Voice Lessons: Local Government Organizations, Social Organizations, and the Quality of Local Governance

49 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Vivi Alatas

Vivi Alatas

World Bank - Jakarta

Lant Pritchett

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Center for Global Development

Anna Wetterberg


Date Written: March 2002


As part the Local Level Institutions study of local life in villages in rural Indonesia information was gathered on sampled household's participation in social activities. We classified the reported activities into four distinct types of social activity: sociability, networks, social organizations, and village government organizations. Respondents were also asked about questions about their village government: whether they were informed about village funds and projects, if they participated in village decisions, if they expressed voice about village problems, and if they thought the village government was responsive to local problems. Several findings emerge regarding the relationship between the social variables and the governance activities. Not surprisingly, an individual household's involvement with the village government organizations tends to increase their own reports of positive voice, participation, and information. In contrast, the data suggest a negative spillover on other households. There is a strong "chilling" effect of one household's participation in village government organizations on the voice, participation, and information of other households in the same village. The net effect of engagement in village government organizations is generally negative, while the net effect of membership in social organizations is more often associated with good governance outcomes. These findings indicate that existing social organizations have a potentially important role to play in enhancing the performance of government institutions in Indonesia and in the evolution of good governance more generally.

This paper - a product of the Environment and Social Development Sector Unit, East Asia and Pacific Region - is part of a larger effort in the region to study local level institutions.

Suggested Citation

Alatas, Vivi and Pritchett, Lant and Wetterberg, Anna, Voice Lessons: Local Government Organizations, Social Organizations, and the Quality of Local Governance (March 2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=636343

Vivi Alatas (Contact Author)

World Bank - Jakarta ( email )

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Lant Pritchett

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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HOME PAGE: http://ksghome.harvard.edu/~lpritch/

Center for Global Development

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Anna Wetterberg


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