Intended Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctorate in Public Administration (DPA)


Kristen Norman-Major


Craig Waldron

Committee Member

Mark A. Glaser


Literature on in-depth studies of citizen engagement in local government management in African post-colonial countries is scarce. This qualitative research sought to understand the practice of citizen engagement in four selected African countries, but due to financial constraint, the Republic of Burundi was selected for the study. Data consisted of documentary sources, observational field notes, focus group discussions, and 23 individuals’ semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions of Burundian local government, mainly, Marie de Bujumbura and its communes. Data were analyzed through detailed description, categorical aggregation, direct interpretation, and development of naturalistic generalization. The findings from the reading of governmental documents reveal factors that support citizen engagement and participation in the coproduction of public value. These findings also reveal a number of barriers that hinder citizen engagement in Burundi. It was also found that the Burundian populace, civil society actors, government officials, and the groups of interests, including neoliberal players of globalization, were divided in their opinions, views, beliefs, and support for citizen engagement. The implication of this study is that policy debates and service designs of decentralized institutions in Burundi should include and engage citizens in all level of policy making and implementation. The findings are useful for government officials, students, scholars, international organizations, the World Bank Group, and other international organizations operating in developing countries whose policy interventions and production of goods and services require full participation and collaboration with citizens.








School of Business Student Theses and Dissertations