Short presentation by ecdpm on choice of aid modalities in support of decentralisation
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Short presentation by ecdpm on choice of aid modalities in support of decentralisation



Advanced EC seminar on decentralisation and local governance ...

Advanced EC seminar on decentralisation and local governance
European Commission EuropeAid
2-5 July 2012, Brussels
The seminar reviewed the country context and the evolving international development framework and considered how to manage the political dimensions of decentralisation. It also looked at using decentralisation as a trigger to foster better development outcomes and governance and what all this means for future EU engagement in decentralisation and local governance. Jean Bossuyt, ECDPM, was the lead facilitator of this meeting. Alisa Herrero, ECDPM, was also one of the experts facilitating this seminar.



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Short presentation by ecdpm on choice of aid modalities in support of decentralisation Short presentation by ecdpm on choice of aid modalities in support of decentralisation Presentation Transcript

  • Session 3.2 Using different strategies and aidmodalities to support decentralisationIs the project approach really a second best option?
  • Programme based approaches are seen as preferred aid modality①  Aid effectiveness agenda, country ownership and the use of country systems②  The well documented dangers of ‘freestanding projects’
  • Dangers of “freestanding” projects   high transaction costs;   fragmentation and duplication of efforts;   loss of coherence between national efforts and external support;   unbalanced sectoral development;   focus on upward accountability to the donor and subsequent erosion of domestic accountability;   limited ownership and weakening of national systems  reliance on parallel mechanisms and donor-imposed management requirements and implementation procedures
  • Project approaches are now considered as a“second-best” choice in terms of supportingdecentralization and local governance,BUT: What are the limitsIs the professed of BS inbelief in PBA decentralised(particularly environments?general and budget Does BS lead tosupport) justified optimal resultsunder all with regardscircumstances? decentralisation?
  • Three major elements to pushthe debate forward Well designed and Unfavourable implemented conditions for PBA projects can make in some countries a difference Need for strategic sequencing and complementarity of instruments
  • Unfavorable conditions for programme-based approaches Local governments are bypassed and ignored byWeak capacity and authority to lead reforms: sector ministries and donor supported sectordecentralization is not high on social/national debate; programmes, often disconnected from decentralizationdonors lead discussions with limited implication of line framework;ministries; lack of leadership to push reforms; focus ison local development instead of state reform. Social service delivery projects implemented by donor-funded NGO often bypass fragile localWeak link between decentralization and other governments, create parallel systems and weakenpublic sector reforms: line ministries are reluctant to local resource mobilization.implement reforms, policy framework is weak, itsimplementation hampered, policy dialogue is Local governments are not attached to overalldisconnected from local realities; inter-ministerial framework: the public treasury; procurement andcoordination is limited. control systems not adapted to local realities; legal framework is not known by local administrators.General confusion about legitimate mandates ofeach stakeholder: there is an unclear division of tasks Disconnect between the citizen local governmentand responsibilities between national ministries, de-concentrated levels and LGs.Donor groups for sector coordination are rarelyconnected to the group dealing withdecentralization.
  • Project modality is NOT by nature undesirable and ineffectiveThe limitations often associated with theproject approach are not inevitable, but ratherthe result of how the project was designedand implemented.Projects can be ON:On policy; on budget; on procedures….
  • Generate multi actors public discussion on state reform and decentralisation Help prepare the ground Strengthen local and for programme based national institutions and approaches systems (i.e. procurement; control, accountability) WELL DESIGNED PROJECTS CAN MAKE Strengthen citizens’ demands A DIFFERENCE for decentralisation and Feed policy dialogue; evenestablish trust between citizens when adequate policy and local governments frameworks are not available Help to develop endogenous policy frameworks informed by experimentation
  • Need for a strategic sequencing and complementarity of instruments①  EC interventions need to adapt to local circumstances and ensure synergies and appropriate sequencing between the different approaches and instruments;②  In many contexts, the project approach may in fact be the modality through which donors may better create the conditions to scale-up reform;③  Aid modalities are not decisive factors of success in the support of decentralizationSo the MILLION question is …. What does the EC wantto achieve and what is the most appropriate fundingmodality?
  • Need to broaden thescope of the aidmodalities debate…•  When you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail ….