Making Decentralisation Work

A Handbook for Policy-Makers

image of Making Decentralisation Work

This report offers a comprehensive overview of decentralisation policies and reforms in OECD countries and beyond. Sometimes called a “silent” or “quiet” revolution, decentralisation is among the most important reforms of the past 50 years. The report argues that decentralisation outcomes – in terms of democracy, efficiency, accountability, regional and local development – depend greatly on the way it is designed and implemented. Making the most of decentralisation systems is particularly crucial in the context of a “geography of discontent” and growing divides between places that feel left behind by globalisation and technological change and those that may benefit from the opportunities offered by megatrends. The report identifies 10 guidelines for making decentralisation work and allowing it to be conducive to regional development. Beyond the guidelines, the report proposes concrete tools for policy-makers, including detailed sets of recommendations, checklists, pitfalls to avoid and examples of good practices, both in unitary and federal countries.

English Also available in: French


Decentralisation: Its benefits and challenges

Decentralisation is often subject to heated debate. The proponents of decentralisation tend to emphasize the pros and the critics often highlight the cons. Fortunately, after several decades of practical policy implementation, a considerable amount of information has accumulated on the effects of decentralisation. This chapter discusses the benefits and challenges of decentralisation using the best available information on research results and practical policies pursued in various OECD countries. After brief introduction, the chapter begins by describing the benefits and opportunities and then continues to examine the risks and challenges of decentralisation. Both sides of decentralisation are discussed from economic, administrative and political aspects. In the end of the chapter, a conclusion and a short summary table of the main effects are presented.

English Also available in: French

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