Decentralisation and capacity-building : paradigm shifts in local self-governance

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • SDG 6
  • SDG 1
  • Abstract:

    During the past two decades both developed and developing countries are delegating responsibilities to lower-level governments as a component of public service reforms. The earlier reforms emphasised decentralisation as improved administration at sub-national levels. In contrast, the most recent decentralisations are emphasising enhanced service delivery that demands capacitation of municipalities. The article endeavours to utilise the theoretical connection amongst decentralisation and capacity-building for a broadened analysis in a South African context. The article emphasises political, fiscal and administrative decentralisation in order to identify capacity gaps in the system. There are assumptions that “coupled with the inexperience and weak capacity of local governments, decentralisation is often blamed for not fulfilling its promises - and for not having a positive impact on development” (Yilmaz et al. 2010:286). Against this background the article analyses the relevant literature to argue that decentralisation can be considered as a causative factor to enhance local government capacities.