Local government service delivery
Equitable and efficient service delivery is at the heart of local government’s mandate. The resources in this section focus on the management and delivery of key strategic, corporate and technical services, ranging from those for which local government has direct responsibility, to shared service provision, and services for which local government is a partner.
- Climate change management and adaption
- Environmental management
- Social services
- Spatial/development planning
- Strategic planning
- Waste management and sanitation
- Water and utilities
- Partnerships for service delivery
There is a trend the world over to make governments more accountable and responsive to local people through decentralisation of authority. Such an effort is aimed at overcoming inefficient allocation of natural resources by centrally administered agencies. The objective is to encourage participation of people in the decision-making process at the grassroots level. In India, the 73rd constitutional amendment of 1992 decentralised agriculture, irrigation and management of drinking water to the Panchayats. In West Bengal, the Panchayats were revitalised much before the constitutional amendment, soon after the Left Front government came to power. While the initial phase of Left Front rule saw enthusiastic participation by the village poor, when the water crisis reached a peak during the last years of Left Front rule, relatively few people in villages took part in government-sponsored initiatives. This leads to the core question: Why do more people not participate? Why are small cultivators and agricultural labourers, who are most profoundly affected by decisions regarding water management, even less inclined to be involved in decision-making? Participation at the Crossroads discusses decentralised governance and the politics of water management in India, with specific focus on West Bengal. Through fieldwork in villages during the last years of Left Front rule in the state, the author highlights the little studied aspect of local participation in decision-making processes relating to allocation of water. Through his case studies, the author shows how the unavailability of water is causing small cultivators to turn away from agriculture; the reasons behind the low turnout of small cultivators and agricultural labourers at village meetings; and how political interference at various levels in decentralisation creates problems, often leading to a skewed access to water. This timely and important book will be very useful to students and scholars of development studies, political science, public administration, anthropology, and sociology. It will also be invaluable to practitioners working in the fields of water policy and rural management.
Author: Bhaskar Chakrabarti Publisher: Orient BlackSwan Publication year: 2016
This ESCAP report examines three elements of e-government: service delivery, citizen uptake and connectivity. It finds that requirements for gender-responsive e-government include: investments in both data and connectivity; intermediaries who build women’s trust in online service delivery; and subsidised access and safe, inclusive public spaces. The report draws on experiences from Australia, Fiji, India, the Philippines and the Republic of Korea.
Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Publisher: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Publication year: 2016
The article proposes that the power of local government to design and deliver educational services contributing to long-term conflict transformation is mediated by two factors: the model of decentralisation adopted in the aftermath of conflict, and the decision-making model at the centre (power-sharing). It employs rich qualitative data collected during extensive fieldwork. It compares the design and delivery of education across three post-conflict societies with a particular focus on attempts to reform the Lebanese University in Lebanon, to establish an Education and Skills Authority in Northern Ireland and to rationalise the school network in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Author: Giuditta Fontana Publisher: Third World Quarterly Publication year: 2019
This volume presents important original research on ICT and local goverance in Africa that must not be ignored by public policymakers – at municipal, regional, national and continental levels – in the respective countries in Africa. It is strongly recommended that this work be used and debated.
Author: Timothy Mwololo Waema and Edith Ofwona Adera Publisher: International Development Research Centre Publication year: 2011
Communities in control? The challenges of neighbourhood governance with reference to local government reform in England
Recent local government and public service reforms in England have been orientated towards devolving public service delivery and decision-making to the neighbourhood level. These reforms have been driven by political, social and managerial agendas that aim to make local government more accountable and responsive to local communities, to build social capital and to enhance the cost-effectiveness of local services. This paper, with reference to the current policy framework in England, aims to identify and review the possibilities and challenges for local government officials and partner agencies in moving towards decentralised public service provision and governance. The paper initially identifies the key aspects of reform brought in by the central government Department of Communities and Local Government that seek to extend neighbourhood influence and governance structures. The discussion then turns towards considering the challenges in ensuring effective citizen participation – namely responding to multiple policy objectives; devising appropriate neighbourhood governance structures; re-thinking the role of local government; identifying and managing trade-offs; building community and local government capabilities for wide-ranging participation; and ensuring effective partnership working at all levels of local government. In conclusion the important steps towards tackling these challenges in England are recognised although a number of concerns remain.
Author: Harriet Churchill Publisher: Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance Publication year: 2008