Assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of local authorities in Saudi Arabia : a case study of Jeddah Municipality
The aim of the thesis is to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the major services that are provided by Jeddah Municipality (JM) by using criteria which are derived from the Saudi environment. The Delphi technique was used in the first instance to obtain a consensus of opinion as to the meaning of efficiency and effectiveness among Saudi experts on local administration in Saudi Arabia. It was used, secondly, to develop criteria which then were used to assess the selected services. With the developed consensus in mind, efficiency of the selected services was measured. However, the assessment was limited to only a few services due to insufficient data provided by JM. The results indicate a tendency towards an increase in efficiency of the assessed services. However, since the assessment was limited only to few services from the same department, and was further constrained by limited data, it therefore cannot be considered as a clear-cut measurement of the level of the efficiency of services provided by JM. The second part of the study was based upon questionnaires designed by using the criteria for effectiveness. The questionnaires were sent to the recipients of the service, the Saudi experts on local administration in Jeddah city, and the staff of JM's departments that are responsible for delivering the selected services. The results indicate that according to beneficiaries and experts, the effectiveness of the selected services is low, while according to the staff the effectiveness of the selected services is mid-range. Recommendations were made to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the existing selected services and on how to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of these services. Furthermore, the study recommends JM's officials and departments to be accountable and transparent. Accountability and transparency are important elements for improvement of municipal services in particular, and the provision of public services in general.