Decentralization, Democracy and Development: Recent by Yongmei Zhou

By Yongmei Zhou

The query of even if political, financial and administrative decentralization improves govt effectiveness is hotly debated between researchers and policymakers. There are theoretical arguments either for and opposed to decentralization, yet empirical paintings is scarce. Decentralization, Democracy and improvement: contemporary adventure from Sierra Leone is a contribution to this literature. The ebook additionally makes a priceless contribution to the controversy on even if decentralization is a practicable process state-building method for post-conflict international locations. a suite of 8 papers written by means of 9 authors, the booklet first files a posh decentralization procedure in Sierra Leone from 2003-07. in this interval, the govt of Sierra Leone (GoSL) re-established elected district and concrete councils around the state, transferred definite duties for basic providers and native funding and a few monetary assets to the recent councils, and invested seriously in development the executive infrastructure and skill of the neighborhood councils. Measured via the finances figures, the measure of strength that has been transferred to neighborhood councils seems to be really small. although, from neighborhood councils having no autonomy to having autonomy over 6 percentage of presidency fundamental spending is an important qualitative swap of the intergovernmental dating. because the authors documented, the development used to be tough fought. in comparison to such a lot different SSA nations that experience launched into decentralization, Sierra Leone s growth in construction neighborhood govt ability and restructuring the economic procedure is enviable. The authors finish that stronger safety and public prone are attainable in a decentralizing state yet Sierra Leone s growth do not need been attainable with out major attempt at monetary decentralization and in depth funding in neighborhood govt means construction. the main serious factor for this promising yet fragile reform method is the dynamic management group in command of selling the recent institutional framework and their continual attempt to accomplish fast development within the neighborhood govt procedure and public prone.

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There was an abundance of information but not enough time for analysis and inclusion to ensure that all issues of relevance to the taskforce were captured. Since the “process” was so constrained, it was anticipated that the product would definitely have major deficiencies. To all intents and purposes, the drafting of the policy was closely aligned to the structure and content of the draft bill in preparation. The policy document was more descriptive and not quite adequate in prescribing how to address issues relating to structures, institutions, regulations, and sectors.

Sierra Leone’s experience shows that political and fiscal decentralization can be consistent with improved security and service delivery in a post-conflict country. The solid foundation of a fiscal transfer system is in place. The grants system is operational, albeit over-complicated. Funds are allocated across local councils according to transparent formulae, although equalization features of the formulae can be improved. At least in a small country such as Sierra Leone, an intensive capacity Introduction xxxi building program for local councils is doable and indispensable.

In accordance with the country’s legislative procedures and processes, the minister responsible for local government formally read the SI in the Chamber of Parliament and formally laid the document in Parliament for a statutory period of 21 working days. 8 Local Government Act 2004 and the Political Framework LGA 2004 comprehensively supports the political framework for local government and decentralization in Sierra Leone. ”9 In laying out the political framework, the LGA addresses: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Election and composition of local councils as well as term of each local council (four years) Qualifications for becoming a councilor, which focus on being a resident of the locality Procedures for electing a mayor and chair as well as removal from office Procedures and processes to conduct the first Business of Councils after it was constituted (post elections) Convening and conduct of meetings with regard to the relevance and use of Standing Orders Operations of councils through council committees Powers of local councils to make and execute byelaws Facilitation, mediation, and coordinating roles and responsibilities of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and of the Ministry of Finance, which must be consulted on all fiscal decentralization matters.

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