About Us

The Governance and Local Development Institute (GLD) is a research program based at the University of Gothenburg, originally founded in 2013 at Yale University by Professor Ellen Lust. GLD focuses on the local factors driving governance and development. The institute is dedicated to international collaboration and scientifically rigorous, policy-relevant research in an effort to promote human welfare globally. Findings are made available to the international and domestic communities through academic publications, policy briefs, public presentations, social media, and on-the-ground workshops in cooperation with local partners.    


Our Mission

“We aim to promote human welfare by conducting scientifically rigorous research across the globe. Our research focuses on answering a fundamental question: why are some communities able to provide secure environments, good education, adequate healthcare, and other factors that encourage human development, while others fail to do so? We engage with communities across the world, develop methodological tools, gather data, undertake analyses on major issues affecting societies today, and disseminate findings to academics, relevant policy-makers, and  the communities in which we work.”    


Meet the Fellows!


Eitan Paul is a research manager at J-PAL Global at MIT. He completed his PhD in Public Policy and Political Science at the University of Michigan in August 2022. Eitan’s research primarily studies the effects of social accountability initiatives and policy reforms on the quality of political representation and the distribution of public goods in Southeast Asia. He particularly focus on gender and local political participation and primarily uses experimental methods. His current research projects are in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.


Read the full interview here!




Governance Uncovered 

Our monthly podcast invites scholars and professionals worldwide to discuss issues related to governance and local development with host Ellen Lust.

Governance Uncovered is supported by the Swedish Research Council.


Listen via Soundcloud or Spotify


Latest Working Papers



Local Control: How Opposition Support Constrains Electoral Autocrats

Scholars conceptualize autocrats as central planners, constrained in how much they can distribute but not where. Autocrats use punishment regimes to sanction disloyalty. In many electoral autocracies, local institutions are the infrastructure of reward and sanction [...] 

Full Working Paper


The (Spatial) Ties that Bind: Frequent Casual Contact, the Shadow of the Future, and Pro- sociality Across Ethnic Divisions

What can spur prosocial behavior across ethnic divisions? A host of studies focus on the potential power of deep contact between group members. Bollen instead focuses on the capacity of casual contact. While most research [...]

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Roadblocks Remain: Constraints to Women's Political Participation in Pakistan

How can governments encourage political participation by all? In this study, the authors ask why certain groups are less likely to vote solely based on where they are assigned to vote and argue that mobility plays an important role [...] 

Full Working Paper


Leadership, Community Ties, and Participation of the Poor: Evidence from Kenya, Malawi, and Zambia. 

Research on public goods provision in Africa suggests that local leaders’ ability to mobilize the poor varies with the nature of the community. Yet there remains uncertainty about why local leaders are better in mobilizing the poor in [...] 

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Country Reports


LGPI Tunisia: Selected Findings on Health

Tunisia has a very good health-care system compared to most of the Arab world. The healthcare system includes primary-care clinics and health centers, which deal with nearly 60 percent of public-sector medical outpatients, reproductive-health visits, schools, and student-health visits [...]


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LGPI Malawi: Selected Findings on Gender

Malawi’s context raises a number of challenges that the government, traditional leaders, civil society, and the development community are working to address. One area of particular focus is gender equality and women’s empowerment. The LGPI supports this effort by providing [...]


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Annual Report



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