workshop Dakar Decentralization and Poverty Reduct

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Information about workshop Dakar Decentralization and Poverty Reduct
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Published on November 28, 2007

Author: Dennison

Source: authorstream.com

Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Decentralization consists of a transfer of public functions from higher tiers to lower tiers of governance. It can be administrative, fiscal, political or a mixture of these. Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Decentralization should have a positive impact on poverty by: Making the voice of the poor better heard Improving their access to and the quality of public services Reduce their vulnerability Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction The reality of decentralization and poverty reduction Of 19 countries studied by OECD Development Centre, only one-third revealed that decentralization has actually lead to improvements in poverty reduction In majority of cases, decentralization had no impact at all. Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Countries in which decentralization had positive impact on poverty reduction Bolivia China Ghana India (West Bengal Mexico Philippines South Africa Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Countries in which there was no impact/negative impact on poverty reduction Brazil Burkina Faso Egypt Ethiopia Guinea India (Andhra Pradesh Malawi Mozambique Nepal Paraguay Sri Lanka Uganda Vietnam Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction In countries where the state lacks the capacity to fulfill its basic functions and in environments with high inequalities at the outset; There is definite risk that decentralization will increase poverty rather than reduce it. The evidence is that the link between decentralization and poverty reduction is not straightforward and is largely influenced by country specificities, as well as process design Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Characteristics of Positive Performers Bolivia, Philippines and India (West Bengal) Lower middle income countries Less indebted low income countries Literacy rate of over 80 percent Qualified as free by Freedom House Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Characteristics of Positive Reformers (con’t) Decentralization generally supported by the government capable to carry out reforms with transparency, participation and policy coherence Adopted their decentralization programmes by design Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Characteristics of Positive Reformers (con’t) Authorities visibly believed in the process and the ability to shape it Reforms inspired by desire to improve social, economic and political conditions All adopted a comprehensive approach concurrently undertaking political, fiscal and administrative decentralization There was real delegation of power to lower tiers of government, rather than just deconcentration Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Characteristics of “Somewhat Positive” Performers China, South Africa, Mexico and Ghana Process fulfills only some criteria for an efficient, sustainable, transparent, participatory, equitable, and coherent process Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Characteristics of “Somewhat Positive” Performers Rationale for decentralization has been mostly economic Central government functions have only been partially transferred Have a high literacy rate (above 70%) Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Characteristics of “Somewhat Positive” Performers Freedom House Index is very good: “Free” except for China “not free” Have higher income than the worse performers, but also substantial inequality as measured by Gini indexes Ghana is exception to the inequality (Highly Indebted Poor Country) Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Characteristics of “Somewhat Negative” Performers Paraguay, Brazil, Nepal, Vietnam, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Uganda A group with both positive and negative elements Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Characteristics of “Somewhat Negative” Performers Two categories of these Countries Either low income with low Gini index (Uganda and Vietnam) Higher income with higher Gini index (Brazil and Paraguay) Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Characteristics of “Somewhat Negative” Performers Are generally unstable, emerging for civil wars or ethnic conflicts, or other political instability Overriding objective of the decentralization programme is political stability and maintenance of central control through deconcentration Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Characteristics of “Somewhat Negative” Performers Decentralization Policies aimed at preserving and re-establishing national unity Have not pursued a comprehensive approach to decentralization, choosing deconcentration rather than devolution Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Characteristics of “Negative” Performers Guinea, Mozambique, Malawi, India (Andrah-Pradesh) The reform process has been flawed Decentralization pursued by default All low income countries and HIPC Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Characteristics of “Negative” Performers Literacy rate is under 50% None qualify as free countries Infrastructure if poor Score on corruption index is bad (below 2.9) Gini index varies, no real trend is discernible Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Determinants of Pro-Poor Decentralization Country Background Design of Process Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Country Background Country Size Quality of Infrastructure Corruption Perception Index Gini Index Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Difficult to establish common patterns for the four performance areas Possible to draw certain lessons social institutions and political structures impact decentralization Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Positive and somewhat positive performers built decentralization process on existing and well-functioning local structures China with deconcentration of social services built decentralization on willingness of local governments to assume this responsibility Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction West Bengal with strong communist party with commitment to the poor Pro-Poor Decentralization Programmes in Malawi and Sri Lanka have been compromised by traditional power structures and local patron-client relationships Imbalance between new and traditional power structures led to increased elite capture and corruption Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Design Process Factors Financial Resources at the Local Level Local Human Capacity Political Commitment at the National Level Donor Involvement and Support Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Transparent and Participative Process Information Flows: central to local governments, local to central governments, and local and central governments to citizens Participation beyond just elections, to include budget hearings, etc Role of Civil Society: exercise pressure on governments and control their actions Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Lessons for Donors Donor policies should be more coherent and their action better co-ordinated Donors should be more aware of the political economy of decentralization as a change process Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Donor Lessons (continued) Donors should emphasise the instrumental character of decentralization to create an enabling environment for poverty reduction at local levels Donors should encourage transfer systems with incentives for improved effectiveness as well as help building sustainable local revenue generating powers Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Donor Lessons (continued) Monitor that the central state does not intervene directly or indirectly in local politics and policy Monitor corruption and fiscal imbalance Be flexible (thus impact monitoring and learning by doing) Support policies to strengthen local governments Decentralization and Poverty Reduction:  Decentralization and Poverty Reduction Donors Should Avoid The creation of parallel structures Considering decentralization a panacea that can be applied everywhere Considering decentralization as a unique reform; one size does not fit all

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