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.”

We're looking for a Program Coordinator! 

GLD and the department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg are now looking for a Program Coordinator to join the GLD team full-time for 12 months. The role requires a bachelor's degree (or more) in political or social sciences and an understanding of the research process. Excellent organizing and planning skills are also requirements and fluency in Swedish and English.
Deadline: December 7, 2021. 




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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May 2021: Podcast on Covid-19 in India's "Slums," GLD Working Papers, Opportunities, Events, and more.
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Latest Working Papers



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 has killed tens of thousands of citizens while triggering opposition from prominent religious elites. In this paper, the authors use an original, in-depth survey of Catholic [...] 


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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 has been limited at both national and local levels of government. This study aims to assess the performance and challenges faced by the local [...]


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Explaining the Resilience of Single-Party Regimes: Centralized Politics, Promotability, and Corruption

The spread of democracy during the Third Wave was accompanied by the expansion of one-party autocracies. Compared to other non-democratic systems, one-party regimes are more durable, suffer fewer coups, and enjoy higher economic growth. Why are single-party regimes so resilient? In this paper, Phan argues that in certain single-party regimes, centralized politics and meritocratic promotion [...]


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Co-Partisanship with Mayors and Citizen Trust in Local Governance Institutions: Evidence from Tunisia

Does co-partisanship with mayors influence citizen trust in local governance institutions in new democracies? Yasun answer this question through conducting a case study in Tunisia. He evaluates Arab Barometer (2018) survey data on trust in local governance institutions and interview data with mayors, council members and civil society organizations. The results indicate that Tunisians who support [...]


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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