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|Title||Decentralisation and poverty-alleviation in developing countries : a comparative analysis or, is West Bengal unique?|
|Year of Publication||2001|
|Authors||Crook, RC, Sverrisson, AS|
|Secondary Title||Working paper / IDS|
|Pagination||vi, 60 p. : 3 tab.|
|Publisher||Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex|
|Place Published||Brighton, UK|
This report compares a large number of decentralized forms of government across the world, focusing on nine countries (Colombia, Philippines, Ivory Coast, Bangladesh, Ghana, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Nigeria) and the Indian states of West Bengal, Karnataka and Kerala. It examines the impact of decentralization on poverty alleviation in terms of responsiveness and participation, and social and economic outputs. Only West Bengal comes out well in the review which finds that most decentralizing governments lack an ideological commitment to pro-poor policies, do not respect local autonomy and are unwilling to tackle entrenched elites. There are some brief references to the positive effects of decentralization on water supply in West Bengal and Colombia, and the fact that local authorities in Cote d'Ivoire gave preference to the building of town halls and secondary schools rather than responding to community requests for roads, social facilities and water supplies.
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