The first objective of this handbook is to provide citizens with information and insight on local government matters. The second objective is to sensitize citizens and other stakeholders to use the information and engage Local Authority leadership in demanding improved services, and participation in providing those services. The handbook addresses the two objectives by providing background information on the concept of local government, the importance of cities and local governments, and the principles of good governance. The handbook further analyzes the concepts of decentralisation and devolution in relation to provision of effective and efficient services. The objectives and mandates of local governments are described in relation to the changing environment where the citizens are demanding transparency and accountability in the provision of Local Authority services. The description and analysis of how revenues are raised and spent at the local government level is aimed at highlighting the revenue challenges, potential and how citizens can effectively be
involved in monitoring the collection and expenditure of the same.