The Program on Governance and Local Development 

About Us

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

And the Short-Term Grant Awardee is...

Adan Martinez! Adan is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at University of California Berkeley pursuing a PhD. His research interests include the intersection of provision of public good and ethnic cleavages, the urban politics of development, and more broadly, questions of state capacity in Latin America.

Adan has been awarded for his project: Brazilian Subnational Everyday Health and Pandemic Politics - Congratualations!





November-December 2021: Two episodes of Governance Uncovered, Short-Term grant Awardee announced, Welcome Fellows of 2022, Key Findings from Zambia, and more.

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October 2021: Call for Annual Conference Papers, Podcast on the Military Coup in Sudan, Fellowship Programme 2022, and more. 

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September 2021: Appy for Short-Term Grants, Internships, Participate in our Work-in-Progress-Series, Podcast on Healthcare in Lebanon, and more. 

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August 2021: Start of Annual Conference, GLD Policy Briefs, Podcast on Women's Rights in Syria, and more. 

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June 2021: Job Openings, Annual Conference, Call for Working Papers, GLD in the Filed, Governance Uncovered, and more. 

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Latest Working Papers



Politics and Community Narratives of Participation in Local Governance of Rural India

Public engagement is vital to achieving good local governance. For the last three decades, donor agencies such as World Bank (WB) have emphasized community participation and local government. Thus, understanding [...]

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Changing Repertoires to Housing Mobilisation: Struggles to Stay at Home During the Covid-19 Pandemic

In this study, Valesca examine how social movements focused on the right to housing have responded to the challenges of the Covid-19 Pandemic. It particularly sheds light on new modes of contestation generated and expanded by [...]

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Parish-Based Responses to the Philippine Drug War

How do local religious institutions protect communities from state-sanctioned violence? This general question has taken on particular importance in the Philippines, where populist President Rodrigo Duterte has overseen a “Drug War” that [...] 

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Assessing the Performance of Local Authorities in Zambia During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has had far-reaching impacts on human well-being, consequently affecting the operations and delivery of services by governments around the world. In many cases, the effective provision of essential services [...] 

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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