Citizen perceptions of local government responsiveness in sub-Saharan Africa

SOURCE: World Development
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2012
TITLE AUTHOR(S): M.Bratton
KEYWORDS: LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC PERCEPTION, SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA, TAXATION
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9918
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/11198

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Abstract

This article focuses on political relationships between citizens and local government in sub-Saharan Africa, with special attention to leadership responsiveness. Cross-national survey data provide popular insights into performance. Citizens regard local councils as weak institutions with limited functions (rarely performed well) and elected councilors as largely unresponsive. Although civic activism is a corrective, people have yet to make use of tax payment as a device to hold councilors accountable. In endeavoring to improve client satisfaction, policy actors should attend as much to the procedural dimensions of local government performance as to the substance of service delivery.