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UNU-WIDER WP/2013/044 Foreign aid and decentralization: Policies for autonomy and programming for responsiveness

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A teenager wears torn rubber boots in a muddy local market in Bac Ha, Viet Nam. As of 2005 figures, half the world population—more than 3 billion people–is estimated to live on less than USD 2.50 a day. Bac Ha, Viet Nam. UN Photo/Kibae Park.

Table of contents

WP/2013/044 Foreign aid and decentralization: Policies for autonomy and programming for responsiveness

http://recom.wider.unu.edu/
Donor support for decentralization comes in two main categories: recommendations at the policy level and project activities at the programming level. At the policy level, donors promote decentralization by recommending greater autonomy for subnational actors. That is, they advocate for reforms that increase the extent (or ‘quantity’) of decentralization. At the programming level, donors implement projects intended to improve the capacity and accountability (or ‘quality’) of decentralized governance. This paper’s argument is twofold. First, donors have had modest impacts on the quantity of decentralization where they have engaged in policy reform because the variables that shape the extent of decentralization are found primarily in the contexts—the history, politics, social realities, and economic conditions—of partner countries. Second, decentralization quality may be improved by effective design and implementation of donor programmes and projects, but systematic variation in the efficacy of programming is compromised by measurement challenges and conflicting donor emphases.
Publisher:
UNU-WIDER
Series:
WIDER Working Paper
Volume:
2013/044
Title:
WP/2013/044 Foreign aid and decentralization: Policies for autonomy and programming for responsiveness
Authors:
J. Tyler Dickovick
Publication date:
April 2013
ISBN 13 Web:
978-92-9230-621-2
Copyright holder:
© UNU-WIDER
Copyright year:
2013
Keywords:
decentralization, development, local governance, Africa
JEL:
N47, O20
Sponsor:
UNU-WIDER gratefully acknowledges specific programme contributions from the governments of Denmark (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Danida) and Sweden (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency—Sida) for ReCom. UNU-WIDER also gratefully acknowledges core financial support to its work programme from the governments of Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Format:
online

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