Towards good governance at the local level: the role of grassroots institutions

Joop de Wit

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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This paper questions current efforts to bring about good governance in developing countries. While the good governance agenda has mostly been targeted at national governments, it is argued that good governance efforts should be aimed at the
local, municipal level, where the poor, excluded and oppressed live, and where - ideally
- proper policies are implemented and national legislation is enforced. However, the
key institution here - local government - is often very weak in terms of capacity, finance, and self-interested interference by the rich, the powerful and politicians. Interventions by central governments and donors will not suffice to bring about the changes
required. One way out could be organised pressure and participation from below in
what is termed participatory governance - including partnerships between local government, NGOs, and formal as well as informal (endogenous) community organisations. Examples of such governance are presented, as well as practical suggestions for
donors and other organisations relating to improved governance.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDen Haag
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages44
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2000

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series


  • ISS Working Paper-General Series


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