Decentralization and Local Governance (Archive)
Descentralización y Gobiernos Locales (Archivo)
The Colombia Program and Political Database of the Americas, both projects of Georgetown University’s Center for Latin American Studies, have joined forces to design and develop this section on Decentralization and Local Governance.
The Colombia Program, based on its studies of the decentralization process in Colombia, has considered it important to collaborate with the Political Database of the Americas by publishing their own comparative research on Decentralization in Latin America online.
Since the late 1980s and early 1990s, the idea of Decentralization and Local Governance has become more relevant in the region due to reforms that have been implemented to make public processes more efficient, improve social service provision, bring together citizens and their local authorities, increase civil society participation in decision-making, and reduce expenses. These goals have been achieved through processes of political, administrative and fiscal decentralization, guaranteeing more power and resources at the intermediate and local levels of government and thus increasing autonomy over issues of local and regional relevance. Decentralization reforms and strengthening of local governments also respond to the need to improve the governability and response capacity of governments in the face of the increasing social and economic demands coming from various sectors of the population.
The objective of this section is to present, in a systematic and concise way, information about state political and administrative organization, and the organization and functions of different levels of government in different countries in the region.
This study provides and analysis of federal and decentralized governments such as: Argentina, United States, Mexico and Venezuela; as well as unitary and decentralized governments: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica , Ecuador, El Salvador , Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Perú, y Uruguay.
This comparative study is organized around four general themes:
- Political and Territory Division in each of the countries studied
- Comparative functions of intermediate levels of government in the following areas for the countries studied:
- Political-administrative organization of the intermediate level of government: i) authorities; ii) election process; iii) requirements for election; iv) functions attributed by the Constitution and other laws in terms of planning and land use, economic development, security, technical assistance at the local level, and community development; y v) intergovernmental relations and coordinating bodies.
- Political administrative organization of the local levels of government: i) authorities; ii) election process; iii) requirements for election; iv) functions attributed by the Constitution and other laws in terms of different social sectors.