African local governments play an important role in development, but with very different results. Why do some of their donor-supported projects produce sustainable benefits, whereas others stop as soon as the donor withdraws? Public administration literature argues that African local governments should learn, adapt and cooperate with others. But under what conditions can local governments learn? Are there general strategies for learning and for cooperation to produce sustainable benefits? Local Learning tries to answer these questions. It combines classical studies and new perspectives, and it links “Western” public administration and development administration literature. For empirical testing this publication presents thirty case studies in Northwestern Tanzania. The evidence suggests there is not only scope, but also potential for significant improvement.
Leon van den Dool has studied Public Administration at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. In 1997 he joined SNV (Netherlands Development Organization) and became a district advisor in Zambia. He now works as a lecturer and consultant at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) and contributes to the Masters Course in Urban Management (www.ihs.nl). Combining theory and practice he also works as a deputy town clerk at Geertruidenberg, Netherlands.