Decentralisation in Commonwealth Africa

Decentralisation in Commonwealth Africa

Experiences from Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
Commonwealth Secretariat
18 July 2011
Pages:
292
ISBN:
9781848590960 (PDF)
http://dx.doi.org/10.14217/9781848590960-en

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The aim of a well-designed decentralisation programme is to deliver effective services to all citizens and to deepen democracy through active popular participation in local governance. Through detailed case studies of decentralisation policies in five sub-Saharan African countries – Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania – this book examines the challenges presented, lessons learned, and recommends ways to improve policy implementation.



It is clear from the analysis that there is no ‘one size fits all’ design of decentralisation policy. Policy-makers worldwide can use the lessons learnt and good practices presented here to better inform and advance their own decentralisation agenda.
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  • Foreword

    This chapter races the trajPublic sector development is integral to the work that we do at the Commonwealth Secretariat. Through the Governance and Institutional Development Division (GIDD), we support member countries and their public institutions with technical assistance, advisory services and training. The aim is to build institutional capacity to improve governance and public service delivery.ectory of decentralisation implementation in Botswana. It covers the circumstances that led to the adoption of decentralisation; the type of decentralisation being pursued; the main area(s) of focus; achievements so far; and the challenges and suggestions for improvement. In writing the chapter, three datacollection methods were adopted: (a) an analysis of the country report submitted by the Ministry of Local Government (MLG) to the Commonwealth Secretariat; (b) a two-week rapid field survey conducted in Botswana in October 2009 by a consultant hired by the Commonwealth Secretariat to validate the country report; and (c) a regional validation workshop organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat in Gaborone during which comments were solicited from government institutions on the draft country report. The final draft report was further reviewed by the MLG and Office of the President.

  • Acronyms and Abbreviations

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  • Summary

    By the end of the last century, most African countries, like other countries in the world, had revisited decentralisation policies and programmes as a part of their overall governance and macro-economic reforms. The objectives were to ensure macro-economic stability and to improve governance by making it more participative, self-governing, transparent, efficient, equitable and accountable, as well as to deliver effective and sustainable services to all citizens. Decentralisation is one of the reform initiatives adopted by many countries in sub-Saharan Africa. This report analyses and assesses the decentralisation policies of five sub-Saharan African countries: Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania. The countries are Commonwealth countries in western, eastern, southern Africa. The reports are based on three main sources: national reports submitted by each country, rapid research undertaken by independent African consultants to validate and update these reports, and a review of the main findings of the rapid research by a stakeholder workshop organised in Gaborone, Botswana from 26–28 October 2010.

  • Introduction

    This chapter sets out the conceptual and methodological approaches of this study. It states why the research is being undertaken and describes how it was done.

  • Decentralisation in Botswana

    This chapter races the trajectory of decentralisation implementation in Botswana. It covers the circumstances that led to the adoption of decentralisation; the type of decentralisation being pursued; the main area(s) of focus; achievements so far; and the challenges and suggestions for improvement. In writing the chapter, three datacollection methods were adopted: (a) an analysis of the country report submitted by the Ministry of Local Government (MLG) to the Commonwealth Secretariat; (b) a two-week rapid field survey conducted in Botswana in October 2009 by a consultant hired by the Commonwealth Secretariat to validate the country report; and (c) a regional validation workshop organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat in Gaborone during which comments were solicited from government institutions on the draft country report. The final draft report was further reviewed by the MLG and Office of the President.

  • Decentralisation in Cameroon

    The main objective of this chapter is to examine the process of decentralisation in Cameroon, particularly since 1996. The chapter examines the legal, fiscal, political and administrative environment, and the level of organisation of its key actors in conducting the state’s service-delivery responsibilities.

  • Decentralisation in Ghana

    This chapter traces the trajectory of decentralisation implementation in Ghana. It covers the circumstances that led to the adoption of decentralisation; the type of decentralisation being pursued; the main area(s) of focus; achievements so far; and the challenges and suggestions for improvement. In writing the chapter, three datacollection methods were adopted: an analysis of the country report submitted by the Ministry of Local Government to the Commonwealth Secretariat in January 2010; a two-week rapid field survey conducted in February 2010 by a consultant hired by the Commonwealth Secretariat to validate the country report; and a regional validation workshop organised in Gaborone, Botswana in April 2010 during which comments were solicited from government institutions on the draft country report. The final draft report was further reviewed by the Ministry of Local Government. This chapter therefore expresses the views of a number of stakeholders who contributed to writing it and does not necessarily reflect those of the government.

  • Decentralisation in Mozambique

    This chapter traces the trajectory of decentralisation implementation in Mozambique. It covers the circumstances that led to the adoption of decentralisation; the type of decentralisation being pursued, the main area(s) of focus, achievements so far, the challenges and some suggestions for improvement. In writing the report, three datacollection methods were adopted: an analysis of the country report submitted by the Ministry of Public Services to the Commonwealth Secretariat, a two-week rapid field survey conducted by a consultant hired by the Commonwealth Secretariat to validate the country report, and a regional validation workshop organised in Gaborone during which comments were solicited from government institutions on the draft country report. The final draft report was further reviewed by the Ministry of Public Services.

  • Decentralisation in Tanzania

    The purpose of this chapter is to examine the process of decentralisation by devolution in Tanzania. Research for this chapter was based on an analysis of three main types of data. The first data was obtained from the paper on ‘Decentralisation by Devolution in Tanzania’ submitted by the Tanzanian Prime Minister’s Office–Regional Administration and Local Government (PMO–RALG) to the Commonwealth Secretariat for validation. The second was a two-week rapid field survey that was conducted in Tanzania in October 2009 where semi-structured interviews were used to obtain information from key respondents, including senior government officials in key sector ministries, central and local government politicians, and representatives of international development partners. During the field survey, officials of PMO–RALG and the President’s Office–Public Service Management section (POPSM) provided local support. Third, in April 2010, the draft report was reviewed at a stakeholder workshop in Gaborone, Botswana at which government officials were present.

  • Cross-Cutting Issues, Challenges, Good Practices and Possible Intervention Opportunities

    The objective of this final chapter is to summarise the main findings from this research and highlight the most important lessons in the analysis of decentralisation policy in these five countries. We start with a presentation of the profile of the five countries. We then proceed to analyse the current decentralisation policies and practices in terms of performance, policy and institutional choices, and finally highlight the lessons and challenges and identify possible good practice and intervention points by national governments and other interested stakeholders.

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