By Yongmei Zhou
The query of even if political, economic and administrative decentralization improves govt 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 booklet additionally makes a helpful contribution to the controversy on even if decentralization is a practicable process state-building method for post-conflict nations. a suite of 8 papers written by means of 9 authors, the booklet first records a fancy decentralization method 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 sure tasks for basic providers and native funding and a few monetary assets to the hot councils, and invested seriously in construction the executive infrastructure and means of the neighborhood councils. Measured by way of the finances figures, the measure of energy that has been transferred to neighborhood councils appears to be like particularly small. besides the fact that, from neighborhood councils having no autonomy to having autonomy over 6 percentage of presidency basic spending is an important qualitative swap of the intergovernmental courting. because the authors documented, the development was once not easy fought. in comparison to such a lot different SSA nations that experience launched into decentralization, Sierra Leone s development in development neighborhood govt potential and restructuring the economic method is enviable. The authors finish that better safety and public companies are attainable in a decentralizing nation yet Sierra Leone s growth wouldn't have been attainable with out major attempt at monetary decentralization and in depth funding in neighborhood executive capability development. the main serious aspect for this promising yet fragile reform method is the dynamic management crew answerable for selling the recent institutional framework and their power attempt to accomplish fast development within the neighborhood govt procedure and public companies.
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Extra info for Decentralization, Democracy and Development: Recent Experience from Sierra Leone (World Bank Country Study)
Given the multiplicity of laws that have been inventoried as conflicting, parallel, or inconsistent with LGA 2004, the Decentralization Secretariat has identified and World Bank Country Study 7 analyzed most of these laws. A prioritization scheme has been adopted. The guiding principle is to identify “priority” laws (laws that pose the biggest obstacles to effective devolution, and invariably service delivery, of health and education) as critical social services and human development sectors. These are very vital sectors that necessitated a demand for devolution and frontline service delivery in Sierra Leone.
Untied grants (LGDG) also gave LCs the freedom to undertake initiatives in response to constituent needs. Central government commitment to the decentralization agenda can be gauged by the adequacy and predictability of ministries, departments, and agencies’ (MDAs) fiscal transfers to local councils. Sierra Leone’s experience demonstrates the importance of sequencing interventions to generate early results and to continuously expand constituency for reform. The initial decentralization process in Sierra Leone was energized by the Rapid Results Approach.
With these identified weaknesses, the document never went full cycle (going through the processes) of government approval and at best could be described as “working draft” policy document. Statutory Instrument and Timetable for Decentralization The 2004 LGA was drafted to serve as comprehensive legislation that would encapsulate the major thematic focus of a well-functioning local government and decentralization program. It focused on the political, administrative, functional, and fiscal components of decentralization.