Citizen-centric Municipal Governance Scorecard is an innovation for improving local good governance. The main objective is furthering local good governance through transforming good governance principles into practical, measurable processes and actions. The model consisted of 227 indicators for the seven principles along decision-making, resource allocation, service delivery and institutional capacity stages. The data collection is geared for citizen use, based on digitally available information.
The Municipality Governance Scorecard (MGS) is an innovative tool with its design and content. The lack of good governance culture at local level cause multiple issues such as non-inclusive policy making, ineffective and inefficient use of resources, lack of participation and partnership. At the root of these issues are not enough openness, transparency and accountability. Also, citizen-centric public sector culture is not widespread. The MGS is an integrated tool for mapping and measuring the local good governance habitat and practices. The principles are turned into everyday practices for different policy stages and aspects of public governance. Thereby, it measures but also guides good governance mechanisms and practices. Furthermore, the best governance practices are identified and shared for peer-learning. The methodology, scorecards, best practices and indicators are shared in a Guide and also available at a website.
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
1- It is innovative in terms of integrating good governance principles, open government agenda, integrated thinking and continuous learning in one design which is citizen centric.
2- Usable in an increasingly digitalizing world.
3- The Model is generic and can be applicable at different subnational levels across the countries.
4- The Model acts as a trigger for self-learning for multiple actors to develop their approaches and practices for cross-sector engagement.
5- Continuous learning based on measurable indicators and peer-learning incentivized through best practice promotion.
What is the current status of your innovation?
The Model was applied for 37 district municipalities of Istanbul and the results were published for public attention. The data collected allowed common positive and negative aspects for evaluation. The overall grades were between 30-65% which gave a fairly good picture of the whole but also each municipality scorecard identified the individual positions. All the data is available online for the municipalities which also increased the credibility of the model, its findings and scores as well. Relying on the findings, certain recommendations were made to citizens, NGOs, the central government, municipalities, academia and media for the improvement of local governance culture at the municipalities. The learned lessons were communicated at different part of the country through workshops. Currently, two new municipal scorecards are being prepared in partnership with two other NGOs; one on social gender equality and another one for green municipality. This proved its strength and usability.
Collaborations & Partnerships
As Argüden Governance Academy, we partnered with Sabancı University for exercising the right to information exercise, neighborhood chiefs federation (TUMFED) for survey and training and the Union of Marmara Municipality for the diffusion workshops. Each actor contributed to the process and gained important experience from the implementation of the model.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
Citizens: each resident can look up the governance performance of their respective municipality with the backing information, which are negative and positive. Also, they can use the indicators to initiate civic action for achieving transparency, accountability, participation and advocacy.
Government officials: both local and central government officials are able to understand and identify the good governance practices in each district municipality. They can enforce, fund or improve development actions.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
The findings, their communication and workshops gave indisputable picture of the current situation. The good governance agenda turned into practical use among the different stakeholders. The media and municipalities started to use the scorecards for self-promotion or criticism for improvement. The Union of Municipalities in three different regions carried out workshop in partnership with the Academy for their member municipalities to benefit from the lessons and model. The central government institutions wish to do new projects, training and activities with the Academy for improving local good governance. Two NGOs initiated scorecard method for gender and ecology issues with our assistance. The UN, OECD and the World Bank invited to different events for experience sharing.
Challenges and Failures
The main challenge was difficulty of understanding the difference between government and governance concepts. The public tended to understand the scorecards as performance for government whereas they indicated the measurement of good governance culture and practices. In response, at each occasion we communicated about the difference and highlighted the close linkage between the two concepts and their practical relevancy.
Conditions for Success
The main factor for improving good governance in the municipalities depend on the leadership and guidance. If the main decision makers understand and adopt the MSC approach, they will own the process and enforce its implementation at the different departments along the value chain. Although the legislation foresees certain practices of good governance, it is by the ownership of the leaders and their consistent efforts that improvement will occur.
There are two different NGOs in Türkiye which we cooperate in developing Gender Equality Governance Scorecard and Green Municipality Governance Scorecard. The partnerships were formed with the request of two different NGOs to use the model of the MSC. Hence, it has proven its value and diffusion capacity for further applications in different aspects of local governance. Furthermore, the Council of Europe and the World Bank already accepted it as a best practice which indicates its international relevancy.
The most important lesson was that local governments and NGOs would accept and use such innovations if they find relevant and useful for their benefit. Hence, the efforts should be put on creating narratives for better understanding with the backing of resources and feasibility of such claims.
- Identifying or Discovering Problems or Opportunities - learning where and how an innovative response is needed
- Developing Proposals - turning ideas into business cases that can be assessed and acted on
- Implementation - making the innovation happen
- Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed
- Diffusing Lessons - using what was learnt to inform other projects and understanding how the innovation can be applied in other ways
20 May 2019