Participatory Budgeting in Local Authorities: Is E-governance the Missing Link? The Case of Harare City Council
Harare City Council has both “processes” and “outputs” crises. The processes crisis includes waste, red tape, delay, mismanagement and corruption within the local authority. The outputs crisis involves failure to deliver what it should. Quality of service delivery is poor. E-governance contributes to poverty reduction through making communication easier and more affordable by enabling speedy and secure economic transactions. Participation is central to good governance and an important factor for sustainable development. Local authorities are closest to residents and thus in a better post to effectively drive participation. E-governance therefore means e-participation hence connecting residents of different social, academic, political and cultural backgrounds. The research explores the questions: how does e-governance improve service delivery and good governance such as responsiveness, transparency, accountability, effectiveness governance, improved participation, effectiveness and efficiency. The research findings indicate that the relationship between e-governance and participation is positive and strong. The findings are based on Harare City Council activities, analysis of key documents, views of key informant and content analysis. Recommendations proffered include the coming up with a shared e-governance strategy for Harare City Council by the Ministry of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development and Harare City Council. This must result in website creation. Residents’ awareness must be conducted through workshops, seminars and conferences in order to explain the benefits of e-governance. Human development designed to empower residents with basic ICT skills must be embarked upon.
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