Site Index
Main Page
Contributor: Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC)
Contact: Pradeep Itty

Decentralization - Why and How?

by Walter Kalin

The problem of centralized systems is not only the geographical distance and the resulting lack of knowledge about local circumstances, but also the psychological distance of government officials from citizens. Thus, quite often, the central government takes measures that ignore local community needs and, therefore, lack credibility. Important arguments in favor of decentralizing government are that it: creates an efficient and reliable administration, intensifies and improves local development, better ensures the rights of the local population to have a voice in government, and better protects minorities. To accomplish this local governments need to have a certain security in their existence, sufficient resources, and autonomy. Their actions must be credible and transparent, and they must cultivate fair relationships with higher authorities.

Decentralization - Why and How? (pdf format*)

(*This document was created in Adobe Acrobat. If you do not have the proper viewer, you can download a free Acrobat Reader from the Adobe site.)