Towards a Set of Urban Governance Indicators

Decentralization - Financial:

  • Autonomy of financial resources
  • Can local government decide on the use of local resources ?
  • Predictability of inter-governmental transfer
  • Principles of financial devolution
  • Level of adoption of the budget
  • Sources of local government funding ((taxes,user charges, borrowing, central government, international aid)
  • Can local government raise resources from capital markets without approval of from higher levels of government?
  • Percent of funds devolved from higher levels of government
Decentralization - Political:
  • Dismissal of mayors, councilors and officials
  • Progress of deciding political agenda
  • Legislation on de-centralisation (yes/no)
  • Number of gender equity oriented initiatives undertaken by local organisation or institutions
  • Percentage of elected and nominated members by sex/ethnic group
  • Control by higher level of government
  • Access to government positions by all groups
Local government:
  • Process of selecting mayor
  • Regulatory framework that governs promotion of civil servants
  • Career prospects of civil servants
  • Pay scale of civil servants
  • Tacit knowledge about the power structure
Planning and predictability:
  • Openness of procedures for contracts/tenders for municipal services
  • Appointments by higher government
  • Annual budgeting
  • Percent recurrent resources for Pvt Sector/CBO
  • who supplies and regulates various services
  • independent decisions, regulation/taxes, auditing, removal from office
  • Sources of income
  • Transparency of local taxation
  • Consistency/regularity of local mayor election
  • Percentage of population served
  • Access of public to stages of policy cycle ( planning, budgeting, monitoring, etc) delegation of public service
  • Integration of planning and budgeting
  • No of public hearings and participants from different income/ethnic groups
  • Are data collected and used by gender and district
  • Existence of conflict mediation at local level (budgeted)
  • Existing participatory processes
  • Group equity in participatory planning and decision making
  • Equal access to education and information
  • Existence or not of information on differential situation and needs of women and men
  • Legal entitlement to different assets to all categories of people
  • Self determination of groups in relation to resource management
  • Civil freedoms - press, association, justice
  • Social group and watch dog for programme implementation
  • Number of CBOs and specific organisations  addressing gender issues
  • Access to basic needs
  • Consumer satisfaction ( survey/complaints)
  • Capacity for delivery of services ( including spatial coverage)
  • Income/expenditure of local govt/capita
  • Legislated local government functions
  • Targets, programme, financial
  • Economic development ( city Product)
  • Environmental quality
Freedom, justice, fairness and equity ( concentrated on equity first):
  • Equity in tax system
  • Incorporation of excluded groups in the consultation process
  • Resource allocation to services benefiting the poor/ the rich
  • Access to basic services for disadvantaged groups Eg spatial distribution of services
  • Quintile distribution of city product
  • Ratio of price of water in formal informal settlements
  • Existence of public hearings
  • Existence of local media
  • Resource allocation towards formal/informal  settlement
  • Rental; to income ratio in formal and informal settlement
Accountability and transparency:
  • Fairness in enforcing laws
  • Clarity of procedures and regulations and responsibilities
  • Existence of sanction, performance standards and disclosure laws
  • Codes of conduct for professional associations
Forward Looking:
  • Social development plan
  • Vision/mission statements
  • Forward/strategic Plans
  • Communication strategy
  • Gender perspective
  • Revenue growth ( total and own)
  • Funds known in advance
  • Setting budgets/targets
  • Existence of planning department
  • Role of  key groups in planning , decision making, implementation, monitoring and evaluation
  • Freedom of media and existence of local media
  • Percentage of people voting by sex and social groups
  • Process of public discussion on key issues
  • Use of referendum on key issues
  • Right of establishing association
Private sector:
  • Extent of civil society organization ( monitoring )
  • Predictability of enforcement
  • Integrity of auditing and monitoring
  • Existence of enabling city legislative environment
  • Predictability of institutional change
  • Credibility of rules
  • Existence of an official admin structure
  • Percentage of unsafe city areas-crime rates (murder, rape)
  • Police corruption- feeling of safety
  • Efficiency
  • Per capita revenue
  • Cost of various services
  • Percentage economic Growth
  • Recycling/re-treatment/sustainability
  • Percentage on salaries
  • Employees per delivery service
  • General administration share
  • Number of local government employees/ 1000 population
Civil society:
  • Resource requirements to organised groups
  • Status of local leadership ( formal, informal, legitimate, non legitimate, respected, non respected, independent
  • Existence of emergency laws against public meetings, tradition of public action
  • No of NGOs
  • No of procedures need e to register NGOs
Planning and management:
  • Functional responsibilities for service provision (sewerage, water, education, health, social services, green space etc)
  • Possibility that the mayor is good!!!!
Top 12 Urban Governance issues/indicators:
1. Consumer satisfaction (survey/complaints)
2. Openness of procedures for contracts/tenders for municipal services
3. Equity in tax system
4. Sources of local government funding ((taxes,user charges, borrowing, central government, international aid)
5. Percentage of population served by services
6. Access of public to stages of policy cycle
7. Fairness in enforcing laws
8. Incorporation of excluded groups in the consultation process
9. Clarity of procedures and regulations and responsibilities
10. Existing participatory processes
11. Freedom of media and existence of local media
12. Autonomy of financial resources

UNCHS Expert Group Meeting on Urban Poverty and Governance Indicators, 29 April to 1 May 1999, Nairobi, Kenya.
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