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.”

New: GLD Policy Briefs!

From now on, you'll be able to access selected work in the format of a policy brief. These are one-two pages long summaries of the most key, policy-relevant findings of a paper, report, or project. The policy briefs are free to share among your networks and with stakeholders whom you believe would find the work interesting. 
You'll find them here




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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May 2021: Podcast on Covid-19 in India's "Slums," GLD Working Papers, Opportunities, Events, and more.
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April 2021: Governance Uncovered Special, New Working Papers, Events, Opportunities, and more.
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March 2021: GLD's 2020 Annual Report, Podcast on Tunisia, Working Paper on Turkey's Democracy, and more.
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Latest Working Papers




Success Beyond Gender Quotas: Gender, Local Politics, and Clientelism in Morocco.

What explains the success of female candidates in local elections? Despite the proliferation of subnational gender quotas over the past two decades, we continue to know little about the determinants of women’s successes in local politics, especially in non-democratic settings. In this chapter, we focus on the case of Morocco and argue that [...] 


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GLD Working Paper 47


Citizen Participation in Local Government Elections in the Age of Crowdsourcing: Explorations and Considerations in Tanzania

This study sought to explore crowdsourced monitoring of local government elections and the challenges hindering citizen participation in monitoring processes through digital tools. Nongovernmental election monitoring organizations have embraced technology and [...]


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GLD Working Paper 46


Women Leaders: Exploring the Effects of the Chief Executive Gender on Budget Composition in Comparative Perspective

Arguably, the single person with the most influence over any country’s policies is the chief executive, head of state, or head of government. Research has also consistently shown systematic gender differences in politicians’ priorities and behavior. Yet, few academic manuscripts connect these two lines of research; we [...]


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GLD Working Paper 45


Electoral Responsiveness in Closed Autocracies: Evidence from Petitions in the former German Democratic Republic

Contested elections are usually seen as preconditions for constituent responsiveness. This paper shows that even uncontested elections can create incentives for dictators to respond to and address citizen demands. I argue that autocratic governments engage in cycles of responsiveness [...]


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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