In the last four decades, decentralisation has become a key focus of international development approaches. Governments around the world have transferred significant fiscal, political and administrative responsibilities to sub-national levels of government and semi-autonomous organisations. Initially pursued as an administrative reform process to enhance service delivery and economic efficiency, decentralisation has become widely seen as an essential process for strengthening democratic practice in countries in the Global South and a means of diffusing or sharing power after conflicts.
Likewise, decentralisation has become an increasingly important aspect of democracy support work around the world, including for DRI. DRI’s current projects in Ukraine, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Tunisia and Lebanon are all partially or entirely focused on decentralisation. Drawing together the key results from the relevant literature, this Briefing Paper serves as a reference document discussing different models of decentralisation, its advantages and disadvantages across socio-economic and political contexts and describes insights on how to make decentralisation a success.
Read the full Briefing Paper below.