Exploring development and accountability: laying the basis for a local governance performance index in Tanzania

To identify appropriate indicators for a local governance performance index (LGPI), we need to establish what local government is responsible for, and what matters most to citizens. Over two years this research has spoken to hundreds of citizens, local leaders, local officials and civil society organisations in two districts in Tanzania.

This briefing paper summarises findings around the key questions of what ‘development’ means at the local level, who is responsible for it, and how local government can be held to account in practice. Findings are illustrated with selected quotes from interviews, focus groups and workshops, which demonstrate the challenges that need to be overcome to design and implement a performance index. The briefing paper then proposes indicators that could be used in these two districts to monitor the performance of local government. 

Key Messages

  • Designing a local governance performance index (LGPI) requires deep contextual analysis of lines of accountability and blame in the delivery of public services

  • Lines of responsibility for public services are highly blurred and contested in Tanzania

  • A LGPI offers potential as a problem-solving tool for different actors to work together on local issues

  • Evidence indicates that a LGPI should cover: Physical Infrastructure; Social Services; Land & Livelihoods; and Political Representation

Click here to download the Briefing Paper

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