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Focus Areas

RTI Center for Governance

Photo by Patrick Adams for RTI International

Promoting strong, stable societies by empowering people and strengthening institutions

Strong democratic institutions and good governance are the foundation for prosperous and stable societies. At RTI, we believe that resilient, peaceful societies are founded on citizen engagement, transparency, and accountability.

For decades, RTI has been a leading international development organization and cutting-edge research institute. This unique combination allows us to leverage research and analysis to create innovative, real-world results and solutions.

To improve governance practices, RTI focuses on empowering individuals, strengthening institutions, and creating enabling environments. Our comprehensive approach allows us to help countries address the complex set of issues facing leaders in government and civil society.

Focus Areas

  • Decentralization and Local Governance: We strengthen linkages between national and local governments to move the decentralization process forward so local institutions are capable to provide and expand services to citizens.
  • Public Service Delivery and Integrated Governance: We create platforms that bring governments and communities together to create viable solutions to local issues and improve the quality of public services.
  • Applied Political Economy Analysis (PEA): We train and empower project teams and partners to undertake baseline and rapid PEAs as well as ongoing PEA; to think and work politically to inform project design and start-up; and to tackle implementation challenges.
  • Transparency, Accountability, and Anti-corruption: We partner with anti-corruption champions in government, civil society, and communities to root out corruption by promoting accountability and increasing transparency for government institutions and elected officials.
  • Institutional and System Strengthening: We promote strong, resilient, public institutions to effectively and efficiently serve communities and manage government services and resources.
  • Civil Society Strengthening and Empowering Local Voices: We promote inclusive political dialogue by galvanizing civil society to effectively advocate for their needs and hold the government accountable.
  • Capacity Building and Leadership Development: We build the capacity of local officials and citizens to support democratic advancements and institutional reforms. 

By the Numbers

Our partnerships in recent years have led to:


local governments and institutions supported


citizens receiving improved services

$ 0 M

in new public revenue or public cost savings


local organizations with improved capacity

Adaptable and Flexible Governance Strategies Create Sustainable Results

The political landscape is constantly evolving – which is why RTI tailors interventions and adapts tools and methods to local contexts. Our political economy analysis helps our local teams and partners to rapidly assess social, political, and economic factors that drive stakeholders’ motivations and behaviors to inform our on-the-ground implementation.

When implementing projects, our adaptive management style helps us co-design interventions with local partners to fit the unpredictable and fluid nature of the communities we work in. This holistic process includes adapting programming to test, learn, and adjust activities based on evidence and creating flexible management systems to support innovation and programmatic shifts. By providing this evidence-based feedback and analysis to donors and partners, we can shift programming to respond to evolving environments and achieve sustainable results.

Integrated Approaches to Governance Strengthen Institutions and Empower Individuals

To support local ownership and sustainability – regardless of sector– RTI brings together governments, civil society, private sector, and communities to define problems and potential solutions. Our integrated governance method is based on the principle that connectivity is key to creating substantial and sustainable change.  Using this approach, we provide governments with the tools to plan, finance, and improve services while empowering civil society, private sector, and communities to use their voice to engage with the government, advocate for their priorities, and hold officials accountable.

Decades of Experience and Skilled Experts Create Real-World Solutions

The RTI Center for Governance is truly global, with major initiatives implemented in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. Our highly-skilled experts are leaders in the design, development, and implementation of integrated services and solutions for complex governance issues. We leverage our team's expertise and experience to make strategic decisions that respond to governance challenges using proven methods, advanced analytics, cutting-edge research, and actionable local insights.