The International Republican Institute’s (IRI) partner municipalities in Honduras were honored in December 2008 with the Good Local Governance Awards for 2006-2008. The Honduran Association of Municipalities and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation awarded Cane, one of IRI’s two partner municipalities in Honduras, with the first place prize in Good Local Governance among municipalities its size, along with a $5,000 cash prize for local investment. La Paz, IRI’s other partner municipality in Honduras, was awarded second place in its size category.
The award measured municipal performance in four key areas: citizen participation and representation in government; equity, efficiency and transparency in the management of municipal resources; municipal government legitimacy; and quality of public services. The polling IRI conducted in the two municipalities served to bolster their scores in the area of municipal government legitimacy. Cane registered its greatest gains in the areas of citizen participation and representation in local government and equity, efficiency and transparency—both areas where IRI has provided direct capacity building through public budgeting and transparency training over the last year.
The public budgeting process is designed to engage citizens directly in local government decision making processes by training them to draft the municipal budget. IRI’s technical assistance in this area gave Cane’s citizens the tools they needed to provide better oversight of municipal expenditures, as well as to help ensure those funds were prioritized to meet the needs of their fellow citizens. The Institute also provided training to Cane’s Transparency Commission, preparing citizens to conduct social audits of municipal public works projects, and thereby encouraging greater municipal accountability.
IRI has been working with the municipal government in La Paz to improve the quality of public services through training municipal staff on effective customer service skills, as well as on the basic tenets of good governance. IRI has also worked with La Paz’s mayor to improve communication between citizens and the municipal government through a weekly, live cable television program. The television program is designed to increase citizen participation in local government activities and to enhance transparency in municipal government projects and programs.
IRI is proud to work with Cane and La Paz, with support from the National Endowment for Democracy, and congratulates them for their achievements in improving their good governance indicators.Top