Demand for Good Local Governance

23rd July 2018
Author: Dylan O'Driscoll

This rapid review synthesises literature from academic, policy and NGO sources on the demand for local governance. The main objective is to understand whether the implementation of good local governance1 leads to a local demand for good governance with a focus on fragile and conflict affected states. There is a significant lack of literature on the topic with no single article focusing on the provision demand nexus of local governance. However some articles do focus on the relationship between accountability and governance and briefly touch on demands. The review finds that if the local governance provided is based on citizen participation, the population is more likely to demand good governance. Mechanisms for local accountability also increase the demand for good governance. Additionally, demand also depends on expectations of what the government can deliver and if the government is deemed to be trying it enhances its legitimacy. Another key finding of the review is the equal distribution of resources across the country is important in the government’s legitimacy and the population’s demand for good local governance. Meanwhile, citizen demands are strengthened through the presence of an active media, the level of social mobilisation, the existence of coalitions that can mobilise evidence effectively, and the existence of intermediaries who can transfer and communicate information to officials. If civilians are involved in the formulation of the local governance system they are more likely to engage in trying to maintain it, or make demands to improve it.

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Suggested Citation

O’Driscoll, D. (2018). Demand for Good Local Governance. K4D Helpdesk, no. 396. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies


23rd July 2018


Continent: Global

Country: Afghanistan, Nepal, Somalia