IV-17. “The Anatomy of the Public Opinion of Local Governance in Indonesia and the Philippines” (R2 FY2020)

  • Project Leader : Nishimura Kenichi (Osaka University, Center for International Education and Exchange)
  • Collaborators : Okamoto Masaaki (Kyoto University, Center for Southeast Asia Studies)
  • : Nagai Fumio (Osaka City University, Graduate School of Law)
  • : Kobayashi Jun (Seikei University, Faculty of Humanities)
  • : Kagoya Kazuhiro (Kanto Gakuin University, College of Law)
  • : Kikuchi Masao (Meiji University, School of Business Administration)

Outline of Research

This study is based on a public opinion survey on local governance conducted by the group of applicants in Java in Indonesia and the Philippines from 2015 to 2018, which was supported by the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research. It aims to 1) explore residents’ perceptions of local governance, 2) analyze the relationship between local government performance and citizen participation, and resident satisfaction with the performance of local governments in their locality, and 3) compare results from both countries. To this end, we first perform a simple tabulation of the data from both countries and based on this, we will conduct a statistical analysis to confirm the relationship between residents’ opinions of local governance and rates of public participation, community networking, life satisfaction, and the performance of local governments.


This study analyzes the following: 1) the relationship between residents’ participation in local networks and the performance of local governments, 2) the relationship between local government performance and local residents’ relationship with local government, 3) the relationship between local residents’ evaluation of their local chief executive and the local government’s performance and their participation in local networks, life satisfaction, values, and attitudes towards politics, and 4) the effect of local government performance on residents’ satisfaction and social welfare. By combining the results of this study and results derived from the elite survey that the group of applicants conducted in Indonesia and the Philippines from 2011 to 2012 under the support of the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, we will create a comprehensive picture of local governance in Indonesia and the Philippines, where have been pioneering democratization and decentralization in Southeast Asia.

With the use of statistical analysis, the data collected through our survey present new facts about the general tendencies of resident involvement in local governance by analyzing factors on the residents’ side that influence the performance of local governments. Furthermore, the study provides a comparative perspective by analyzing both Indonesia and the Philippines in order to reveal common elements that have the potential to improve governance. Finally, this study also investigates how government effectiveness impacts citizen participation, and vice versa.

The study is significant in three ways. First, it clarifies the relationships between local residents and local governments through statistical analysis based on quantitative opinion surveys, providing new insights to the study of local governance in Indonesia and the Philippines. The decentralization of the two countries, while promoting the participation of the public, has added a complex dimension to local politics and public administration, such as urging elite interests to seize local power and strengthen rent seeking. Due to this reality, various case studies and generalizations have been attempted based on these case studies. However, to date, no statistical analysis has been conducted based on a large-scale quantitative survey.

Second, the questionnaires used in this study are more comprehensive than previous studies, as they include data about political perceptions of local residents, performance evaluations of local governments, local resident participation in local governance, ways in which residents network, and daily lives. Making good use of these questionnaires, we perform a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between residents and local governments in these two countries.

Third, the comparative nature of the study establishes a certain degree of universality as to how the progress of democratization and decentralization in Southeast Asia affects local governance.

Plaques of awards won by a barangay in Cavite province, Philippines

Interview with an NGO (Sinergantara) aiming for public participation through digitalization (2015)