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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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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2020

Siying Yang, Zheng Li and Jian Li

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether fiscal decentralization has impacts on city innovation level and to examine the moderating effects of the preference for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether fiscal decentralization has impacts on city innovation level and to examine the moderating effects of the preference for government innovation in China.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a panel data of China’s 278 cities from 2003 to 2016, the authors first use fixed-effect model and quantile regression to analyze the impact of fiscal decentralization on city innovation level and the variations of impacts conditional on different innovation levels, followed by a mediating effect model to test the moderating effects of the preference for government innovation and its temporal and spatial heterogeneity.

Findings

The paper finds that fiscal decentralization significantly inhibited city innovation, and with the improvement of city innovation level, the inhibition demonstrated characteristics of “V” type variation. When the degree of fiscal decentralization is between 0.377 and 0.600, the inhibition of fiscal decentralization on city innovation level is the weakest. We further show that fiscal decentralization also inhibits the government's preference for innovation, reduces the proportion of fiscal expenditure on innovation and has a negative impact on city innovation. In addition, the influence of fiscal decentralization on city innovation present clear heterogeneity in space and in time. On one hand, the inhibition of fiscal decentralization on city innovation level in eastern China is significantly weaker than that in central and Western China; on the other hand, after the implementation of China’s innovation-driven development strategy in 2013, the negative impact of fiscal decentralization on city innovation disappeared.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings have certain policy implications. That is, in the process of decentralization reform, on the one hand, the central government should strengthen the supervision over the fiscal expenditure of local governments and ensure that the central government can play a leading role in the local development strategy, on the other hand, the central government should guard against the distortion of fiscal decentralization on local governments' fiscal expenditure behavior. In addition, the central government should also focus on the heterogeneity of the impacts of fiscal decentralization on cities under different strategic backgrounds and different levels of innovation.

Originality/value

This paper extends prior research by bringing the decentralization system reform into the study of city innovation system and analyzing its mechanism and its temporal and spatial heterogeneity.

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2007

Md. Awal Hossain Mollah

Administrative Decentralization seeks to redistribute authority, responsibility and financial resources for providing public services among different levels of government

Abstract

Administrative Decentralization seeks to redistribute authority, responsibility and financial resources for providing public services among different levels of government. Administrative Decentralization is the transfer of responsibility for the planning, financing and managing of certain public functions from the central government and its agencies to field units of government agencies. This paper will search for a common theoretical framework of decentralization, then analyzes and assesses the initiatives for decentralization of administration that have been constructed after the emergence of Bangladesh. The major issues and problems of implementation of the decentralization policies in Bangladesh are also discussed suggesting policy measures. This paper is analytical in nature.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Elona Guga

An attempt will be made to shed light on the course and pattern of the decentralization process by analyzing the historical development of local government and the…

Abstract

Purpose

An attempt will be made to shed light on the course and pattern of the decentralization process by analyzing the historical development of local government and the territorial-administrative reform of 2015-2020 in Albania and the factors that have been shaping it. The scope is to understand the impact of the reform elements on the subnational governments and in general their overall impact on the government. The purpose of this paper is to fill the gap in the existing literature for Albania and at offering some insights on the administrative-territorial reform. Furthermore, it will contribute to the current debate on fiscal decentralization in South Eastern European (SEE) countries and the public management model implemented after the last reforms.

Design/methodology/approach

The first section analyzes the historical development of local government reforms from the 1990s to today and will help to identify if there is instrumentalism advocacy. The second section explains the determinants of the local government’s fiscal autonomy in Albania of the period from 2003 to 2016. Three indicators are used as proxies for fiscal decentralization: the proportion of subnational expenditure over national expenditure, of total subnational revenues over total revenues of central government and the indicator of own subnational revenues over total revenues of the central government. The data from the budget and the revised budgets are then compared.

Findings

Despite Albania’s commitment to decentralize its government functions, there is still work to do. The territorial and administrative reform has not generated the expected results. Almost 90 percent of the revenues still come from the central government’s unconditional transfers. Therefore, the Albanian Government should build capacities and skills, and train the employees of each level of government that currently benefit from international assistance.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis represents a single case study on the territorial-administrative reform in Albania. Its implementation started in 2015 and it is probably too early to discuss outcomes. However, it might be useful to analyze the first results after a two-and-a-half-year period of implementation of reforms. Despite contributing to the existing gap in the literature, additional research will be necessary to better understand the decentralization process not only in Albania, but in all SEE countries.

Practical implications

It is necessary to first understand the lack of initial output, as well as the various challenges faced, in order to take the corrective measures on time.

Originality/value

This paper discusses in detail the reform adopted and the progress made by the Albanian local government units. The reform attempts to develop better relationships between the central and local governments and hence improve their service delivery, transparency and accountability. This paper is the first one that is attempting to analyze the initial output of the territorial-administrative reform of 2015-2020.

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International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2018

Xuan Jiang and Sun-hee Choi

The rise of cultural governance has made cultural democracy important in East Asia. South Korea and China have chosen to develop cultural democracy by means of developing…

Abstract

Purpose

The rise of cultural governance has made cultural democracy important in East Asia. South Korea and China have chosen to develop cultural democracy by means of developing community-based cultural houses. Cultural houses in Korea were first managed from the center but have now been decentralized, and those in China have been developed based on local financing and administration. Since central-local intergovernmental relations, as they relate to public culture, have gone untouched in East Asia, the purpose of this paper is to study how central-local intergovernmental relations have impacted the development of cultural democracy in this area, in order to better understand how public culture should be developed.

Design/methodology/approach

A comparative study of the cases of South Korea and China has been used. The materials and information collected for the study were gathered by a review and an analysis of extant literature, policy documents, data and other materials from the relevant departments of both countries. It was also based on semi-structured interviews conducted with the national cultural departments, regulatory institutions, and with officials and scholars.

Findings

This study shows that central-local intergovernmental relations can have an impact on the management of community-based cultural houses and the effectiveness of cultural democracy’s development. Only complete decentralization that directly invites democratization will provide positive local conditions for cultural democracy’s growth. In short, meaningful governmental responses to local demands and a strong civil society are critical for the advancement of cultural democracy.

Practical implications

This study seeks to provide insights into the relationship between central-local intergovernmental relations and cultural democracy. At the micro project level, cultural project management should be improved; at the medium local level, the public must be made part of any decentralization effort; and at the macro national level, the multiple impacts caused by decentralization need to be considered.

Originality/value

This study is unique in terms of both its research questions and its research area. Central-local intergovernmental relations, as they relate to public culture, have gone comparatively untouched, especially in the context of East Asia. It is in this context that studying how central-local intergovernmental relations impact the development of cultural democracy is worthwhile, in order to better understand how public culture has developed and will be developed in future. A comparative study of the cases of South Korea and China has been used to discover the impacts of different dimensions of central-local decentralization on cultural development.

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Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2009

Yossef Ben‐Meir

The suggested utility of decentralized development in Iraq and the Palestinian occupied territories is meant to provide policymakers new alternatives to managing and…

Abstract

Purpose

The suggested utility of decentralized development in Iraq and the Palestinian occupied territories is meant to provide policymakers new alternatives to managing and resolving these conflicts. This paper aims to address this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The overall paradigm of decentralization is presented and how participatory development relates within it is described. As the conditions in Iraq and Palestine are then discussed, cited qualities and results of decentralized participatory development are shown to directly address the fundamental issues that perpetuate these conflicts.

Findings

The paper finds that decentralization to local communities of development planning and management reinforces national sovereignty when national governments actively support its implementation. The productive partnerships among government, civil organizations and private groups that can result from decentralization – both vertically and horizontally along administrative tiers – strengthen both local community and national autonomy.

Practical implications

The decentralization strategy presented – participatory development – has been shown in cases around the world to also generate vital economic, social, and environmental benefits in a more expeditious and at a lower cost than typical development assistance programs. These outcomes, among others, are what is needed to help resolve conflicts in Iraq and between the Israelis and Palestinians – conflicts rooted in matters of sovereignty, development and reconciliation. In Iraq, decentralization of development will give the national government legitimacy, the Iraqis ownership of their own reconstruction, and the opportunity to incorporate reconciliation as part of the process. In the Palestinian occupied territories, decentralized development will bring immediate relief and build socio‐economic self‐reliance in a way that restructures their economy to be less dependent on Israel and help reduce tensions and violence.

Originality/value

There are important theoretical and applied values of this analysis. By explaining how different ideological perspectives (socialism, neo‐liberalism, alternative development and others) relate to the various organizational arrangements of decentralization, a detailed description of the decentralization paradigm is provided. Then by presenting participatory development as a strategy of decentralization and showing how it can be implemented in Iraq and Palestine, it is shown to be a practical tool with outcomes that correspond fittingly to the fundamental requirements for resolving these destabilizing conflicts. The analysis contributes to both the theoretical and applied knowledge of decentralization.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 29 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2000

Gerasimos A. Gianakis and XiaoHu Wang

Recent public sector management reform efforts have focused on the decentralization of managerial discretion and the empowerment of operational managers. To what extent…

Abstract

Recent public sector management reform efforts have focused on the decentralization of managerial discretion and the empowerment of operational managers. To what extent have purchasing functions been decentralized in municipal governments in the wake of these efforts? What are the organizational factors associated with the decentralization of purchasing? On the basis of a national survey of municipal governments in the United States, this research finds that decentralization of the responsibility for purchasing has been limited. The decentralization that has occurred is associated with decentralization of budgeting and personnel systems, an organization=s analytical capacity to employ administrative and analytical tools, and an organization=s commitment to and support of enhanced performance and accountability.

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Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2019

Laura Maran, Warwick Funnell and Monia Castellini

The purpose of this paper is to understand the enduring, fundamental contributions of accounting practices in the pursuit of decentralization by governments, with an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the enduring, fundamental contributions of accounting practices in the pursuit of decentralization by governments, with an examination of Peter Leopold’s reform of the municipalities in the late eighteenth century in Italy.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive textual analysis of the very comprehensive collection of primary sources of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany during the de’ Medici and Hapsburg-Lorraine’s rule identified the reasons for Peter Leopold’s decision to decentralize his government’s authority and responsibilities. A systemic comparison of the 1765–1766 and 1775–1776 financial reports of the Municipality of Castrocaro and Terra del Sole disclosed the importance of the micro-practices of accounting and reporting for the reform.

Findings

In the context of the eighteenth century enlightenment, Peter Leopold legitimized his reform by the introduction of a modern style of government based on the rationalization of the municipal administrative system and decentralization of central authority and responsibility. The reform was made feasible by the substitution of a birth right principle with an economic discourse which linked tax payments to property ownership. This had the unintended consequence of increased taxes, higher municipal expenditures and possible inequalities between municipalities.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of the study are dependent on the resources which have survived and are now preserved in the official archives of Galeata and Florence. This work contributes to the extant literature on administrative reforms in a crucial period for the redefinition of sovereignty by the ruling classes, with the rise of the modern State. It extends historical understanding of the public sector with a focus on local government in the eighteenth century in a non-Anglo-Saxon context.

Practical implications

The examination of the reform of Peter Leopold contributes to an enhanced understanding of present-day decentralization by governments in the context of the new public management (NPM). It provides to NPM advocates a broader temporal and contextual understanding of the impact of current decentralization reforms.

Originality/value

Few accounting studies have considered the micro-aspects of decentralization reforms at the municipal level and tried to identify their impact on the wealth of the population. Moreover, Peter Leopold’s reform is considered one of the most innovative and enlightened of the eighteenth century, while the remainder of Europe was still overwhelmingly committed to the centralization of administrative apparatuses. Finally, this study relates to the multi-disciplinary debate about the recognition, qualification and accountization of the impact of decentralization of responsibility for the delivery of government services.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1998

E. Mark Hanson

Educational decentralization is a popular reform theme of governments around the world, but with motives, strategies and outcomes as different as the countries themselves…

Abstract

Educational decentralization is a popular reform theme of governments around the world, but with motives, strategies and outcomes as different as the countries themselves. For researchers and policy makers alike, there is a growing need to synthesize the positive and negative aspects of these national strategies and experiences. The objective of this paper is to identify and explain the key issues and forces that play major roles in shaping organization and management strategies of educational decentralization. Examples from five Hispanic nations that have initiated decentralization reforms will be utilized to illustrate the major points: Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Nicaragua and Spain. The paper is organized around a series of questions that tap core decentralization issues, such as national and regional goals, planning, political stress, resource distribution, infrastructure development, and job stability. The paper concludes with a conceptual model of the decentralization process and a series of “lessons learned” from the five nations.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Carlos Ornelas

In May of 1992 the Mexican federal government transferred to the 31 states responsibility over basic and teacher education. This decentralization strategy was at the core…

Abstract

In May of 1992 the Mexican federal government transferred to the 31 states responsibility over basic and teacher education. This decentralization strategy was at the core of an overall educational reform that began in late 1980s. The central government had strong motives to decentralize the educational institution because the highly centralized system was notoriously rigid, inefficient, conflict laden, unresponsive to the needs of local schools, unable to improve the quality of education, and frequently dominated by the National Teachers’ Union. The decentralization reform generated important institutional change in the states, some power shifts, and planted the seeds of a new organizational model for school management.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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