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Authors: Davey, Lakshmi
Advisors: Lane, Melissa
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2015
Abstract: Since the 1960s, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has funded democracy promotion programs across the globe. One strand of this aid is democratic local governance (DLG) assistance, which aims to strengthen local institutions, increasing their service delivery capabilities and engagement with constituents to further the goals of participation, empowerment, regional autonomy, and accountability. As USAID focuses more and more on the values of participation and accountability and DLG programming becomes more popular, it is important to understand the mechanisms behind and effects of this assistance. This thesis will start to do so by looking at the case of Jordan, tackling the question of how to strengthen local governance in Jordan. After contextualizing DLG assistance in Jordan, this thesis will outline the major challenges standing in the way of any genuine attempt to strengthen local institutions in Jordan: weak existing capability, resistance to decentralization from the central government, elite capture through tribal loyalties, and the growing refugee burden. Then, using propensity score matching to assess the efficacy of one USAID-funded program in 21 Jordanian municipalities, this thesis demonstrates that democratic local governance assistance can, despite these challenges, have positive impacts. In doing so, it will take a broader view of the overall effects of the program by looking at both its intended goal of constituent engagement and also at infrastructure activity, service delivery, and media coverage. The positive results from this analysis suggest that domestic efforts, requiring central government support, combined with external aid might be the best way to start to strengthen democratic local governance in Jordan.
Extent: 106 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2017

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