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Decentralization in Client Countries : An Evaluation of World Bank Support, 1990-2007

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  • Independent Evaluation Group
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    Abstract

    The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) assessed the effectiveness of Bank support for decentralization between fiscal 1990 and 2007 in 20 countries, seeking to inform the design and implementation of future support. Given the difficulties of measuring the results of decentralization, the evaluation used intermediate outcome indicators such as strengthened legal and regulatory frameworks for intergovernmental relations, improved administrative capacity, and increased accountability of subnational governments and functionaries to higher levels of government and to citizens to assess the results of Bank support in these 20 countries. To examine potential lessons at a sectoral level, the evaluation also assessed whether Bank support for decentralization improved intermediate outcomes for service delivery in the education sector in 6 of the 20 countries. Bank support contributed to more effective decentralization substantially in more than one-third of the 20 cases and modestly in the others. The most successful aspects of Bank support pertained to the legal frameworks for intergovernmental relations, the frameworks for intergovernmental fiscal transfers, and subnational financial management Bank support was less effective in clarifying the roles and responsibilities of different levels of government and in improving own-source revenue mobilization by subnational governments. This was often a result of lack of political will. Other things being equal, Bank support brought better results where there was consensus around the reform within the country prior to Bank engagement and when the support was combined with incentives for institutional reform at the subnational level. Looking forward, the results of Bank support for decentralization can be strengthened with more timely and coordinated analytical work to underpin it, by better coordinating fragmented sector-by-sector interventions, and by accompanying support for policy reform with technical assistance to strengthen local government capacity.

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    Bibliographic Info

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    This book is provided by The World Bank in its series World Bank Publications with number 6543 and published in 2008.

    ISBN: 978-0-8213-7635-5
    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:6543

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    Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
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    Related research

    Keywords: Banks and Banking Reform Public Sector Corruption and Anticorruption Measures Public Sector Expenditure Analysis and Management Governance - National Governance Urban Development - Municipal Financial Management Finance and Financial Sector Development Public Sector Development;

    References

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    1. Faguet, Jean-Paul & Sánchez, Fabio, 2008. "Decentralization's Effects on Educational Outcomes in Bolivia and Colombia," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1294-1316, July.
    2. Susan Steiner, 2006. "Decentralisation in Uganda: Exploring the Constraints for Poverty Reduction," GIGA Working Paper Series, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies 31, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    3. Davoodi, Hamid & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Study," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 244-257, March.
    4. Ianchovichina, Elena & Liu, Lili & Nagarajan, Mohan, 2006. "Subnational fiscal sustainability analysis : what can we learn from Tamil Nadu ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 3947, The World Bank.
    5. Faguet, Jean-Paul, 2004. "Does decentralization increase government responsiveness to local needs?: Evidence from Bolivia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 867-893, March.
    6. William Dillinger & Steven B. Webb, 1999. "Fiscal management in federal democracies: Argentina and Brazil," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, vol. 0(3), pages 423-483.
    7. Sebastian Galiani & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2002. "Evaluating the Impact of School Decentralization on Educational Quality," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
    8. Khaleghian, Peyvand, 2003. "Decentralization and public services : the case of immunization," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 2989, The World Bank.
    9. Keith Mackay, 2007. "How to Build M&E Systems to Support Better Government," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, The World Bank, number 6851, February.
    10. Tony Verheijen, 2007. "Administrative Capacity in the New EU Member States : The Limits of Innovation?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, The World Bank, number 6752, February.
    11. World Bank, 2000. "Pakistan - Reforming Provincial Finances in the Context of Devolution : An Eight Point Agenda," World Bank Other Operational Studies, The World Bank 14964, The World Bank.
    12. Raich, Uri, 2005. "Fiscal determinants of empowerment," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 3705, The World Bank.
    13. Dillinger, William & Webb, Steven B., 1999. "Fiscal management in federal democracies : Argentina and Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 2121, The World Bank.
    14. Alec Ian Gershberg & Michael Jacobs, 1998. "Decentralization and Recentralization: Lessons from the Social Sectors in Mexico and Nicaragua," IDB Publications, Inter-American Development Bank 6441, Inter-American Development Bank.
    15. Patricia Clarke Annez & George E. Peterson, 2007. "Financing Cities : Fiscal Responsibility and Urban Infrastructure in Brazil, China, India, Poland and South Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, The World Bank, number 6735, August.
    16. Johannes P. Jütting & Céline Kauffmann & Ida McDonnell & Holger Osterrieder & Nicolas Pinaud & Lucia Wegner, 2004. "Decentralisation and Poverty in Developing Countries: Exploring the Impact," OECD Development Centre Working Papers, OECD Publishing 236, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:
    1. Albornoz, Facundo & Cabrales, Antonio, 2013. "Decentralization, political competition and corruption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 103-111.

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