This report by Leena Avonius, Olle Törnquist and Fadhli Ali is the third report to be published in ICLD’s Research Report series. Avonius et al examines to what extent democratic local governance reforms have become effective and visible in the South Aceh district in Indonesia. The study seeks to answer if, and to what extent, people in South Aceh are given an opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. But it also seeks to shed light on how those opportunities, if present, are taken advantage of. How and to what extent do ordinary people participate?
As the study rests on an action-theoretic framework, it has a further aim of suggesting ways to foster appropriate institutions as well as methods for strengthening the capacities of key actors. By reading this report you will gain insight into a critical question applicable to local governments beyond the studied case: where do people go when they have a problem they deem to be of common concern? Are local governments the answer?