Governance and Democracy
Accountability, transparency and fair treatment of all stakeholders help to ensure the sustainability of change initiatives. We build and work with multi-disciplinary teams from the state, civil society, media and private sector agencies to develop integrated solutions to governance issues. Our approach to governance work has delivered real results in societies coping with major socio-political transitions, such as in Eastern Europe in the 1990s; in fractured societies rebuilding after years of conflict and violence, as in Afghanistan, Nicaragua and Rwanda; and in more stable societies like Nigeria, Ecuador and Bangladesh, looking to strengthen political systems and processes.
Good governance and democracy are important if long term economic and human development is to be sustained. However, in many developing countries governance challenges remain significant. Building a strong relationship between the state and its citizens requires activities across a number of areas:
Global governance challenges also need to be considered, addressing unfair trade rules, the flow of financial and human resources, armed conflict, and environmental issues. At the same time, global governance structures need to be strengthened to eliminate unfavourable rules and ineffective participation.
HTSPE is working to tackle poverty by improving the capability of governments in developing countries to provide basic public services and to be accountable and responsive to their citizens at all levels. We have a strong capability and depth of experience across the full spectrum of governance approaches. This includes both ‘supply side’ in which we work with Government to strengthen technical capabilities; and ‘demand side’ where we work with Civil Society, the media and the private sector to support citizens in demanding better governance.
The technical assistance that we provide also covers a very broad range of technical themes including work to improve how financial resources are managed; how public services are delivered; and how strategies for development are prepared and implemented.
Our experience and current portfolio of governance work includes a variety of initiatives, from specialist assignments where small teams provide specific advice over a short time frame – to very large complex national Programmes working with State and Federal Governments over many years.
We have a wide geographical experience of governance and democracy programmes, including post-conflict and fragile states. We have worked in countries as varied as Afghanistan, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Guyana, Nepal, Moldova, Jamaica and Vietnam.
Nigeria: State Partnership for Accountability, Responsiveness and Capability (SPARC)
SPARC is a partnership between the UK and Nigerian Governments to build on reforms already underway. The programme objective is to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness state governments’ use of public resources. Initially, the focus is on five states and their associated Local Government Authorities. The programme is also providing support to a number of Federal Government Agencies, with an emphasis on greater incentives for state level reform.
The programme consists of government capacity building which will focus on supporting more responsive planning and policy formulation, enhanced public financial management and HR systems and more performance-focused public service.
SPARC Programme outputs are:
- appropriate state policies and strategies adopted, monitored and evaluated;
- state public financial management improved;
- state civil service performance improved; and
- federal support to state governance improved.
Kenya: Technical Support to the Kenya Local Government Reform Programme
In this ambitious Programme, HTSPE is engaged to improve public financial management at Local Government level. Working with central Ministries and Local Authorities across the country, we are supporting the administrative and fiscal decentralisation of the 175 elected local authorities with a view to promoting improved service delivery and local governance.
The project is delivering four key objectives:
- Supporting the development of the Government’s decentralisation strategy and administration;
- Improving financial management in the Ministry of Local Government and Local Authorities;
- Providing policy advice on governance;
- Supporting the roll-out of Results Based Management in all Local Authorities.
In support of these key objectives, HTSPE is providing the following technical support:
- development of Stakeholder Engagement Strategy;
- replication of Results Based Management in all Local Authorities;
- development and application of service delivery tools and strategies;
- institutional development and capacity building;
- fiscal and administrative decentralisation;
- technical studies;
- training; and
- development of financial management and IT systems.
Nigeria: Coalitions for Change, (C4C)
C4C is a bold and innovative programme working to achieve positive change in Nigerian institutions to lead to better management of public resources and stronger accountability. It tackles constraints to change by identifying and supporting coalitions of interest across civil society, government, the private sector and media. These coalitions are engaging in projects funded by the Programme to tackle a wide range of fundamental issues including:
- corruption in the public sector;
- the impact of climate change;
- the need for consultation on constitutional reform;
- increasing transparency in the application of revenues;
- gender and affirmative action;
- water management governance; and
- the promotion of the rights of differently-abled people.
The management team builds capacity by providing assistance to coalitions in a three-step process to:
- support coalitions to establish themselves;
- encourage coalitions to engage with issues in a sustainable way;
- create spaces for lesson-learning.
The programme is developing and implementing a series of specific issue-based projects (IBPs). These will in turn drive change in the institutions, rules and norms as distinct from organisations, that sustain two of the principal constraints to Nigeria’s achievement of the MDGs: the mismanagement of public revenues and weak formal accountability. C4C is a national programme supporting campaigns and coalitions addressing national issues. It may also support coalitions that have a specifically regional or multi-state focus.
Pakistan: Devolved Local Government System
This project was a component of the North-West Frontier Province Essential Institutional Reforms Operationalisation Programme (NWFP-EIROP). The overall objective was to enhance the well-being of the people of NWFP by making the public sector more effective, efficient and responsive through decentralization, informed decision making and capacity building. The outcome was a system that is participatory, gender sensitive, transparent and accountable to beneficiaries.
The Project essentially comprised the following three major components:
- enhancing the capacity of local governance institutions to implement the devolution framework and operationalising the necessary systems and procedures;
- enhancing the transparency and accountability of local governance institutions with local services made more accessible and responsive, particularly to women and the poor; and
- ensuring access to public services, in particular to justice, for all, including women and the poor.
HTSPE was responsible for identifying gaps in local government capacity and resources; assessing issues hampering performance; evaluation of existing communication channels and recommendations for improvement and developing policy recommendations to bolster overall performance in the local government system.
Jamaica: Development of Inner City Basic Services Project for the Poor (ICBSP)
The purpose of this assignment was to design a range of social and infrastructure interventions to reduce rates of crime and violence in inner city areas. The project had three key components:
- urban infrastructure and basic service provision;
- crime and violence prevention; and
- capacity building for community-based infrastructure management.
The HTSPE team conducted detailed socio-economic and technical surveys on behalf of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund. Based on analysis of the data produced, and international best practice, a set of basic needs was identified. A range of social and infrastructure interventions were then designed which would combat the root causes of poor service delivery and poor public safety. Proposed initiatives included:
- service level agreements between water companies and users;
- tender packages for the clearance of gullies;
- parenting classes;
- training for peer dispute resolution; and
- skills workshops for former detainees.
For each of the proposed initiatives, the HTSPE team produced detailed plans and bidding documents for the Jamaica Social Investment Fund in order to facilitate the implementation of the ICBSP.
To view more detail or additional projects please click on the links below:
State Partnership for Accountability, Responsiveness and Capability (SPARC)
Technical Support to the Kenya Local Government Reform Programme
Livelihoods Resource Centre Framework Contract
Policy and Knowledge Facility
Coalitions for Change (C4C)
Federal Public Service Reform
Policy Development Facility
Public Servants Pension Scheme Development & Technical Support for the South Sudan Pensions Fund
Fragile & Conflict Affected States Framework Agreement (FCAS)
Governance and Security Framework Agreement
Malawi Tilitonse Fund