Public Participation in the Decision-Making Process of Local Authorities in Sri Lanka

Thiwankee Wickramasinghe


Public participation in the local authority level is a vital factor of the context of democracy. It leads to strengthening accountability and citizen empowerment. Scholars use to argue that citizen participation has positive effects at the service-delivery mechanism both in local government level and the quality of democracy. The article focuses on the involvement of local masses in the decision making process of public officials through a combine approach identifying gaps in the existing local government system in for the well-being of general masses.

The findings have indicated that the citizen participation of the decision making process is not firmly rooted within the existing organizational culture of the local government system. The mechanism set up used to serve the local community is also obstructed from pro-people initiatives. Further, these outcomes mainly depend on the political setup of the local government, capacity of stakeholders, legislature and structures connected with local governance.  In spite of these, the article further argues on citizen involvement which has a positive impact on democracy, especially in the context of ‘ownership’. The local community feels that they are more responsible for their well-being, leads to greater public involvement that contributes towards a higher degree of legitimacy in the decision-making process. The article also concludes that by establishing a participatory decision-making process at the local level creates a healthy organizational culture equipped with democratic principles to strengthen relationships among key stakeholders.


Public participation, local authorities, local governance, democracy and organizational communication culture

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.