Half of the Estonian population is satisfied with the management of their local government

In the satisfaction survey conducted in January 2020, Estonian residents were asked to assess the management and general development of the local government and the involvement of local residents.
ATS AASMAA, DATA ANALYST AT THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE

The survey showed that half of all respondents are satisfied with the management of their local government. 27% of the respondents were dissatisfied with the management of the local government and 23% could not give an assessment. Interestingly, the assessment of the direction of the developlent of the local government obtained almost the same result. This is also confirmed by the strong correlation between them. The same can be seen on Graph 1, on the basis of which we can conclude that the assessments of local government management and the direction of development are interrelated. Unfortunately, it is not possible to say whether management influences the assessments given to the development direction or whether the development direction plays a role in the management assessments.

Graph 1: Satisfaction with the management and development direction of local government. Four better and four worse results are highlighted separately.
Graph 1: Satisfaction with the management and development direction of local government. Four best and four worst results are highlighted separately.

Looking at the results of each local government separately, we see that the satisfaction with management is extremely varied - as much as 19% to 92%. There are 43 local governments where the rate of people satisfied with management exceeds 50%. In case of development direction, the number of such local governments is 35.

According to the satisfaction survey, the issues related to the involvement of the population are a clear challenge. Graph 2 shows that the involvement of the population is not a problem for a few local governments, but it is a matter of concern for most local governments. The results also showed that the number of satisfied and dissatisfied people is almost the same in terms of population involvement. It is also worth noting that almost a third of the respondents could not assess the issues of population involvement. It leads to believe discussions and activities involving citizens may not often reach citizens.

Graph 2: Satisfaction with the involvement of residents in the activities of the municipality. Four better and four worse results are highlighted separately.
Graph 2: Satisfaction with the involvement of residents in the activities of the municipality. Four better and four worse results are highlighted separately.

As in the case of management and development direction, the wide variation of the satisfaction rate in local governments is noticeable in the assessments of the involvement of the population. Similar to the management estimates, the lower results are mostly in the Ida-Virumaa local governments. Kiili and Hiiumaa municipalities stand out in both graphs with positive results. The residents of Muhu municipality are clearly the most satisfied with these topics.

An earlier analysis of the living environment and the average income shows that wages have a strong effect on satisfaction with the living environment. Satisfaction with the living environment and management are similarly related. This means that it is possible to explain, at least in part, the lower results of Ida-Virumaa with lower salaries. Further analysis is required to obtain a complete explanation. The unemployment rate, which in January 2020 was 4.3% in Harju County, 3.2% in Hiiumaa, 4.3% in Saaremaa and 10.3% in Ida-Viru County, gives some hints about the differences between the regions. The highlighted local governments in the graphs are also in the same counties, between which there are the biggest differences in the results.

* Vormsi, Ruhnu and Kihnu rural municipalities were excluded from the satisfaction survey.
** The analysis and preparation of the article is supported by the European Social Fund of the European Union.