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

Making decentralisation work: A handbook for policy-makers

This chapter is the “handbook” component of this report. This chapter presents ten guidelines on selected key issues of decentralisation to aid the policy-makers to implement decentralisation reforms, as decentralisation outcomes depend very much on the way the process is designed and implemented. Each subsection follows the same structure: in the beginning, the issue in question is described and the key international trends and the rationale of the theme are discussed. The sections then present examples of good practices and pitfalls to avoid. The examples presented cover both unitary and federal countries. Finally, the key recommendations for policymakers are presented. A checklist to help identify the main aspects of the issue linked to the guideline in question is also provided in the end of every section.

English Also available in: French

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