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Performance-based management and accountability systems: the case of the community-based monitoring and evaluation system in Iganga District, Uganda

Kienzler, Vincent (2015) Performance-based management and accountability systems: the case of the community-based monitoring and evaluation system in Iganga District, Uganda. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.3auoqcg5zlf4

Abstract

During the last decade, donors and the development community have engaged in the promotion and implementation of performance-based management and accountability systems in developing countries. In particular, it is believed that giving more power to the lay person to directly monitor the performance of his government thanks to the use and publication of quantified performance indicators could improve the social accountability of government organisations and therefore their efficiency. As various research conducted in developed countries has shown, there is often a disjuncture between the expected and actual impacts of these systems, and their implementation often leads to unintended consequences which can make them inefficient. To understand this disjuncture, a better understanding of the social mechanisms through which these systems operate is required. However, little is known of these mechanisms. This research aims at filling this gap, in the particular context of developing countries, based on the study of the Community-Based Monitoring and Evaluation System initiative (CBMES) in the Iganga District of Uganda. The research provides a thorough analysis of the progressive emergence of managerial social accountability in the aid sector, of which the CBMES is a representative example. The social mechanisms underpinning the CBMES are subsequently identified and explained as the results of complex interactions between meanings, norms and power relationships. Two significant observations emerge from the research. First, in order to operate, community monitors of the CBMES progressively enter into an implicit agreement with local civil servants, which simultaneously facilitates and constrains their actions. Second, the CBMES gradually drifts away from formal, performance-based monitoring to informal, relation-based monitoring. These two elements de facto turn the community monitors into assistants, rather than monitors, of local government officials. The research accounts for why and how the observed implicit agreement and drift emerge.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2015 Vincent Kienzler
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > International Development
Supervisor: Lewis, David and Allen, Tim
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3657

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