Ecuador is an unitary decentralized state. Its intergovernmental system took a big step towards decentralization with the approval of the latest Constitution in 2008, and the subsequent Organic Code of Territorial Organization, Autonomy and Decentralization (COOTAD, 2010), which establishes multiple levels of subnational political-administrative institutions (Autonomous Decentralized Governments, GADs). Subnational governments in aggregate are responsible for around 15%-20% of general government spending. Despite having a complex system of subnational governance, transparency is limited: for instance, whereas GADs at different levels receive their own intergovernmental fiscal transfers, subnational public expenditure statistics are typically provided in aggregate (without breaking down expenditures by level or jurisdiction).

Subnational governance structure

Nature of subnational governance institutions

Functional assignments

LoGICA Assessments

LoGICA Intergovernmental Profile: Ecuador 2023 (Excel)

Additional resources

Country sheet: Ecuador. Panorama de las relaciones fiscales entre niveles de gobierno de países de América Latina y el Caribe. 2022.

Ecuador Country Profile (World Observatory on Subnational Governance and Investment, OECD/UCLG)

Local government country profile: Ecuador (UN Women)

Regional Autonomy Index – Ecuador (2021).

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Last updated: April 21, 2024