Measurement and Analysis of Factors Affecting Rural Governance in Local Government(Case Study: Qazvin Township)



Extended Abstract

The concept of local governance has been developed in scientific literature inspired by the principles of good governance in the recent decade. But its valuable functions in local government such as minimum utilization of resources with effectiveness, transparency, and responsive approaches, equality in supply of service and use of participation and all factors in local management have led to use as a basis for evaluation of the local government.
The Number and diversity of factors have affected local community in the local, regional and national scales and the need for their coordination in a framework based on local democracy and spatial justice is the most important reason to format local governance and replace it with local government. This model can be affective in sustainable development and efficient physical-spatial organization in rural areas by participation and cooperation of all factors and in all geographical levels. To constitute governance principals we should assess and evaluate the functions and activities of Rural Municipalities (RMs) and rural Islamic councils according to governance principals.

The aim of this study is developing the local governance indicators and then its measurement and analysis in local government of Qazvin Township. The studied population in this research is all of RM and rural Islamic councils that were active for three years. According to this criteria and documents there are 89 local governments. The research approach is survey and Delphi methods and required data is gathered using the stratified sampling and completing questionnaire from 60 RMs and Rural Islamic Councils, 357 persons of head of rural households, 28 related experts and all of District Administrations (DAs) in the township. The results of Delphi questionnaires were used to achieve suitable model for assessment of rural governance, and its four dimensions include function, equity, participation and accountability with 9 criteria, 25 indicators and 55 variables with related weights.

Results and Discussion
The calculated results of index for rural governance by the Technique for Order Preferences by Similarity to Ideal (TOPSIS) indicate that average performance of governance index in the studied local governances is 51.06 percent and in functional dimensions 49.2, equity 54.7, responsive 50.1 and participation 52.4 percent. Also the rural governance index in 50 percent of local governances is undesirable, 40 percent average and in only 10 percent is desirable.
Furthermore, according to other results of the indicators of “extent authority of RMs and Rural Islamic Councils”, Control by higher governmental levels, and “formation of civil organizations” are 22/66, 22/51 and 26/79 percent in lowest situation and indicators “ register and protect of documents”, “ equity opportunity to access to services of RMs” and” formation of local elected councils” with 76/02, 74/37 and 71/82 percent are in highest situation in all of indicators of rural governance. However the indicator of “credit and financial performance” with the score of 41/26, as one of the key indicators of performance of Village Administrations decreases the performance of other indicators. Because shortage of financial and credit sources of local government is decreased to provide services to rural people. Also the results of regression analysis indicated that variables of rural space, rural population, job satisfaction, education, VA’s management style, rural social cohesion coefficient, RM interaction with neighbor RMs, VAs experience, and variable RMs establishment and equipment were the most important effective factors on rural governance.

The studies indicated to be software infrastructures and to be legal potentials especially the possibility creation of the elected local council, delectability of village local manager, regulation to register and to protect documents and exploitation of equipments have led to relative improvement of rural governance. These conditions are compensations for the indicators that are undesirable, such as exploitation of equipments, authority limits of VAs and rural Islamic councils, control by higher governmental levels, and formation of civil society organizations. Of course, the VAs limited functions and authorities and their control by governmental institutions have affected the nature of rural Islamic councils and delectability of village managers. Furthermore, the limited authority and executive and judicial weakness, undesirable fiscal and credit performance, reliance to taxes and national budgets and low portion of local incomes in the selected local governments are of the most important of obstacles to promotion of rural governances.