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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.

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Methodology of the Regional Authority Index

The Regional Authority Index (RAI) evaluates individual levels of government (or individual regions in asymmetric arrangements) on an annual basis across ten dimensions of regional authority. A mix of primary sources (constitutions, legislation, statutes), secondary literature and consultation of country experts are employed to achieve reliable and valid estimates. The coding scheme and the method have proven successful – and withstood the test of academic scrutiny – for estimates of regional authority in 81 democracies for 1950-2010 (Hooghe et al., 2016[1]; Hooghe, Marks and Schakel, 2008[2]; 2010[3]). The same methodology is applied to the update from 2010 to 2016.

English

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