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 Article: Power to the People? The Right to Information Law in Morocco



Morocco’s recently enacted Right to Information Law is a potentially powerful tool in the hands of its citizens, but their ability to use it is still largely dependent on the government’s commitment to transparency and political will to enforce it.

Find the full article by Marwa Shalaby and Sylvia Bergh in Carnegie SADA Journal.

Latest Podcasts





September 2020: Webinar Invitations, Research Findings, Staff Updates, Grants & Internships and more

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August 2020: Covid-19 Project Update, Karen Ferree on African Elections, New Funding and more

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June 2020: GLD-IPOR Webinar, New Project, Podcast Special, New Working Paper and more

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May 2020: New Working Paper Compendium, Annual Report 2020, Short Term Grants and more

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April 2020: John-Paul Adjadeh Podcast, New Working Paper, Hiring & Internships and more  

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Latest Working Papers




Reconceptualising Rebel Rule: The Responsiveness of Rebel Governance in Man, Côte d’Ivoire 

This study considers the concept of rebel governance responsiveness by the Forces Nouvelles (FN) in Côte d’Ivoire. Responsiveness refers to the degree to which a government’s political decisions correspond to its citizens’ desires. The concept of responsiveness is vital for assessing regime types and constitutes [...]


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Mixed Records, Cognitive Complexity, and Ethnic Voting in African Elections

The preference of African voters for co-ethnic candidates is well documented in studies of African political behavior. However, African voters also seem to value good government performance. When does ethnicity trump performance? We theorize that a citizen’s vote choice depends in part on the cognitive complexity she faces [...]


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Power and Process: Decentralisation in Oman

Decentralisation has been a feature of Omani life since the early 1990s, yet while the Sultanate has been influenced by orthodox thinking around these processes its particular history, culture, circumstances, as well as its strongly centralised state have all meant that it has not simply followed this orthodox thinking. Instead, it has created a system of what this [...]


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The Dynamics of Decentralization in the MENA: Processes, Dynamics, and Obstacles 

This working paper is part of a two-year project on decentralization in the MENA, focusing on Oman. The broader project aims to make three main contributions. First, it seeks to promote policy-relevant, scholarly research on decentralization, and pave the way for further cross-national studies and analyses [...]


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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