Does transparency make local governments more responsive? Evidence from the Philippines using differ...
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Does transparency make local governments more responsive? Evidence from the Philippines using difference-in-difference approach. Joseph Capuno (University of the Philippines) Maria Melody Garcia (University of Rome – Tor Vergata ). Objective.

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Joseph capuno university of the philippines maria melody garcia

Does transparency make local governments more responsive? Evidence from the Philippines using difference-in-difference approach

Joseph Capuno

(University of the Philippines)

Maria Melody Garcia

(University of Rome – Tor Vergata)


Objective

Objective

  • The paper tests the proposition that transparency make local governments more responsive using data from a local governance project piloted in 12 municipalities/cities

  • Specifically, we test if public information on local government performance would have a positive impact on public service delivery and assessed responsiveness of officials to the needs of their constituents


Related literature

Related Literature

  • The evidence is mixed regarding the responsiveness of local governments (LG) to local needs under decentralization

  • Faguet (2004) found supporting evidence in Bolivia

  • Lewis (2005) found in Indonesia that LGs are only partly responsive to local needs, and also partly captured by local elites

  • Ahmad et al (2005) found mixed results


The philippine experience under decentralization

The Philippine experience under decentralization

  • There have been proliferation of innovative local public services since 1991 when the Local Government Code was adopted (Capuno, 2007).

  • There are also cases where middling leaders or corrupt ones further entrenched their hold to political power (Lacaba, 1995)

  • Azfar et al (2001) found that local officials do not necessarily make use of their superior information in making fiscal decisions


The good governance and local development project

The Good Governance and Local Development Project

  • Aimed to develop and advocate the institutionalization of a set of indicators of good governance - the Governance for Local Development Index (GI)

  • GI was piloted for two years (2001-2002) in 12 municipalities/cities of the provinces of Bulacan and Davao del Norte

  • The pilot test was conducted to investigated the impact of public dissemination of local government performance on the citizens’ perceived responsiveness of local officials


Pilot areas and local partners

Pilot Areas and Local Partners


The governance for local development index gi

The Governance for Local Development Index (GI)

Public Service Needs

Expenditure Prioritization

Participatory Development


The gi scores

The GI Scores

  • Ranges from 0 to 100

  • The scores were not announced in the control sites

  • The scores were announced in the treatment sites through posters, stickers, magazines

  • The scores were also presented by the local partners in public forums for at least three times and an extra forum was held exclusively for local officials

  • The public dissemination of the assessed performance of LGs is expected to influence the behavior of the local officials and their constituents


The data

The Data

  • Three rounds of random household surveys

  • Same sampling design and instrument

  • 100 household respondents per municipality

  • Sampling weights were used

First round of GI scores

Jun-Aug 2001

Second round of GI scores

Mar-Sep 2002

Baseline survey

Apr-May 2001

Pilot period 1

Feb-Mar 2002

Pilot period 2

Feb-Mar 2003


Demographic characteristics

Demographic characteristics


Evaluation framework

Evaluation framework

  • DiD – differences in responsiveness of LG before and after the introduction of the index in the control site is calculated, and then subtracted from the differences in the responsiveness of the LG officials before and after the introduction of the index in the treatment sites


Desirable changes in the delivery of public service

Desirable changes in the delivery of public service

*** p<0.01, **p<0.05, * p<0.10


Mayor s responsiveness to complaints

Mayor’s responsiveness to complaints

*** p<0.01, **p<0.05, * p<0.10


Responsiveness of local officials

Responsiveness of local officials

*** p<0.01, **p<0.05, * p<0.10


Responsiveness of officials

Responsiveness of officials

*** p<0.01, **p<0.05, * p<0.10


Conclusion 1

Conclusion (1)

  • Overall, the result shows that the index has increased the probability of improving delivery of public service.

  • Mayor’s responsiveness to complaints appeared short-lived

  • The effect of the index on local officials’ probability of being responsive is mixed. Municipal officials tend to be less responsive than their village counterpart.


Conclusion 2

Conclusion (2)

  • Impact of index on improved public service delivery is strongest if disseminated by LGs

  • Positive effect on responsiveness if the LGs made the announcement and negative effects if the announcement is made by CSO/NGOs.

  • The effectiveness of the index may depend on the characteristic of the local partner.


Implications in the design of performance rating systems

Implications in the design of performance rating systems

  • An effective accountability mechanism is a performance benchmarking system

  • Rating or assessment matters. Has to be simple to be understood by an average resident

  • Designating the announcement of scores to local NGO/CSO should be proceeded with care

  • The presence of a neutral body can help lend credibility if scores are generated by LGs

  • Perhaps the best solution in carrying out a local scorecard would be a partnership between LG units and CSO/NGO.


Thank you

Thank you!


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