Publication: Romania : Local Social Services Delivery Study, Volume 2. Main Report

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The study seeks to identify institutional, and procedural factors which may facilitate, or hamper the effectiveness of social services, and inter-governmental fiscal arrangements. Based on existing research on decentralization, the success of decentralized service delivery depends on factors, that include the quality of intergovernmental institutions, a stable fiscal framework, and a well established civil society, and social structure. The study focuses on public social services, where local governments play the greatest role, and, throughout the report, the greatest emphasis is on social assistance benefits, and services, addressing those cash benefits which are delivered, and financed by local governments, including national programs such as birth grants, emergency assistance, and the main poverty alleviation program. In education, the study focuses on compulsory, and secondary education, though it does not address specialized secondary education, which is under the purview of central ministries. The study comprises two volumes: volume 1 provides an overview of the issues, summarizes major findings, and presents policy options; volume 2 includes the detailed discussion, and analysis, and presents the empirical underpinnings of the report. The study finds that fiscal decentralization of poverty alleviation benefits, has undermined its effectiveness, and eroded social safety nets; thus the government is preparing the Minimum Income Guarantee Program Law to centralize financing of social assistance cash benefits. And, education seems to be the policy area with greatest potential for further decentralization, suggesting a careful capacity evaluation to decide whether to attain complete autonomy.
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World Bank. 2002. Romania : Local Social Services Delivery Study, Volume 2. Main Report. © Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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