Descentralización y Devolución deCompetencias: el Caso de la Educaciónen la Descentralización ColombianaSeminario “Descent...
Descentralización – Marco ConceptualDefinida como la transferencia de autoridad yresponsabilidades políticas, administrati...
La Descentralización y la Provisión deServicios PúblicosUno de los principales argumentos en favor de la descentralización...
Hay una amplia literatura sobre los problemas que puede acarrearla descentralización:• La falta de capacidad a nivel local...
Algunos elementos esenciales para un proceso exitoso• Recursos suficientes a nivel local para la implementación y provisió...
Descentralización de la Educación• Algunas justificaciones para descentralizar la educación:• Aumentaría la asistencia y r...
¿Cómo logramos que las reformas sean exitosas?• Winkler (1989):• ¿Existe una tradición de autogobierno o autonomía a nivel...
Algunos elementos más a tener en cuenta aldescentralizar servicios como la educación• Naidoo (2007):• Comprender las refor...
Descentralización en Colombia• Se lo considera uno de los países pioneros de ladescentralización en América Latina• Defini...
Descentralización de la Educación enColombia• Sistema se caracterizaba por la ausencia de reglas claras,sindicatos poderos...
• Proceso no ha sido exento de controversia dado que la separación deroles y responsabilidades entre los tres niveles de g...
Logros• Ley 715 de 2001 ha abordado muchos de estos problemas• Aumento en el nivel de cobertura (hasta 20% de aumento en m...
Lecciones Aprendidas• Lección 1: Asegurar el flujo de comunicación e informacióna las partes interesadas que participarán ...
Lecciones Aprendidas• Lección 3: Capacitar continuamente los recursos humanos esesencial para el éxito de la descentraliza...
•Muchas graciaslagierc@fiu.eduFloridaInternationalUniversity
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Descentralización y devolución de competencias: El caso de la educación Colombiana)(Cristina Rodríguez)

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Seminario “Descentralización, transparencia y seguridad jurídica en América Latina y Europa”

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  • ¿cuáles son en teoría las condiciones ideales bajo las cuales debería darse la descentralización de servicios? Esta presentación revisa los aspectos esenciales para un proceso exitoso. Revisa el proceso de descentralización colombiana, para luego analizar mas en particular la descentralización de la educación.
  • “ Many of the proposed benefits of decentralization are based on the premise that it brings local decision makers closer to the constituencies they serve ” (2003). With decentralization, social actors will put pressure on local level leadership to respond to local needs and demands, and then two benefits can result: “ synergy between interventions across sectors and the effective delivery of individual public services ” (Mehrotra, 2005). Several factors have been noted to account for many of the differences in decentralization outcomes seen in Latin America, including:   1. The motivation of key actors (basically the degree of political will);   2. The institutional arrangements (legal framework) put in place, which limit the capacity and autonomy of local governments in performing their new roles  3. Finally, the importance of “state-society relations” also influences the outcome of decentralization.
  • Other issues to keep in mind when we talk about education decentralization include: Naidoo (2003, identifies a series of important factors having an impact on increasing community participation in the process including: a positive perspective in the communities involved of basic education; regular and stable household income; a history of social mobilization; the level of community organization and leadership present; community’s involvement in education beyond just the financial aspects; the general status and appreciation for education that local leaders provide and show support for; the level of community involvement in the decision making process; the kind of government support provided to the process; and students achievements among others. It is clear though, that important economic factors such as poverty levels and income distribution impact the success of decentralization, as well as other indicators related to health and political stability.   When discussing citizen participation within an education decentralization process, certain key questions are relevant to keep in mind as to who can participate? How does participation take place? How inclusive is the process? How can civil society participate in the process? How democratic is the participation process? Are roles clearly defined? The answers to these questions can help define if an education decentralization process (or any type of service provision decentralization for that matter) is considered successful or not. In regards to the financing of education decentralization, what types of services are actually decentralized is a central issue as it will have implications on the financial impact of the process. And the important difference between the cost of education services and the financing of the system needs to be kept in mind as the first refers to the actual cost of factors such as supplies and teachers’ salaries and the second refers to where those funds are coming from; who has decision as to how they need to be spent; and who collects those funds. the quality of human resources capacity at the local level to implement decentralization and, consequently, with issues of capacity building. It’s an ongoing process.
  • (this is very important as many education decentralization policies are aimed at increasing parents’ participation in defining education policies or at making the process more participatory); as opposed to it being imposed from central planners;
  • Understanding the reforms: clear communication exists, legal instruments are present, and roles are clearly established and understood by all. Communication: clear information to all stakeholders is available Staggered implementation: regions and local governments require administrative capacity and local political support. Systemic approach: decentralization process needs to take into account the needs of all levels of government and the necessary coordination. Clear lines of monitoring/evaluation: a strong system of accountability should be established, well understood and applied to the process. Clearly connect educational quality with educational management reforms: a clear connection between educational reforms and outcomes should be developed and monitored. Clear role of community/local level: this also requires the strengthening of grass roots structures in the communities. Transparency in delivery of resources and decision-making: transparency and accountability also from local leaders to their constituents. Data and information: as the process widens, its need is essential to monitor and evaluate the success of programs.
  • By 1986 a program to reform municipalities is also initiated. Municipalities regain responsibilities over water provision, environmental health, building and keeping up of schools, hospitals and roads; housing, urban transportation and cadasters. Health and education responsibilities are progressively transferred to municipalities and departments as well as funds. But the resource and administrative transfer does not include the technical and human resources needed consequently the provision of certain services was affected.   In the early 1990s, Colombia was going through yet another of its most troubled times in history. Political and social instability, years of armed conflict and drug smuggling related political and social violence were completely undermining Colombia’s institutions. Recognizing the need to address the fragility of the State, the government of then President Virgilio Barco, called for the election of a Constitutional Assembly in late 1990. In it, the traditional political parties did not have a clear mandate and a plurality of movements were represented (including former guerrillas); the debate centered partly in the merits of a federal or a centralist state. At the end, the 1991 Constitution establishes Colombia as a unitary, decentralized and participatory state.   The new Constitution gave the Ministry of the Interior the responsibility to design and oversee the decentralization process, and to the National Planning Department the responsibility of monitoring and evaluation of decentralization policies and programs.
  • By 1989 a serious attempt to reform the Ministry of Education (MEN) was launched calling for a rational distribution of tasks through administrative decentralization local municipalities were to set up their own priorities on issues such as school construction and maintenance, budget expenditures, and personnel needs. Mayors and local councils were put in charge of educational leadership and coordination. In accordance with the stated goal of increasing participation in the education decision-making-process, “large committees of appointed and elected members at the municipal, departmental, and national levels” (Hanson, 1995) were set up with the responsibility of having to approve the decisions made by the mayors and their education secretaries. A process of fiscal decentralization was also set up to finance the administrative decentralization of education.
  • Wealthier Departments and large municipalities were reluctant at the beginning to take over education as there was a quite confusing fiscal system in place and issues of accountability were not clear. Smaller municipalities were also reticent to take over responsibilities well aware that the human capacity to implement the reforms was not in place. The resistance of teachers’ union was of significant importance to the decentralization process which opposed the initiative vigorously. Decentralization for the teachers’ union meant losing political power which came from being able to negotiate national contracts (Berhman, Deolalikar, Soon, 2002). The unions score some important victories as schools were not given autonomy to select, hire, and discipline staff for example. Many local governments also felt that the central government was transferring responsibilities and challenges before a minimum standard was achieved. Thus, local governments would have to spend many resources to bring their local schools to the new standards and mayors would risk the political fallout in case reforms did not work out. Central funding was initially tied to the number of teachers employed by the departments (Meade & Gershberg, 2008). This led to extremely unequal distribution of funding among departments and municipalities. Teachers’ salaries continued to rise as did the number of teachers hired, and nearly all education expenditures were dedicated to salaries. Fiscal autonomy continues to be a problem for Departments and municipalities; in particular their ability to raise their own revenues is seriously curtailed by the central government.
  • Law 715 of 2001 was aimed at improving this situation. Central government kept control of the human resources-related roles regarding teachers’ professional development, evaluation, and working conditions. Departments and municipalities with over 100,000 people were responsible for hiring and firing decisions. Funding was based on a cost estimate per pupil served and transferred by the central government. Funds could be spent on infrastructure, food, and transportation (after paying for salaries); municipalities could also contract with private entities to provide services. The reforms also sought to improve local capacity by modernizing administrations; clarifying roles; improving information technology; and data collection and reporting. Municipal association has played important role in increasing capacity at the local level.
  • As noted at the outset of this review of the Colombian experience, some key questions related to roles and responsibilities; fiscal impact; accountability; local capacity; and local participation in the decision-making process need to be addressed and taken into account as decentralization processes are unfolding (Winkler, 1989; Naidoo, 2007; Hanson, 1997). In the case of Colombia some of these issues were not properly taken into account and problems appeared early in the process. At the beginning of the process in Colombia, years of persistent political violence meant that local communities lacked a tradition of self-reliance, so necessary to ensure accountability at the local level and citizens’ involvement in the process. Some of the school reforms aimed at including parents and students in participatory school and curriculum management failed because of this. Key stakeholders also lacked clear information and understanding of what the process entailed and what was to be expected from each level of government. Lack of information and communication has negative impacts on accountability at all levels.
  • Local capacity was, and continues to be, a serious problem for education decentralization implementation, in particular for smaller municipalities and Departments. As these concerns arose, much to its credit, the Colombian government and the Colombian Federation of Municipalities have continued to implement training to local and regional governments on managing the new programs. The lack of a shared vision of what education decentralization was to accomplish and what level of government was to be in charge of what aspect of implementing the reforms added to the misunderstandings and the setbacks on the Colombian process. Vested interests, in particular the teachers’ union; ministries bureaucracies; some political movements; and to some extent the violent armed movements made certain reforms very difficult to implement, whittling down the proposed changes. An “all-at-once”, “from-the-top” imposed strategy did not help the government’s initiative. The Colombian case also demonstrates that regional differences and local diversity should be taken into account in the design and implementation of education decentralization policies. Wealthier and larger Departments, as well as local governments were reluctant to accept the new responsibilities as long as roles, funding, and accountability were not clearly defined and established. Necessary good will and political capital was lost in those first years of implementation. One of the main problems in the Colombian education decentralization experience was, and to some degree still is, with fiscal autonomy and local and regional governments’ lack of capacity to have their own source of revenues, create them or control its spending. The Colombian central government still has a tight control on how Departments and local governments can spend the funds that are transferred to them. In the Colombian experience with educational decentralization – as is the case in most Latin American countries, the cost of education services were decentralized but the central government has kept control over the financing of the system. This should obviously be changed.   It is clear that the case of education decentralization in Colombia shows just how complicated and difficult it is not only to design but also to implement decentralization. Setbacks have not been uncommon, but – to their credit - Colombia’s political leaders (especially at the regional and local level) have shown the resilience and political will to continue demanding, and improving, the implementation of education decentralization. Decentralization of education services, as is the case for any other service, is not an easy task; the issue is finding the appropriate balance.
  • Descentralización y devolución de competencias: El caso de la educación Colombiana)(Cristina Rodríguez)

    1. 1. Descentralización y Devolución deCompetencias: el Caso de la Educaciónen la Descentralización ColombianaSeminario “Descentralización, Transparencia y Seguridad Jurídica en AméricaLatina y Europa”CEPALSantiago, Chile – 24-25 de abril de 2013Cristina A. Rodriguez-AcostaVicedirectoraInstituto de Administración Pública y Servicios ComunitariosFlorida International Universitylagierc@fiu.eduFloridaInternationalUniversity
    2. 2. Descentralización – Marco ConceptualDefinida como la transferencia de autoridad yresponsabilidades políticas, administrativas yfinancieras/fiscales del nivel central a los niveles de gobiernosubnacionales y/o locales (Falleti, 2005).La descentralización es un proceso complejo, largo, reversibley sujeto a crítica, pero a través del cual los gobiernossubnacionales obtienen una mayor capacidad de decisión enel diseño e implementación de políticas públicas.FloridaInternationalUniversity
    3. 3. La Descentralización y la Provisión deServicios PúblicosUno de los principales argumentos en favor de la descentralizaciónsostiene que descentralizando la provisión de servicios esenciales talescomo salud y educación a los gobiernos locales mejora la calidad, equidady eficiencia en la provisión de dichos servicios, aumentado también lasatisfacción del usuario (Ugalde & Homedes, 2008)Los gobiernos locales son los mas cercanos al ciudadano y tienen mejorcapacidad de comprender sus necesidades y poder tomar decisiones decómo invertir escasos recursos de la manera mas eficiente para cadacomunidad sin depender de ciudades capitales tal vez distantes(Mehrotra, 2005)FloridaInternationalUniversity
    4. 4. Hay una amplia literatura sobre los problemas que puede acarrearla descentralización:• La falta de capacidad a nivel local para implementar y proveer nuevosservicios (Ahmad, et al 2005)• El peligro de “captura por parte de las élites locales” (Bardhan &Mookkherjee, 1998)• Problemas de corrupción a nivel local• La falta de un marco legal claro que puede originar duplicación eineficiencias• Endeudamiento (Ahmad, et al 2005)• Oposición del gobierno central con la consecuentes tensiones yconflictos políticos (Khaleghian, 2003)FloridaInternationalUniversity
    5. 5. Algunos elementos esenciales para un proceso exitoso• Recursos suficientes a nivel local para la implementación y provisión delos servicios• Respondabilidad (accountability) y acceso a la información(transparencia) a nivel local• Un marco legal claro• Un sistema fiscal y financiero bien definido• Una clara definición de las responsabilidades administrativas de cadanivel• La calidad de la infraestructura a nivel local• El nivel de educación y los niveles de pobreza juegan también un papelrelevanteFloridaInternationalUniversity
    6. 6. Descentralización de la Educación• Algunas justificaciones para descentralizar la educación:• Aumentaría la asistencia y reduciría el ausentismo;• Mayor calidad y equidad en la educación;• Mayor participación de la comunidad y mayor rendimiento de cuentas;• Contribuiría al desarrollo económico local al dispersar poder, riqueza y talento;• Mejora la eficiencia administrativa;• Redistribución de la responsabilidad financiera;• Distribución de poder;• Aumenta la democratización;• Ofrece incentivos de mercado en la educación;FloridaInternationalUniversity
    7. 7. ¿Cómo logramos que las reformas sean exitosas?• Winkler (1989):• ¿Existe una tradición de autogobierno o autonomía a nivel local?• ¿Tienen las autoridades locales la capacidad de crear nuevas fuentesde financiamiento? ¿Tienen control sobre el nivel de gastos?• ¿Existe demanda a nivel local por la descentralización?• Los actores fundamentales del proceso (organizaciones de padres,sindicatos, burocracias locales, etc.) cuentan con la informaciónapropiada, se sienten parte del proceso y se encuentrancomprometidos con el mismo• Existe capacidad a nivel local o, en su ausencia, existen losmecanismos de capacitación necesariosFloridaInternationalUniversity
    8. 8. Algunos elementos más a tener en cuenta aldescentralizar servicios como la educación• Naidoo (2007):• Comprender las reformas• Comunicación• Implementación escalonada• Enfoque sistémico• Sistemas de monitoreo y evaluación claros y bien definidos• Clara conexión entre la calidad educativa y las reformas en gestión de laeducación• La comunidad local tiene un rol clave en el proceso• Transparencia en el uso de los recursos y en el proceso de toma de decisiones• Calidad de los datos y de la informaciónFloridaInternationalUniversity
    9. 9. Descentralización en Colombia• Se lo considera uno de los países pioneros de ladescentralización en América Latina• Definido constitucionalmente como un estado unitario ydescentralizado• Tres grandes fases de la descentralización• 1968/1970s – descentralización fiscal• Mid 1980s – descentralización política y administrativa(Constitución de 1991)• 1990s/2000 – leyes y regulaciones necesarias para laimplementación de las reformasFloridaInternationalUniversity
    10. 10. Descentralización de la Educación enColombia• Sistema se caracterizaba por la ausencia de reglas claras,sindicatos poderosos y magros resultados• Serios problemas en logros educacionales, serios problemas deequidad e igualdad de oportunidades• Corrupción e ineficiencia en la provisión de servicios• Intentos de reforma se inician en 1968FloridaInternationalUniversity
    11. 11. • Proceso no ha sido exento de controversia dado que la separación deroles y responsabilidades entre los tres niveles de gobierno no siempreha sido clara• Diferencias regionales y locales muy significativas• Falta de coordinación entre las partes interesadas• Oposición de las burocracias nacionales, regionales y locales, así comode sindicatos de maestros• Debilidad de las instituciones administrativas y falta de capacidad anivel local• Problemas de financiación• Renuencia de parte de la ciudadanía en participar del procesoFloridaInternationalUniversity
    12. 12. Logros• Ley 715 de 2001 ha abordado muchos de estos problemas• Aumento en el nivel de cobertura (hasta 20% de aumento en matriculación escolar)• Reducción de las tasas de analfabetismo• Mayor disponibilidad de maestros• Mayores niveles de escolaridad• Nuevo sistema es mas flexible y permite atender a diferencias regionales y locales• Mejoras en monitoreo y notificación de progresos• Aumento en la capacitaciónFloridaInternationalUniversity
    13. 13. Lecciones Aprendidas• Lección 1: Asegurar el flujo de comunicación e informacióna las partes interesadas que participarán en ladescentralización. Comprender las reformas es esencialpara su éxito.• Lección 2: Promover e incentivar la participación ciudadanaa todos los niveles de gobierno. Únicamente una ciudadaníaempoderada puede exigir transparencia y respondabilidad.FloridaInternationalUniversity
    14. 14. Lecciones Aprendidas• Lección 3: Capacitar continuamente los recursos humanos esesencial para el éxito de la descentralización.• Lección 4: Los gobiernos que promueven la descentralizacióndeben luchar por lograr una visión nacional compartida delproceso. Un debate nacional debe ser iniciado y un cierto gradode consenso en algunos temas clave deben lograrse antes de queel proceso sea puesto en marcha.• Lección 5: La implementación escalonada de las reformas es,dependiendo de las circunstancias socio-políticas de cada país, talvez más aconsejable.FloridaInternationalUniversity
    15. 15. •Muchas graciaslagierc@fiu.eduFloridaInternationalUniversity

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