Is decentralisation in Botswana a democratic fallacy?

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • SDG 6
  • Abstract:

    The article demonstrates that decentralisation has been eulogised as a participatory means to development, which enhances good governance and democracy. Developing countries have embarked on various public sector management reforms in an effort to improve public service delivery. These reforms entail among other things redefining the role of the state, hence a shift from a focus on government to governance as nations strive towards lean, decentralised and democratic states. Governments have been urged to decentralise in order to improve service delivery and efficiency. Decentralisation has been eulogised as a participatory means to development, enhancing good governance and democracy. Botswana has been exemplary in public service management; the country has continuously embarked on and successfully implemented various public sector reforms in an effort to improve its public administration. Amid the implementation of decentralisation [as espoused by developing countries] the government of Botswana in 2009 made a decision to transfer the management of clinics and primary hospitals together with the related personnel from local government to central government. Drawing from content-based examination of government’s decisions on centralisation of primary health services and rural water supplies, using theories and concepts of decentralisation, the article shows that the discourse of centralisation vis-à-vis decentralisation enhancing participatory democratic governance and service delivery efficacy, or lack thereof, remains an unresolved story for developing countries.