Stakeholder perceptions on community governance efforts: A case of a project implemented in Sri Lanka
Shirantha Heenkenda, Chandrakumara DPS, Ratnayake RMK, Karnasuriya AP
Community participation in governance has now become an integral principle in development thinking. In practice also, efforts are being made to apply this principle in various aspects of governance. However, the sustainability of community participation in governance is highly determined by the stakeholder perceptions concerning the change made by that effort. This study investigates the stakeholder perceptions on the governance structures and procedures introduced in one selected area in Sri Lanka. The project implemented in Hambantota and Monaraga districts with the aim of establishing community level structures below the local government level and links them with the overall system of governance through the project in order to fill the gap of an absence of a governance structure for the people to participate at grassroot level. The project introduced two additional governance structures, Village Organizing Committee (VOC) and Rural Coordinating Committee (RCC), in order to work with the existing system of governance. This study aimed to comprehend the way people perceive the newly introduced governance structures and the things related to them.
rnThe study found that all stakeholder categories were in a highly positive perception regarding the new governance structures. The government officials were the most satisfied regarding the importance of the new change. Women and poorest of the poor are were highly satisfied among the marginalized groups. The three main activities, improving governance and participation, promotion of sustainable development and resource mobilization and infrastructure development were identified as the key drivers of satisfaction. However, the respondents were relatively less satisfied on the provision of adequate information on marketing and promotion of linkages.