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9 - Decentralization in Post-Conflict Settings

Assessing Community-Driven Development in the Wake of Violence

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 February 2019

Jonathan A. Rodden
Affiliation:
Stanford University, California
Erik Wibbels
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
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Summary

Current developments suggest that the international community will confront an array of complex conflict environments for years to come, rendering efforts to re-establish stability in the aftermath of such incidents critical. This chapter reviews the state of knowledge on the effects of decentralization and community-driven development (CDD) initiatives post-conflict. It finds that the positive effects of devolving political power to local institutions are not universal. Where power-sharing arrangements do not adequately accommodate former dissident communities or key domestic actors are opposed to reform, increased opportunities to capture resources on the periphery may outweigh efficiency gains in public fund allocation. CDD, despite having been evaluated more rigorously than post-conflict decentralization initiatives, also is not strictly beneficial. Though service provision and material well-being generally improve, positive social outcomes, such as trust in government or political participation, are less consistently noted. The chapter closes with best practices for CDD interventions on optimizing project outcomes and accumulating knowledge on aid-assisted decentralization.
Type
Chapter
Information
Decentralized Governance and Accountability
Academic Research and the Future of Donor Programming
, pp. 205 - 228
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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