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Resource Guide on Decentralisation and Local Government

image of Resource Guide on Decentralisation and Local Government
Estimates suggest that decentralisation is currently being pursued in over 80 per cent of developing countries worldwide. For many people, local government is the part of government that most directly impacts on their lives, particularly via the provision of local services like water, sanitation, primary education and primary healthcare.



This resource guide provides practical guidance for designing, implementing and evaluating decentralisation reforms and local government practices to ensure they are as effective as possible. It also synthesises and presents current debates on the impact of decentralisation and local government on poverty reduction, service delivery and conflict as well as providing links to cuttingedge research and recent case studies.



The guide includes summaries of key texts. Each short summary provides a link to an extended summary which can be found in the alphabetised appendix.

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The Changing Role of the State

Throughout the twentieth century, the role of the state has undergone significant changes. In the West, the demands for social and economic reconstruction after the Second World War led to the emergence of welfare states that assumed responsibility for protecting the relatively poor, equalising opportunities to health and education services, creating state-owned enterprises and managing macro-economic cycles. For the developing countries that became independent in the 1950s and 1960s, this was the model of the state they aimed to follow. During the 1970s there was growing concern over the capabilities of the state and public administrations in developing countries to undertake these responsibilities. The rise of neoliberal thinking and the development of New Public Management approaches in countries like the UK and New Zealand in the 1980s and 1990s led to an emphasis on the role of the market and a bias against public provision and state expansion.

English

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