the exercise? Drafting a Capacity Development plan and budget should be part of your strategy from the start.

31 4. Issues to consider Ownership Local government? Official legitimacy, but concerns for independence and validity Central government? Supportive, but not a leadership role Civil society/ research institutes? Greater autonomy and independence, but may need to achieve consensus with government to bring about reform Who is the leading agent in the process and how can we guarantee neutral facilitation?

32 4. Issues to consider Managing multiple and conflicting purposes Challenge Getting a shared understanding and purpose when there are different and conflicting purposes, and unrealistic expectations. Good practices Assessment as part of a capacity building and inclusive dialogue process Clear normative framework is agreed upon Assessment is purpose oriented Derive objectives from local development needs and the strategic policy agenda

33 4. Issues to consider Political support and leadership Ensuring high level political support, and local level buy in  Convincing local leadership of potential win-win situation: greater transparency, rule of law, reduced corruption, better responsiveness etc will enhance the legitimacy of the local government and politicians, and likelihood of re-election Identify ‘champions’ who create enthusiasm and drive the exercise, and who work with all different actors to keep them committed to the original purpose of the assessment.

34 4. Issues to consider Ensuring inclusiveness Starts at the definition and selection of stakeholder groups If you don’t include marginalised groups explicitly, they will not be heard (stakeholders, sub-indicators, segregated data) Avoid elite capture by working with groups individually (to stimulate the emergence of true opinions) and collectively (to stimulate dialogue) Use differences in perceptions and scores as a starting point for dialogue Treat the assessment as a collective learning process

35 4. Issues to consider The purpose should define the method Starts at the definition and selection of stakeholder groups If you don’t include marginalised groups explicitly, they will not be heard (stakeholders, sub-indicators, segregated data) Avoid elite capture by working with groups individually (to stimulate the emergence of true opinions) and collectively (to stimulate dialogue) Use differences in perceptions and scores as a starting point for dialogue Treat the assessment as a collective learning process

36 4. Issues to consider Deciding the scope Which government level to focus on? Local government only? Also Ministries at the local level?  Lack of coordination is often an important bottleneck for efficient service delivery  Ordinary citizens are in general not able to distinguish the two, which might affect their view of governance problems and solutions

37 4. Issues to consider Adapting the tool to a local context Don’t just replicate a tool used in another country Map out existing tools, and select a methodology that is suited to the purpose and the normative foundation Invest in proper design, testing and initial consultation of stakeholders Continuous adjustments are important, even during implementation (Why are services not as they should be?) Adjust ambitions to capacities available

38 4. Issues to consider Selecting the indicators Balance direct needs with systemic issues (immediate vs long term impact) Combine input and output/outcome based indicators to show discrepancies between change in law and change in practice Use indicators that are actionable but also action-worthy Integrate poverty and gender sensitive measures, to provide a basis for local equitable development (in addition to disaggregating data by sex, income etc..) Be cautious with use of data, scores are not absolute because they are based on perceptions.

39 4. Issues to consider Ensuring findings are used Ensure high level political support to so that more systemic issues that emerge are addressed Ensure there is a budget and technical support to address capacity needs identified Breakdown problems into priorities and according to the type of solution they require Craft concrete recommendations that help to address these in terms of immediate, medium and long-term objectives Build on strengths Communicate research in a useful and accessible form, to an audience that is as wide and diverse as possible

40 Outline 1.Users’ Guide to Measuring Local Governance 2.Decentralisation and democracy 3.Measuring local governance 4.Issues to consider for carrying out LG assessments 5.Practical application

41 5. Practical application Getting started checklist Decide on ownership of LG assessment Depending on where ownership resides, involve the right partners and generate buy in from above and locally Decide on purpose Decide on scope Clarify budget Assess what secondary data are ready available Select instrument Adjust instrument to country setting and specific requirements

42 5. Practical application Exercise 3 Describe the contours of a local governance assessment framework for your country addressing: 1.Which category of tools (assessment by whom?) or which combination of tools would be most applicable? 2.Using the matrix, which tool could be your guiding tool?

43 5. Practical application Exercise 3 (selecting a tool) Take into consideration the following: Can it be made country specific (but also applied country wide)? Do the objectives address both local development needs and strategic policy agenda? Can it provide evidence for a strategy to enhance good governance at local level? Can the process itself help to promote desired objectives? (e.g. capacity development, dialogue, transparency) Is it poverty and gender sensitive? Does it combine measures of performance in practice as well as in law?

44 5. Practical application Exercise 4 Choose the case that is of most interest to you 1. Facilitating commitment and involvement: The role of a local government official 2. Moving from government to the concept of governance: The role of a civil society activist 3. Balancing comparability with local relevance: The role of a representative from a local government association 4. Ensuring uptake of assessment findings in local policymaking The role of a local elected government official

45 In conclusion: Governance becomes measurable and thus discussible at local and national level We can detect capacity building needs amongst all stakeholders that if addressed properly can strengthen governance We can prioritize, plan and budget for related capacity building We can provide evidence based policy advice to central government. It is possible to create emerging “social contracts” between government and civil society by showing that they work towards the same objective and that win-win solutions to governance problems are possible.


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