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By Yongmei Zhou

The query of even if political, monetary and administrative decentralization improves executive effectiveness is hotly debated between researchers and policymakers. There are theoretical arguments either for and opposed to decentralization, yet empirical paintings is scarce. Decentralization, Democracy and improvement: fresh adventure from Sierra Leone is a contribution to this literature. The publication additionally makes a worthwhile contribution to the controversy on even if decentralization is a achievable technique state-building approach for post-conflict nations. a set of 8 papers written by way of 9 authors, the ebook first records a posh decentralization strategy in Sierra Leone from 2003-07. in this interval, the govt of Sierra Leone (GoSL) re-established elected district and concrete councils around the kingdom, transferred definite tasks for fundamental companies and native funding and a few monetary assets to the hot councils, and invested seriously in development the executive infrastructure and skill of the neighborhood councils. Measured by means of the funds figures, the measure of strength that has been transferred to neighborhood councils looks particularly small. although, from neighborhood councils having no autonomy to having autonomy over 6 percentage of presidency fundamental spending is an important qualitative swap of the intergovernmental courting. because the authors documented, the growth was once challenging fought. in comparison to so much different SSA nations that experience launched into decentralization, Sierra Leone s growth in development neighborhood govt ability and restructuring the economic procedure is enviable. The authors finish that superior safety and public companies are attainable in a decentralizing kingdom yet Sierra Leone s growth shouldn't have been attainable with no major attempt at financial decentralization and in depth funding in neighborhood govt capability construction. the main severe aspect for this promising yet fragile reform technique is the dynamic management staff in control of selling the hot institutional framework and their continual attempt to accomplish speedy development within the neighborhood executive process and public prone.

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Additional resources for Decentralization, Democracy and Development: Recent Experience from Sierra Leone (World Bank Country Study)

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In 2005 an initial target of Le 2,000 per capita for each council was set to be achieved incrementally over the transition. 1 Through the Institutional Reform and Capacity Building Project (IRCBP), central government is funding the establishment of a property cadastre and business licenses database. Initially, this will be done for selected urban councils. In addition, a proposal has been developed to request funding from potential donors so that this important aspect of the fiscal decentralization can be undertaken in all local government areas.

A key hypothesis about the merits of decentralization is that it brings government closer to people and make it easier for people to express demand for public services and hold government accountable. To examine the empirical validity of this hypothesis in a young democracy such as Sierra Leone, in which a majority of the rural population is poor and illiterate, Zhou and Zhang analyzed the national household surveys conducted by IRCBP in 2005 and 2007 and reported the findings in Chapter 6. Zhou and Zhang find that election of the local councils in 2004 has brought government closer to people, especially to some of the communities who are cut off from transport, telecommunication, market, or contact with the state.

These included energy, infrastructure, education, and community development. The Sierra Leone-World Bank Country Assessment Strategy (CAS) was developed jointly by the World Bank, civil society, GoSL, and other non-state actors. They identified critical areas of underdevelopment that may require substantial donor inflows (technical, financial, and supervisory) as support to the government and people of Sierra Leone. At the time it considered its intervention, the World Bank weighed various options to make an informed judgment as well as to justify why the anticipated volume of investment should be deployed in Sierra Leone.

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