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Achieving accountability through decentralization : lessons for integrated river basin management

Author: Jyothsna Mody; World Bank. Agriculture and Rural Development Department.
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : World Bank, Agriculture and Rural Development Dept., 2004.
Series: Policy research working papers, 3346.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : International government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
While decentralization holds out the promise of increased flexibility and efficiency, the preconditions for realizing it are daunting. To draw lessons for productive decentralization in integrated river basin management, this paper surveys the decentralization experience in education, health care, roads, irrigation, and public infrastructure services. Case studies reveal that the prime focus in the design of a  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Mody, Jyothsna.
Achieving accountability through decentralization.
Washington, D.C. : World Bank, Agriculture and Rural Development Dept., 2004
(OCoLC)56418640
Material Type: Document, Government publication, International government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Jyothsna Mody; World Bank. Agriculture and Rural Development Department.
OCLC Number: 646988511
Reproduction Notes: Electronic reproduction. [S.l.] : HathiTrust Digital Library, 2010. MiAaHDL
Description: 1 online resource (66 pages).
Details: Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.
Series Title: Policy research working papers, 3346.
Responsibility: Jyothsna Mody.

Abstract:

While decentralization holds out the promise of increased flexibility and efficiency, the preconditions for realizing it are daunting. To draw lessons for productive decentralization in integrated river basin management, this paper surveys the decentralization experience in education, health care, roads, irrigation, and public infrastructure services. Case studies reveal that the prime focus in the design of a decentralized structure must be accountability, based on principles of subsidiarity, transparency, and allocation of property rights. While some debates are sector-specific, others, such as the need for political and financial accountability, the related data requirements, educating stakeholders and potential beneficiaries of the new system, and ensuring effective participation are true of decentralization wherever it is to unfold. In turn, initial conditions and the adaptation of political leadership to suit the historical context determine the success of decentralization. Four issues demand high priority in integrated river basin management. These are (1) overcoming financial inadequacy at the local level; (2) commitment to upgrading skills, particularly management skills, while also ensuring that the expertise accumulated in central bureaucracies is not dissipated; (3) assuring pre-reform beneficiaries that their rights would be protected; and (4) sustaining a long-term commitment to an inevitably slow and drawn out decentralization process. The main conclusions of the literature survey caution those who believe that decentralization is, in itself, a solution to problems of inefficiency and inequity in developing countries. Tradeoffs and tensions need to be reconciled (such as economies of scale versus local monitoring and integrated management or interregional equity versus local control). This paper--a product of the Agriculture and Rural Development Department--is the result of the research project "Integrated River Basin Management and the Principle of Managing Water Resources at the Lowest Appropriate Level: When and Why Does It (Not) Work?" funded by the Bank's Research Support Budget and the Rural Development Department.

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