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: Prisca Jöst Dissertation

We want to congratulate GLD Ph.D. Student Prisca Jöst on finishing her dissertation: The Political Participation of the Poor: Local Social Context and the Impact of Social Ties on the Political Engagement of Poor Individuals. 

Read the featured article on Prisca's dissertation by the Department of Political Science (University of Gothenburg) here!

Latest Podcasts




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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February 2021: New Covid-19 Findings, New Grant, GLD Events, Opportunities, and more 

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January 2021: Call for STG Proposals, Covid-19 Testing in Malawi, GLD Workshop Series, and more

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Latest Working Papers




Equity with Prejudice: International NGOs and Healthcare Delivery in Refugee Crises

Refugees often face prejudice in host countries. Does local resentment of refugees result in discrimination in access to social services? We explore the quality of care received by Syrian refugees and Lebanese nationals in Lebanese health facilities using data from original surveys in a nationally representative sample of primary health centers [...]


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Bread and Salt: Labour, Reputation, and Trust between Syrian Refugees and Lebanese Hashish Farmers in the Northern Biqa’a

This paper addresses the intersection between forced migration, labour markets, and governance. Drawing on extensive fieldwork amongst Syrian refugees in the Northern Biqa’a Valley, Lebanon, the paper argues that understanding ‘refugees as labourers’ is central in explaining [...]


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Local Political Priorities during Tunisia’s First Democratic Municipal Elections

In May 2018, Tunisia held the country’s first democratic local elections to elect representatives to the country’s 350 municipal councils. Democratic consolidation depends, in part, on the development of municipal councils that can aggregate and process diverse societal interests at the local level, as well as on the ability of political candidates and [...]


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How Does Punishment Affect Reintegration? Attitudes Toward Islamic State "Collaborators" in Iraq

How does variation in the severity of punishment affect public opinion toward the reintegration of former nonviolent offenders? We study this question in the context of Iraq, where the United States has been heavily involved in the design and development of criminal justice institutions since overthrowing Saddam [...]


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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