The Role of Information, Accountability and Resource Gaps in Explaining Poor Urban Services Quality in Addis Ababa and Its Rapidly Urbanizing Surroundings

Researchers aim to explore the role of three potential, non-mutually exclusive, reasons for why the responsiveness of local officials to the needs of dwellers in rapidly growing urban areas at the outskirt of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is low: (1) they lack information on the citizen’s priorities; (2) they lack the incentives to respond to citizen’s priorities because they are not held accountable for citizen’s well-being; (3) they lack the autonomy (i.e. the power to access the resources) to respond to citizen’s priorities.

Researchers will explore these issues by (1) surveying local officials (both elected officials and bureaucrats) to gauge the extent to which there is a mismatch between what they perceive as the local community’s priorities and the actual priorities, as well as between their stated priorities and what they think are the community’s priorities; and (2) piloting a “report card” treatment intervention in which we will report summary information on citizen’s concerns and needs. The report cards will be shared with officials at different levels of both the political and bureaucratic hierarchy. Researchers will then trace the extent to which the report card intervention affects budget allocations and policy choices, and how this depends on who is targeted by the intervention.

RFP Cycle:
Fall 2016
  • Full project