Governments are all about service delivery; bringing government closer to people and people closer to Government. Yet, whilst there has been a global shift in the role of state institutions from that of provider to enabler, in many cases the drive to deliver more effective, efficient, transparent and accountable services continues to be undermined by old fashioned decision-making processes and institutional values that undervalue citizens, clients and the potential contribution of the private sector.
More often than not, strengthening service delivery requires the transfer of decision-making powers from central Ministries to intermediate governments, local governments, communities, citizens and the private sector. The extent of the transfer varies, however, from administrative deconcentration to a much broader transfer of financial control to the regional or local level; a balance which, in turn, heavily influences the balance of political power and extent of political freedom. While there are solid theoretical justifications for decentralizing various service delivery systems, the process requires strong political commitment and leadership in order to succeed. The path, depth, and ultimately, the outcome of decentralization reforms depend on the motivations for reforms, the political economy context and the interaction of various important coalitions within the sector. Effective service delivery therefore requires the state to decentralize the delivery of basic services including the functions, functionaries and finance, to local authorities, which are relatively closer to the people. Vital to success is listening to the voices of the people, business and private sector, as well as marginalized and poorly represented groups, and creating bottom-up accountability structures for local administration.
Issues to be considered include:
- Review and restructuring of public sector agencies to become more responsive to clients;
- Decentralization of responsibility and authority for management decisions to the most appropriate level (subsidiarity);
- Design of appropriate decentralized financial instruments for financing community-based resource management initiatives; and,
- Decentralized financial instruments must enable community-based local procurement of goods and services.
Our Services Include:
- Support for fiscal federalism and decentralization;
- Support for sub-national and municipal financial management reforms;
- Strengthening the capacity of local administrations to coordinate policies, legislation and resources at all levels;
- Development of common systems across government, including recruitment, promotion, job descriptions and performance;
- The creation of executive agencies;
- Advocacy programs to facilitate communication between government and citizens; and,
- Development of Citizen’s Charters.
Illustrative Projects Include:
- Design of the Joint Progam for Local Governance in Somalia;
- Advisory support to the Government of Myanmar on Administrative Framework development for decentralization;
- Iraq Public Sector Modernization Program focused on local governance;
- Fiscal decentralization in Egypt; and,
- Design of a Next Generation of Public Administration Reform focused on local governance.