Can We Put Numbers on Municipal Performance and Sustainability? A New Strategic Paradigm
This paper considers “measuring what matters” in local government and applies a Council Sustainability Index (CSI) to all 308 Portuguese municipalities. Using a Multi-criteria Decision Analysis Methodology (MCDA), an additive evaluation model is applied which aggregates 25 indicators across four dimensions to assess Portuguese local government sustainability. A critical evaluation of performance is provided along with a financial sustainability analysis and governance evaluation, which identifies the chief factors which explain different councils’ performance. We show that this approach sheds new light on Portuguese local government evaluation. CSI breaks new ground and it is applicable mutatis mutandis to most local government systems worldwide.
Ammons, D. (2012) Municipal benchmarks: assessing local performance and establishing community standards. Armonk, (New York: M.E. Sharpe).
Andrews, R., Boyne, G., Law, J. & Walker, R. (2011) Strategy implementation and public service performance, Administration and Society, 43(6), 643-671.
Andrews, M., Hay, R. & Myers, J. (2010) Can governance indicators make sense? Towards a new approach to sector-specific measures of governance, Oxford Development Studies, 38(4), 391-410.
Aulich, C. (2005) Australia: still a tale of Cinderella?, In: Denters, B. & Rose, L. E. (ed.) Comparing local governance: Trends and developments (London: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 193-210.
Bell, S. & Morse. S. (2013) Measuring sustainability: Learning from doing (London: Routledge).
Caldas, P., Dollery, B. & Marques, R. C. (2016) What really matters concerning local government evaluation: Community Sustainability?, Lex Localis - Journal of Local Self-Government, 14(3), 279-304.
Cruz, N., Tavares, A., Marques, R.C., Jorge, S. & Sousa, L. (2016) Measuring local government transparency, Public Management Review, 18(6), pp. 866-893.
Cruz, N. F. & Marques, R. C. (2014a) 'New development: The challenges of designing municipal governance indicators, Public Money & Management, 33(3), pp. 209-212.
Cruz, N. F & Marques, R. C. (2014b) Scorecards for sustainable local governments. Cities, 39(1), pp. 65-170.
Davis, J. C. & Henderson, J. V. (2003) Evidence on the political economy of the urbanization process, Journal of Urban Economics, 53(1), pp. 98-125.
De Borger, B. & Kerstens, K. (1996) Cost efficiency of Belgian Local Governments. A comparative analysis of FDH, DEA and econometric approaches, Regional Science and Urban Economics, 26(2), pp. 145-170.
Devas, N. & Delay, S. (2006) Local democracy and the challenges of decentralising the state: an international perspective, Local Government Studies, 32(5), pp. 677-695.
Dollery, B. E., Crase, L. & Grant B. (2011) The local capacity, local community and local governance dimensions of sustainability in Australian local government, Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, 8(9), pp. 162-183.
Dollery, B. E., Garcea, J. & Lesage E. (2008) Local government reform: A Comparative Analysis of Advanced Anglo-American Countries (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar).
Drew, J., Kortt, M., & Dollery, B. (2015) What Determines Efficiency in Local Government? A DEA Analysis of NSW Local Government, Economic Papers: A journal of applied economics and policy, 34(4), pp. 243-256.
Fahey, G., Drew, J., & Dollery, B. (2016) Merger myths: a functional analysis of scale economies in New South Wales local government, Public Finance and Management, 16(4), pp. 362-382.
Hood, C. (2007) Public service management by numbers: Why does it vary? Where has it come from? What are the gaps and the puzzles?, Public Money & Management, 27(2), PP. 95-102.
Jacobs, R. & Goddard, M. (2007) How do performance indicators add up? An examination of composite indicators in public services, Public Money & Management, 27(2), pp. 103-110.
Johnsen, Å. (2005) What does 25 years of experience tell us about the state of performance measurement in public policy and management?, Public Money & Management, 25(1), pp. 9-17.
Keeney, R. L. (1992) Value-focused thinking: A path to creative decision making. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press).
Limi, A. (2005) Decentralization and economic growth revisited: an empirical note, Journal of Urban Economics, 57(3), pp. 449-461.
Marques, R., Da Cruz, N. & Pires, J. (2015) 'Measuring the sustainability of urban water services.' Environmental Science & Policy, 54(1), pp. 142-151.
Marshall, A. (2005) Europeanization at the urban level: Local actors, institutions and the dynamics of multi-level interaction, Journal of European Public Policy, 12(4), pp. 668-686.
Morais, P. & Camanho A. (2011) Evaluation of performance of European cities with the aim to promote quality of life improvements, Omega, 39(4), pp. 398-409.
Philips, L. (2007) Decision Conferencing, In: Edwards, W., Miles, R. F. & von Winterfeldt, D. (eds.) Advances in Decision Analysis: From Foundations to Applications (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 375-399.
Pinto, F. & Marques, R. C. (2016) Tariff suitability framework for water supply services: Establishing a regulatory tool linking multiple stakeholders' objectives, Water Resources Management, 30(6), pp. 2037-2053.
Podger, A., Wanna, J., Chan, H., Ma, J. & Su, T. T. (2012) Putting the Citizens at the Centre: Making government more responsive, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 71(2), pp. 101-110.
Portugal (2011a) Documento Verde da Reforma da Administração Local: Uma Reforma de Gestão, uma Reforma de Território e uma Reforma Política (Lisbon: Minister for Parliamentary Affairs).
Portugal (2011b) Livro Branco do Sector Empresarial Local (Lisbon: Minister for Parliamentary Affairs).
Saisana, M. & Tarantola, S. (2002) State-of-the art Report on current methodologies and practices for composite indicator development (brussels: European Commission, Joint Research, Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen, Technological and Economic Risk management Unit).
Scipioni, A., Mazzi, A., Zuliani, F. & Mason, M. (2008) The ISO 14031 standard to guide the urban sustainability measurement process: an Italian experience, Journal of Cleaner Production, 16(12), pp. 1247-1257.
Van de Walle, S., and Bouckaert, G. (2003) Public service performance and trust in government: the problem of causality, International Journal of Public Administration, 26(8-9), pp. 891-913.
Vetter, A. & Kersting, N. (2003) Democracy versus efficiency? Comparing local government reforms across Europe, In: Kersting, N. & Vetter, A. (eds.) Reforming local government in Europe (Springer), pp. 11-28.
Vigoda, E. (2002) From responsiveness to collaboration: Governance, citizens, and the next generation of public administration, Public Administration Review, 62(5), pp. 527-540.
Warburton, D. (2013) Community and sustainable development: participation in the future (London: Routledge).
Wates, N. (2014) The Community Planning Handbook: How people can shape their cities, towns & villages in any part of the world (London: Routledge).
It is a condition that the authors assign copyright or license the publication rights in their articles, including abstracts, to Institute for Local Self-Government Maribor. This enables us to ensure full copyright protection and to disseminate the article, and of course Journal, to the widest possible readership in print and electronic formats as appropriate. Authors retain many rights under the Institutes' right policies, which can be found at journal.lex-localis.press. Authors are themselves responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce copyright material from other sources.