Loquai, C. and Le Bay, S. 2007. Building capacities for monitoring and evaluating decentralisation and local governance. Experiences, challenges, perspectives. (ECDPM InBrief 19). Maastricht : ECDPM.
In the context of the democratisation movements of the late 1980s, many African countries launched a new generation of decentralisation policies aimed to build or strengthen more democratic, participatory and accountable forms of governance. In the years since, these reform efforts have attracted substantial development assistance provided by the international community.
Implementation of decentralisation programmes, particularly the creation or strengthening of local government, with elected councils, legal persona and own resources, has changed these countries’ institutional landscape and governance at the central and local levels. Discourse on the advantages of decentralisation has also raised hopes that local governance will become more responsible and responsive to citizens’ needs and thus contribute to improving their living conditions. However, the commitment and pace of reform has varied considerably from one country to the next.
Sonia Le Bay