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DECENTRALIZATION   Tags: decentralization  

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Policy Papers & Briefs



Cohen, John M., and Stephen B. Peterson. Administrative Decentralization: Strategies for Developing Countries. Kumarian Press, 1999. [Google Books]

About: This book examines administrative decentralization strategies in developing countries. Case studies include Ethiopia, Kenya, and Mexico. Written in cooperation with the United Nations, the authors have created a practical and theoretically rich look at administrative decentralization from the past four decades, with a focus on the problems confronting developing countries since the 1990s.

Research Papers

Brown, M. Paul, "Environment Canada and the Pursuit of Administrative Decentralization," Canadian Public Administration 29 (1986): 218–236. [Wiley Online Library]
Summary: Administrative decentralization has suddenly become a major concern with respect to the operations of the national government in Canada. The specific catalyst has been a perceived need for greater responsiveness, and a belief that devolution of decision-making power to officials in the field is a way to achieve it. It is nevertheless problematic whether the requisite decentralization can be achieved. For one thing, headquarters-field relationships within the Canadian government reflect a powerful centralist orthodoxy. For another, it is difficult to find the right balance between centralization and decentralization in the delivery of services to the public
Cohen, John M. and Stephen B. Peterson. "Administrative Decentralization: A New Framework for Improved Governance, Accountability, and Performance," Harvard Institute for International Development (1997).

Summary: This paper summarizes a new Framework developed by the authors that can assist governments and aid agencies in transitional and developing countries to design and implement administrative decentralization strategies and reforms. Labeled the “Administrative Design Framework,” it emerges from a lengthy exercise carried out by the authors for the United Nations in 1995-96.
Hossain, Awal. "Administrative Decentralization: A Framework for Discussion and Its Practices in Bangladesh." University Of Rajshahi.

Summary: Administrative Decentralization seeks to redistribute authority, responsibility and financial resources for providing public services among different levels of government. It is the transfer of responsibility for the planning, financing and management of certain public functions from the central government and its agencies to field units of government agencies, subordinate units or levels of government semi-autonomous public authorities or corporations or area wide regional or functional authorities. This paper divided into two parts. Part-I of this paper, a modest attempt has been made for searching a common theoretical framework of decentralization. And Part-II, try to analyze and asses the initiatives for decentralization of administration are so far made after the emergence of Bangladesh, and also try to find out why the initiatives usually get scrapped with changes of the government.

Kaufman, Herbert. "Administrative Decentralization and Political Power," Public Administration Review 29 (1969): 3-15. [Jstor]

Summary: The author argues adverse effects of government decentralzation, he accepted that decentralization could provide for greater local influence in public policy making, he criticises the bureaucratic hierarchical structure, but says it could also generate a number of other problems- including the interference with the pursuit of national mandates for economic and social equity, competition between local governments and programs, and decreased economies of scale leading to inefficiencies in government operations.

Malizia, Raffaele and Emanuela Tassa. "Administrative Decentralization Versus Fiscal Federalism: Some Remarks Based on the Italian and European Countries' Evidence," University of Rome (2004).

Summary: The paper presents a comparative analys is of the various institutional systems, of the forms decentralization may take up, of the main indications coming from the economic literature and from the direct Italian experience, since the seventies until now. The recent Italian reform of the Title Vof the Constitution stems from this long experience: it is analysed in order to assess if the new institutional framework could represent a tool for enahancing fiscal soustainability and increase the governace efficiency degree. Across-countries comparison among different institutional arrangements in some European Nations concludes the work.

Ornstein, Allan C. "Administrative Decentralization and Community Policy: Review and Outlook," The Urban Review 15 (1983): 3-10. [Springer]

Summary: The lack of data on administrative-community “solutions” (decentralization, community control, even community participation) means there are more slogans than carefully worked-out concepts with consequences understood and accounted for. We often assume that the “community” voice is the most vocal and articulated, and we have yet to hear from the majority of silent parents, who have their own aspirations for their children and their own ideas about how the school should fulfill them.

Rodinelli, Dennis A. "Implementing Decentralization Programs in Asia: A Comparative Analysis," Public Administration and Development 3 (1983).

Summary: "Decentralization in development planning and administration is being attempted in novel ways as governments seek to generate economic growth and at the same time achieve greater social equity. Little has been done to assess comparatively the nature and effectiveness of these experiments. This paper is based on a selection of eight case studies, each set in a different Asian country, where an innovative approach to decentralization has been adopted by the central government in order to achieve development aims. The stimulus to innovate is considered, the different forms of decentralization compared and a tentative comparative evaluation is made of the effectiveness of decentralizing development planning and implementation." [Publisher]

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