LPSA Launches Decentralization Primer

One of the primary goals of the Local Public Sector Alliance (LPSA) is to enhance the understanding of decentralization and localization as complex, cross-cutting and multi-stakeholder reforms. In line with this mission, LPSA is excited to announce the launch of the primer on “Decentralization, Multilevel Governance and Intergovernmental Relations.” The primer was written by Jamie Boex, Tim Williamson and Serdar Yilmaz.

The primary objective of this primer is to establish a common vocabulary to the topic of decentralization and localization, as well as a common framework for understanding multi-level governance as a critical part of inclusive, sustainable and efficient development.

Pursuing inclusive and effective multilevel public sector requires bringing together stakeholders from across different government levels, understanding their various perspectives, and coming up with interventions and solutions that present win-win scenarios for all stakeholders involved. Therefore, this primer offers a useful frame of reference for policy analysts, government officials, sector experts, and civil society actors involved in multilevel public sector reforms worldwide.

With this context in mind, the primer is divided into four main sections:

  • Section 1 provides an overview of the topic by identifying why countries pursue decentralization (Section 1.1); establishing a common vocabulary around the topic (Section 1.2); providing a conceptual framework for assessing decentralization and the effectiveness of the local public sector (Section 1.3); and acknowledging the context-specific nature of decentralization as a public sector reform (Section 1.4). 
  • Section 2 recognizes that decentralization is not a one-size-fits-all reform and provides an overview of global decentralization experiences by placing country practices within a spectrum of intergovernmental institutional and fiscal arrangements. 
  • Section 3 highlights the importance of understanding the political economy of decentralization and intergovernmental relations.
  • Section 4 highlights some issues to consider for task teams seeking to promote resilient, inclusive, sustainable, and efficient development in the context of a decentralized multilevel governance system.

The full primer, along with other LPSA public resources, are available on LPSA’s Resources page.

Click here to download the primer.