Most developing country’s governments and multilateral institutions are increasingly concerned by the slow progress being made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and have identified new ways of strengthening the development focus of their policies and programmes. For this reason, decentralisation is receiving increasing international attention as a potential tool in the acceleration of development. Though decentralisation would not be implemented solely for the direct purpose of economic development, the ensuing changes in the institutional architecture are very likely to impact on governance, participation and the efficiency of public-service delivery, all of which are important variables for development outcomes. Decentralisation is understood as the transfer of power, responsibility, authority, functions and appropriate resources from the central to the local level.
This study attempts to analyse the performance of the decentralisation policy in Zambia since a new decentralisation policy was introduced in Zambia in November 2002 following two previous failed attempts in 1968 and 1980. An effort will be made to analyse the policy design, its implementation, monitoring and evaluation concerns and how these relate to development. Specific emphasis in the study will be placed on whether power can actually been devolved by the Central Government to the Local Governments and to what extent this can have a positive impact on the delivery and management of services at district level thereby leading to development. The study intends to evaluate how the decentralisation policy is operationalised by analysing political, administrative and fiscal decentralisation and how these interface with development in Zambia.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The designers of the decentralisation policy in Zambia hoped that when implemented properly, it would reduce the workload at the centre, create political and administrative accountability, promote...