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On Whose Behalf

Legislative Representation and the Environment in Africa

This report presents the findings of research on critical incentives and disincentives to legislative representation in Africa and provides a number of policy and program recommendations.

Executive Summary

This report presents the findings of research on critical incentives and disincentives to legislative representation in Africa and provides a number of policy and program recommendations.

Four critical aspects of representation are discussed in detail:

  • accountability of legislators to their constituents,
  • autonomy from political bosses and politics,
  • authority and capacity to perform representation roles, and
  • personal attributes of legislators.

Legislative representation is examined from an environmental perspective. In rural Africa, the environment -- land, natural resources, ecosystem services -- is an important source of household livelihoods and a vital constituent interest. As such, the environment provides a useful optic for observation and understanding governance, and a potentially powerful lever for engaging citizens in government matters, promoting systemic governance reforms, and strengthening democracy.

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