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Measuring the Quality of Government at the Subnational Level and Comparing Results with Previous Studies

Research project

Short description

The aim of this project is to collect data on ‘quality of government’ (QoG) for 238 sub-national, regions in all 27 European Union member states. The data is collected via a large pan-EU survey of over 120,000 citizens’ perceptions and experiences with public services, such as education, health care, law enforcement and elections, and the degree to which people assess such services as having high quality, having low corruption and being impartially allocated, without favoritism.

The survey data will be used to construct the 4th round of the ‘European Quality of Government Index’ (EQI), which has been previously published in 2010, 2013 and 2017.  The project will also produce several more in-depth case study assessments of regions within countries that have shown significant variation over time to investigate more in-depth causes of such changes as possible ‘best practice’ lessons for other regions to improve QoG in the EU. 

General background: The European Quality of Government Index (EQI), developed by the Quality of Government Institute of Gothenburg University, is the only measure of institutional quality available at the sub-national level in the European Union. Institutional quality is defined as a multi-dimensional concept consisting of high impartiality and quality of public service delivery, along with low corruption. The index also departs from existing metrics of quality of government, such as those provided by the World Bank, in that it relies on citizen assessments of their public sector service, rather than rely on expert perceptions of institutions. The EQI thus aims at capturing average citizens’ perceptions and experiences with corruption, and the extent to which they rate their public services as impartial and of good quality in their region of residence. The QoG Institute makes both the regional and micro level data publically available here, and the 2020 data is expected to be published in the spring of 2021.