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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1993

Charles Collins and Andrew Green

Decentralization is an important element in the policy formulationand implementation of Primary Health Care (PHC) in developing countries.While this may well be the case…

Abstract

Decentralization is an important element in the policy formulation and implementation of Primary Health Care (PHC) in developing countries. While this may well be the case, certain forms of “decentralization” policies can have negative implications for the development of PHC. It can be associated with a reduced role of the public sector, weaken the central Ministry of Health, be instrumental in producing inequity and facilitate political domination. It is necessary to examine decentralization with a view to securing its effective formulation and implementation. A set of ten questions and related issues is set out to facilitate this examination.

Details

Journal of Management in Medicine, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-9235

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Book part
Publication date: 12 March 2012

D. Brent Edwards

This chapter takes as its focus a series of issues related to participation and the World Bank. First, it traces from 1980 to the present the trajectory within the Bank of…

Abstract

This chapter takes as its focus a series of issues related to participation and the World Bank. First, it traces from 1980 to the present the trajectory within the Bank of thinking related to participation in development generally. Second, it unpacks the framework within which that thinking has been crystallized – namely, the Framework for Service Provision (FSP) delineated in the 2004 World Development Report, Making Services Work for Poor People. Third, it shows how the work done by the Bank in the education sector has both paralleled and furthered the concepts embedded in the FSP. Focusing on the education sector is essential because it is the sector in which the Bank has perhaps been most active in theorizing and most successful in implementing its conception of participation. As the chapter shows, a particular approach to decentralization is central to the way the Bank advances that conception of participation and to the way that it supports the realization of participation in practice, both generally and with regard to education governance. Lastly, the chapter reviews and discusses the results of Bank-supported education decentralization projects in light of the theory elaborated to promote them.

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Education Strategy in the Developing World: Revising the World Bank's Education Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-277-7

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Book part
Publication date: 11 August 2017

Mihaela Onofrei and Florin Oprea

In the spirit of ‘Europe of the Regions’, local authorities are responsible for responding to the main interests, needs and preferences of the country’s citizens. Regional…

Abstract

In the spirit of ‘Europe of the Regions’, local authorities are responsible for responding to the main interests, needs and preferences of the country’s citizens. Regional and local administrative authorities provide citizens with the necessary public goods, which reflect the trend towards ‘glocalisation’ in public administration at the European level, more significantly in the states in which the political system recently became democratic. With this background, the effectiveness of local self-government depends not only on local authorities’ decision-making freedom but also on (financial) support for it through decentralisation, and the member states of the European Union (EU) employ different strategies to achieve the same goal, with varying degrees of success. Within this context, our chapter offers a comparative analysis of the administrative, financial and local self-government decentralisation in member states, which include the southern and eastern regions on the outer edges of the EU. The general goal of our study is to identify the main trends in the present administrations and their challenges, as well as best practices that can offer lessons to other member states which are reforming their administration through decentralisation. In addition to the identified challenges, solutions and best practices, our study reveals a tendency towards consolidation at the level of regional government not only in the terms of legal responsibility but also of administrative budgets, thus generating an assumption of improvement in the general quality of governance in the member states.

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Core-Periphery Patterns Across the European Union
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-495-8

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Book part
Publication date: 4 October 2018

Antonio Davila, Mahendra Gupta and Richard J. Palmer

Internal control mechanisms are fundamental to organizational governance; particularly, to the agency relationship associated with decentralization of decision rights…

Abstract

Internal control mechanisms are fundamental to organizational governance; particularly, to the agency relationship associated with decentralization of decision rights. Management accounting and organizational literatures provide conflicting predictions on the association between decentralization and internal controls, with some research arguing that internal controls be tightened to mitigate the risks associated with greater decentralization of decision rights while other work avers that tighter internal controls defeat the purposes of decentralization. In this chapter, we argue that managers choose these two organizational design variables jointly. Capitalizing on a unique database of control practices in the purchasing and payment process within the procurement function, this chapter examines the relationship between control tightness – a critical characteristic of internal controls – and decentralization. Using a simultaneous equation model, the study finds that decentralization and internal control design are endogenously determined. Tight control is negatively associated with the level of decentralization, while decentralization has a positive effect on the tightness of control. These results reconcile the apparently contradictory results relating these two variables. The chapter also finds that decentralization and tight control mechanisms operate both independently and synergistically to improve performance.

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Performance Measurement and Management Control: The Relevance of Performance Measurement and Management Control Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-469-5

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Jun Sun, Cynthia Changxin Wang, Zhiling Yang, Tianshu Yu, Jintao Li and Xiaoqian Xiong

Modern construction projects are increasingly complex and rely heavily on multi-discipline collaboration, and this leads to a more and more decentralized project-based…

Abstract

Purpose

Modern construction projects are increasingly complex and rely heavily on multi-discipline collaboration, and this leads to a more and more decentralized project-based structure widely adopted in the construction industry. While job satisfaction (JS) and job performance (JP) have been heavily studied previously, few considered the impact of organizational structure and none investigated the relationship between the organizational decentralization degree with JS and JP. This research aims to fill this research gap and investigate the impacts of organizational decentralization degree on JS and JP and facilitate a better project management practice for large-scale construction projects.

Design/methodology/approach

This research firstly establishes four hypotheses based on the literature review on general project-based organizations, then the hypotheses are tested by a survey covering 25 large complex construction projects in China. A hierarchical linear model analysis was carried out to analyze the survey data and to study the relationships between organizational decentralization degree, job satisfaction and job performance.

Findings

Analysis results show that projects' employees' JS and JP are positively correlated with the construction project organizations' decentralization degree, respectively. The decentralization degree has a higher impact on JS than on JP. Employees' JP is positively correlated with their JS, and a higher decentralization degree leads to a more significant positive impact that JS puts on JP.

Originality/value

The findings are new evidence of how construction organization structure and its decentralization degree can affect project employees' JS and JP. This research provides valuable guidance for the industry's management practice and is particularly important for large, complex and highly decentralized construction projects.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Book part
Publication date: 30 December 2011

Tingting Qi

This chapter integrates current Chinese education reform into the unique socioeconomic context of China in a transitional time and explores the complexity of education…

Abstract

This chapter integrates current Chinese education reform into the unique socioeconomic context of China in a transitional time and explores the complexity of education decentralization in China through an in-depth analysis on changes in education finance, administration, and curriculum development. Mark Hanson's theory of education decentralization is cited to build a conceptual framework for examining education decentralization in China. Previous studies, government documents, laws, and regulations related to the current wave of Chinese education reform are reviewed to capture a true picture of education decentralization in China. In investigating the background, actual actions, and motive of the current Chinese education reform, the chapter demonstrates that the on-going Chinese education reform is moving toward a centralized decentralization. Linking education with the unified national goal of economic modernization, the paradoxical mixture of centralization and decentralization is a strategic means to avoid loss of centralized control. Literature on decentralization reform in Chinese education primarily concentrates on changed Chinese education policies in the reform. This chapter places the focus on the contextual factors that shape the decentralization trend in current reform.

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The Impact and Transformation of Education Policy in China
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-186-2

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Book part
Publication date: 13 December 2010

Monica E. Mincu and Irina Horga

This chapter focuses on meanings of decentralization in the context of post-socialist reforms in Romania. The main purpose is to examine the circulation of decentralization

Abstract

This chapter focuses on meanings of decentralization in the context of post-socialist reforms in Romania. The main purpose is to examine the circulation of decentralization reform in what is generally considered to be a highly centralized country. Drawing on policy analysis and in-depth interviews and focus groups with teachers and school administrators, the findings reveal contrasting perspectives and hybridized ideas about the meanings of decentralization reforms in Romania. These reforms should be seen in the context of larger trends toward marketization (McGinn & Welsh, 1999). With the emergence of discourses on modernization and a “return to Europe,” Romanian political culture has offered a complementary, legitimizing base to the decentralizing reform of administration and education. In line with the recent history of these reforms, most interview participants view 1998 as the peak of real “institutional autonomy,” followed by a decline or even a slow recentralization in subsequent years. They also refer to “self-assigned” or “reclaimed” autonomy, which every teacher can adopt “in their own class, once the doors are closed.” Significantly, most agree that the latter type is essentially the same as in the communist period, prior to the 1989 political changes. We will thus investigate the contrasting perspectives expressed by scholars, teachers, and in policy documents, as well as the hybridized ideas which together result in various visions of reform. The analysis of post-socialist changes, both as real and imagined processes, leads us to conclude that the Romanian education transition should be seen as a complex process which has followed unanticipated trajectories and has led to multiple destinations (Silova, 2009).

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Post-Socialism is not Dead: (Re)Reading the Global in Comparative Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-418-5

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Book part
Publication date: 12 July 2005

Jordan Naidoo

Over the past decade most central governments across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have begun to decentralize some fiscal, political, and administrative responsibilities to…

Abstract

Over the past decade most central governments across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have begun to decentralize some fiscal, political, and administrative responsibilities to lower-levels of government, local institutions, and the private sector in pursuit of greater accountability and more efficient service delivery, often in an attempt to solve broader political, social, or economic problems (SARA, 1997). Education, in particular, has been fertile ground for such decentralization efforts. From Ethiopia to South Africa, SSA countries have engaged in some form of education decentralization, though the pace has been quite uneven. Ethiopia, Uganda, Senegal, and South Africa, for example, are proceeding fast, while Ghana, Mali, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe are under way more slowly. Guinea, Niger, Zambia, and Nigeria are at the other end of the continuum. Decentralization of social services, including education appears to be embedded in the political changes occurring in the region. In almost all SSA countries the introduction of decentralized systems are accompanied by popular elections for local councils as part of the general trend of the introduction of or return to democratization.

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Global Trends in Educational Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-175-0

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Book part
Publication date: 22 December 2006

Diana Conyers

During the last decade, there has been a growing interest in decentralization among the governments of a number of Third World countries, especially, but not only, in…

Abstract

During the last decade, there has been a growing interest in decentralization among the governments of a number of Third World countries, especially, but not only, in Africa. Countries that have introduced significant organizational reforms described as, or having elements of, ‘decentralization’ – or are in the process of doing so – include Tanzania, Zambia, the Sudan, Nigeria and Ghana in Africa (Adamolckun & Rowlands, 1979; Conyers, 1981a; Mawhood & Davcy, 1980; Rondinelli, 1981; Tordoff, 1980), Sri Lanka (Craig, 1981) and a number of countries in the South Pacific, including Papua New Guinea (Conyers, 1981a, 1981b; Ghai, 1981; Tordoff, 1981). Several other countries in Africa and Asia are attempting to achieve some degree of decentralization within the existing organizational structure. In Latin America, government structures have generally remained more centralized and there appears to be little prospect of any major change in the near future; nevertheless, calls for decentralization recur periodically and there have been a few attempts, albeit generally of limited duration and success, to introduce some measure of decentralization (Graham, 1980).

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Comparative Public Administration
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-453-9

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Book part
Publication date: 29 January 2021

Simon Toubeau

How are we to make sense of the attitudes of Social Democratic parties towards decentralisation? What do they think about what is a legitimate territorial allocation of…

Abstract

How are we to make sense of the attitudes of Social Democratic parties towards decentralisation? What do they think about what is a legitimate territorial allocation of power? What factors shapes this view? And what makes Social Democratic parties change their minds? This article addresses these questions by way of competing ideological traditions, the external strategic incentives and internal constraints. Empirically, the article presents a comparative case-study analysis of Social Democratic parties in four countries (Belgium, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom). On the basis of this analysis, I argue that the positioning of Social Democratic parties on decentralisation is influenced by strategic incentives created by the structure of political competition, whereas the policy shifts are more often produced by factors that are internal to the party. A decentralist policy shift is always associated with the capacity of regionalist parties to set the agenda by exerting pressures on Social Democratic parties. In addition, Social Democratic parties tend to shift their policy while in opposition to distinguish themselves from their centralist mainstream rival in government. The dominant mechanism found across four countries was one in which regional branches persuade the central party leadership to adopt a pro-decentralist position. This chapter illustrates how Social Democratic parties have an instinct for ‘adaptation and control’ in the face of social-structural changes, and it demonstrates that the prevalence of different ideological traditions will vary according to external strategic incentives and, crucially, by the party's internal ability to follow those incentives.

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