Information, Information Technology, and Local Governance

Research Team: Jessica Seddon, Revati Dhoble, Sujatha Srinivasan
LEAD Centre: Centre for Development Finance ( CDF)
Focus Area: Infrastructure and Governance
Project Geography: India
Status: Completed


This initiative combines institutional analysis and technology insight to identify specific ways to improve local governance in India.

Many of the most prominent local governance failures in India can be traced to information gaps. Planning and executing infrastructure and services – whether by technocrats or through a participatory process – requires not only detailed economic and social data,but that these data exist in an easily analyzed format. Creating incentives for smooth project implementation and quality service delivery requires information to enable monitoring. Sustaining an ongoing conversation between local residents and their leaders requires a platform for organizing, directing, and storing the information flow. Information is not a sufficient condition for performance in many cases, but the list of potential areas in which delivering key information to the right people at the right time could dramatically improve local government functioning is long. This initiative combines institutional analysis and technology insight to understand ways in which re-routing key pieces of information to new audiences can contribute to more effective local management and democracy in India.

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