Book Chapter: Strengthening Accountability of Urban Local Governments: Role of the Performance Assessment System and Municipal Budget BriefsSeptember 2023
This book chapter on "Strengthening Accountability of Urban Local Governments: Role of the Performance Assessment System and Municipal Budget Briefs" is now part of the newly launched book on "Accountability Mechanisms for Inclusive City-Level Public Services in Asia", by Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI). The book targets the urgent challenge of providing safe sanitation access to nearly half of the world's population. It focuses on accountability mechanisms for sanitation service delivery and compiles insights from a global perspective, offering key messages for policy makers, researchers, and practitioners.
Chapter abstract: India has the second largest urban population in the world. Its cities and towns are governed by urban local governments, that form the third stratum of government. The Constitution (74th Amendment) Act, 1992 allocated specific responsibilities to them, including for water and sanitation services. This is backed by their own revenues and inter governmental fiscal transfers. Thus, they play an important role in the delivery of basic public services and are accountable to local citizens. However, as a large proportion of resources are through fiscal transfers, they are also accountable to provincial (state) and national (central) governments. This paper focusses on strengthening accountability of local government towards state / central governments as well as citizens through two mechanisms – regular performance assessment of services and preparation of budget briefs. Case studies from two states of India, Gujarat and Maharashtra demonstrate how these tools have been used to strengthen accountability in local governments. It highlights interlinkages between data analysis using the results for decision making in different institutional context and the resulting practices that lead to better services.