Making Decentralisation Work in Chile

Towards Stronger Municipalities

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This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the challenges confronting Chile’s centralised growth model and recommendations towards developing a more integrated territorial approach, capable of mobilising regional productivity catch-up potential in order to strengthen the role of regions and municipalities.

The Chilean government has launched an ambitious decentralisation agenda, aimed at empowering municipalities by providing them with the legitimacy, financial resources, human capacities and tools required to improve their autonomy and performance. This study seeks to assist the government by covering several dimensions, looking at municipal responsibilities, fiscal and human resources, equalisation mechanisms, local public service performance,  citizen participation, and co-ordination mechanisms across levels of government.


Strengthening strategic co-ordination within and across levels of government

This last chapter deals with the need to strengthen strategic co-ordination and co-operation among and across levels of government. Co-ordination and co-operation are all the more necessary due to the decentralisation process which will profoundly transform the Chilean multi-level governance framework. It is, therefore, essential to ensure that: 1) reforms at the central, regional and municipal levels are well co-ordinated; 2) the governance framework is well-balanced and coherent; and 3) the role of municipalities is adequately acknowledged. This chapter focuses on the need to build a coherent multi-level institutional framework which implies managing institutional fragmentation at both national and subnational levels, as well as reinforcing regions for more efficient and stronger municipalities. It also looks at instruments that could be able to strengthen multi-level co-ordination and dialogue, as well as those that could better support horizontal co-operation between municipalities, including municipal associations and better metropolitan governance.


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