Decentralization and service delivery
Dissatisfied with centralized approaches to delivering local public services, a large number of countries are decentralizing responsibility for these services to lower-level, locally elected governments. The results have been mixed. The paper provides a framework for evaluating the benefits and costs, in terms of service delivery, of different approaches to decentralization, based on relationships of accountability between different actors in the delivery chain. Moving from a model of central provision to that of decentralization to local governments introduces a new relationship of accountability-between national and local policymakers-while altering existing relationships, such as that between citizens and elected politicians. Only by examining how these relationships change can we understand why decentralization can, and sometimes cannot, lead to better service delivery. In particular, the various instruments of decentralization-fiscal, administrative, regulatory, market, and financial-can affect the incentives facing service providers, even though they relate only to local policymakers. Likewise, and perhaps more significantly, the incentives facing local and national politicians can have a profound effect on the provision of local services. Finally, the process of implementing decentralization can be as important as the design of the system in influencing service delivery outcomes.
|Date of creation:||01 May 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433|
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2002.
"Explaining Leakage of Public Funds,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3227, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2001. "Explaining leakage of public funds," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2709, The World Bank.
- Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2001. "Explaining Leakage of Public Funds," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
- Mansuri, Ghazala & Rao, Vijayendra, 2004.
"Community-based (and driven) development : A critical review,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
3209, The World Bank.
- Ghazala Mansuri, 2004. "Community-Based and -Driven Development: A Critical Review," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 1-39.
- Stuti Khemani, 2006. "Local Government Accountability for Health Service Delivery in Nigeria," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(2), pages 285-312, June.
- Filmer, Deon & Hammer, Jeffrey S & Pritchett, Lant H, 2000. "Weak Links in the Chain: A Diagnosis of Health Policy in Poor Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 199-224, August.
- Faguet, Jean-Paul, 2001. "Does decentralization increase responsiveness to local needs? - evidence from Bolivia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2516, The World Bank.
- Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1999. "The impact of public spending on health: does money matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 49(10), pages 1309-1323, November.
- John Akin & Paul Hutchinson & Koleman Strumpf, 2005. "Decentralisation and government provision of public goods: The public health sector in Uganda," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(8), pages 1417-1443.
- 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.
- Davoodi, Hamid & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Study," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 244-257, March.
- Khemani, Stuti, 2001. "Decentralization and accountability : are voters more vigilant in local than in national elections ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2557, The World Bank.
- Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 1999. "The Effect of Household Wealth on Educational Attainment: Evidence from 35 Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(1), pages 85-120.
- Robert P. Inman, 1992. "Can Philadelphia escape its fiscal crisis with another tax increase?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Sep, pages 5-20.
- Khemani, Stuti, 2007. "Does delegation of fiscal policy to an independent agency make a difference? Evidence from intergovernmental transfers in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 464-484, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3603. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.