by: World Bank
The past two decades have witnessed a fundamental transformation in
the structure of government across East Asia. Prior to 1990 most East
Asian countries were highly centralized; today, decentralization is
ubiquitous throughout the region. From China to Thailand, sub-national
governments are now responsible for the delivery of critical services
and account for a significant proportion of total public expenditure.
In just two decades, local and regional authorities have emerged as the
organizational fulcrum on which much of the weight of development now
East Asia Decentralizes is the first attempt to look
systematically at this phenomenon throughout East Asia. It is broken
into four main sections. Chapters 1 and 2 provide an overview of the
intergovernmental structures and frameworks that have emerged thus far,
assess the status of the decentralization process, and identify key
reform challenges for the future. Chapters 3-7 examine various
dimensions of local and intergovernmental finance: sub-national
borrowing; local revenues; public expenditure management; and the
impact of the process on inter-regional equity and poverty reduction.
The management of human resources is also covered here. Chapters 8-10
focus on the impact of decentralization on investment and
service-delivery in three key sectors: health, education and basic
infrastructure. The final two chapters (11-12) look at issues connected
with local accountability and community driven development.
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