Local government accountability in Bougainville : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Development Studies at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The arguments for decentralisation are broadly about economic efficiency and enhancing democratic practices, such as participation and accountability. Decentralisation reforms in most developing countries are in line with the political arguments for making local governments more responsive to the people they serve, by enhancing greater citizen participation and local government accountability. The lack of accountability is often singled out as one of the main factors contributing to the ineffectiveness of many local governments. Therefore, by using a case study of two COEs in Bougainville (an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea), this thesis investigates what formal accountability mechanisms exist and how these mechanisms unfold in practice, particularly those between the COEs and their constituents. The findings of this research have identified the institutional relationships that the COEs have and - how accountability occurs - within these relationships. The conclusions of this research lean towards the suggestion that the legal requirements of accountability are the likely reason for the limitations to downwards accountability: and yet constituents are finding ways in which to hold their COEs to account.