The State of Local Governance Institutions

A Global Study of Local Governance Institutions

Local governments and local administrative bodies play an important role in transforming global and national development objectives into improved services and development outcomes at the local level. Accordingly, the draft post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals include the ambition for countries around the world to “…build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”.

Relative little is known, however, about the state of local governance institutions in different countries and in different regions. This information gap makes it difficult to assess whether global progress is being made by efforts to strengthen effective, accountable and inclusive local governance. In addition, the absence of a consistent metric of local governance institutions hampers global efforts to study the impact of local governments and territorial administrations on achieving equitable and sustainable development.

In line with the directive that we should “measure what we treasure”, the objective of the global study on the State of Local Governance Institutions (SoLGI) is to fill the current knowledge gap in the field of local governance by establishing an information baseline about the state of local governance institutions in countries around the world. This mapping of local governance institutions will rely on the Local Governance Institutions Comparative Assessment (LoGICA) framework.

The Local Governance Institutions Comparative Assessment (LoGICA) Framework is designed to assess and compare local governance systems in different countries based on five specific institutional dimensions:

  • the assignment of functional responsibilities;
  • the existence of local political space and effective local political systems;
  • the degree of local control over local administration and local service delivery;
  • local fiscal autonomy and local financial management; and
  • participatory and responsive local service delivery mechanisms.

A more effective local governance system is achieved when each of these five institutional dimensions are effective, well-structured, and fit together well.

The State of Local Governance Institutions is a collaborative research partnership led by the Local Public Sector Initiative which is supported by UNDP and UNICEF.

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