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

  • Independent Evaluation Group
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    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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    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
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
    Phone: (202) 477-1234
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    1. Jean-Paul Faguet & Fabio Sanchez, 2006. "Decentralization´S Effects On Educational Outcomes In Bolivia And Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 002255, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    2. 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 236, OECD Publishing.
    3. Sebastian Galiani & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2002. "Evaluating the Impact of School Decentralization on Educational Quality," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, January.
    4. Susan Steiner, 2006. "Decentralisation in Uganda: Exploring the Constraints for Poverty Reduction," GIGA Working Paper Series 31, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    5. Hamid Davoodi & Heng-fu Zou, 1996. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Study," CEMA Working Papers 98, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
    6. Faguet, Jean-Paul, 2004. "Does decentralization increase government responsiveness to local needs?: Evidence from Bolivia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 867-893, March.
    7. 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, number 6735.
    8. Raich, Uri, 2005. "Fiscal determinants of empowerment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3705, The World Bank.
    9. World Bank, 2000. "Pakistan - Reforming Provincial Finances in the Context of Devolution : An Eight Point Agenda," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14964, The World Bank.
    10. Tony Verheijen, 2007. "Administrative Capacity in the New EU Member States : The Limits of Innovation?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6752.
    11. 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, vol. 0(3), pages 423-483.
    12. Keith Mackay, 2007. "How to Build M&E Systems to Support Better Government," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6851.
    13. Alec Ian Gershberg & Michael Jacobs, 1998. "Decentralization and Recentralization: Lessons from the Social Sectors in Mexico and Nicaragua," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6441, Inter-American Development Bank.
    14. Ianchovichina, Elena & Liu, Lili & Nagarajan, Mohan, 2006. "Subnational fiscal sustainability analysis : what can we learn from Tamil Nadu ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3947, The World Bank.
    15. Khaleghian, Peyvand, 2003. "Decentralization and public services : the case of immunization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2989, The World Bank.
    16. Dillinger,William R. & Webb,Steven Benjamin, 1999. "Fiscal management in federal democracies : Argentina and Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2121, The World Bank.
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