Decentralizing Bolivia: Local Government in the Jungle

In book: Decentralization and Local Governance in Developing Countries: A Comparative Perspective, Edition: First, Chapter: 4, Publisher: MIT University Press, Editors: Pranab Bardhan, Dilip Mookherjee, pp.125-152
Source: OAI


Does decentralization change policy outputs at the local level? If so, for better or worse? Do such changes reflect deep changes in the policy-making process itself, or are they related to technical parameters in the flow of funds? Why do some local governments respond well to decentralization while others respond badly? These are some of the most important questions surrounding the issue of decentralization, which remain open despite a large related literature. This chapter seeks to answer some of these questions for the remarkable case of Bolivia, through a blend of econometric analysis at the national level and detailed qualitative research into local political and institutional processes. I argue that the “outputs” of decentralization are simply the aggregate of local-level political and institutional dynamics, and so to understand decentralization we must first understand how local government works. Hence this chapter examines what decentralization did at the national level, and then digs down into local government processes to understand how it did it.

Download full-text


Available from: Jean-Paul Faguet,
338 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study identifies the main problems that Colombia faces and the medium and long term policies that it should follows in order to become a developed country. We concentrate on five relevant elements of development: Education, health and demography, poverty and income distribution, labor market and institutions.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: En el estudio se identificaron los principales problemas que Colombia afronta para lograr un desarrollo económico consolidado y se sugirieron recomendaciones de política pública de corto, mediano y largo plazo para superarlos. Los cinco elementos en los cuales se basó el análisis fueron: Educación, salud y demografía, pobreza y distribución del ingreso, mercado laboral e instituciones.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract This paper attempts to explore issues related to right to information (RTI) and RTI laws, in the context of local governance. The paper focuses on four case studies—namely, India, Indonesia, Uganda, and Nicaragua—to highlight some of the complexities in campaigning for RTI laws and in implementing them. Based on these, a framework is developed as a tool to map alternative approaches to making local governance more effective and accountable. At present, there are two schools of thought: one focusing on supply‐led or state‐led mechanisms such as public expenditure tracking surveys, and the other focusing on a human rights‐based approach with RTI law at its centre. The framework developed here suggests that these alternative approaches need not be considered mutually exclusive approaches but can be seen in terms of Dreze and Sen’s argument of democratic institutions and democratic practice. Thus, activists can choose approaches that best suit a context at a given point in time as intermediate steps in the journey towards developing just and inclusive institutions.
    Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 02/2011; 12(1):135-151. DOI:10.1080/19452829.2011.541795 · 0.88 Impact Factor