This field study will be a follow-up to original research on the local government reform process that the applicant participated in between 1996 and 2001. Among key research questions will be: After an assessment of the performance of the new municipalities during the first five years of existence, can the reform be characterised as successful? To what degree has the local elections reform contributed to opening new avenues for popular participation in shaping vital policies? Is democratisation spurred by the local government reform process? Will democratically elected local governments sustain? The field study methods will include systematic interviews with an established network and panel of key local actors and ordinary people, document collections and site observation. Orre is collaborating with Einar Braathen, NIBR, on this Norad-funded project.