Africa Region Findings & Good Practice Infobriefs

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These briefs report on ongoing operational, economic, and sector work carried out by the World Bank and its member governments in the Africa Region.

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  • Publication
    Decentralizing Infrastructure Services : Lessons from the East Asia Experience
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-02) Elisa Muzzini
    Decentralization is the transfer of responsibilities from the central government to subnational agencies empowered to act as increasingly autonomous entities within their geographical and functional domains. In theory, decentralizing infrastructure services can deliver efficiency gains when service benefits accrue mainly to the local population-such as in water and sanitation, urban transit, and waste management. Subnational agencies are indeed better placed than the central government to tailor infrastructure services to the needs of local constituencies (allocative efficiency) and deliver them at lower costs (productive efficiency). In practice, the economic benefits of decentralized infrastructure services are by no means a given, as they are contingent upon effective coordination among tiers of governments (regional coordination) and accountability mechanisms for results achieved.
  • Publication
    Promoting Good Governance with Social Funds and Decentralization
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2001-04) Parker, Andrew
    Bad governance undermines development. Two important types of World Bank support for local governance are social funds and broadly based support for governments committed to decentralizing responsibility and power to local governments and other local institutions. But there are concerns that these two approaches, which address different elements of governance, sometimes work at cross-purposes. A study was therefore commissioned to examine the interaction between social funds and decentralization in Bolivia and Honduras (advanced decentralization), Peru and Zimbabwe (some decentralization), and Cambodia, Malawi, and Zambia (little or no decentralization). This Note is based on the findings of the study.