Decentralisation: Citizen-focused Management of Local Services

Project description

Title: Decentralisation and Municipal Development (PDDC)
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Burkina Faso
Lead executing agency: Ministère de l’Administration Territoriale, de la Décentralisation et de la Cohésion Sociale (MATDC) (Ministry of Territorial Administration, Decentralization and Social Cohesion)
Overall term: 2005 to 2021

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Context

Since 1991, Burkina Faso’s constitution has established the delegation of parts of central government responsibilities to local structures. As a result of decentralisation, the Burkina Faso Government plans to boost public participation by enabling citizens to have increased political voice in local development processes and putting infrastructure and services in place in line with local needs.

However, this new distribution of capabilities between different levels of government poses many challenges for the actors. Furthermore, municipalities and regions lack the human and financial resources to carry out the duties assigned to them.

Objective

Regions and municipalities provide needs-based services for the population.

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Approach

The programme supports the implementation of the decentralisation process at national and local level in Burkina Faso. The framework forms the government’s ‘National Economic and Social Development Plan’ (PNDES), ‘Ten-year Decentralisation Strategy’, and ‘Strategic Plan on Capacity Development of Municipal Civil Servants’.

The programme advises the ministry responsible for decentralisation, which is the Ministry of Territorial Administration, Decentralization and Social Cohesion (MATDC), and the secretariat of the National Decentralisation Commission in implementing the decentralisation strategy and monitoring their progress. It also assists state administrative colleges in expanding the national training system for local employees.

The programme supports local decision-makers, civil society structures and local media in 30 municipalities in informing the population about political decisions and by making local development participatory. A particular focus is being placed on incorporating the specific needs of women and girls. In addition, it supports better management of health care services by the municipalities. The consulting firm AMBERO implements these measures.

The programme enables direct learning between the partner municipalities and state technical services on specific skills transferred to the municipalities. Furthermore, local council members, particularly their illiterate members, are supported in actively carrying out their responsibilities.

To improve the financial resources of the municipalities and regions, the programme supports the decentralisation ministry, finance ministry and other ministries in creating transparent and needs-based government financial transfers to municipalities. It advises local actors in 21 partner municipalities in systematically increasing their own local revenue.

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Result

The MATDC is increasingly carrying out its leadership role. Since 2013, it has produced 11 manuals and 23 handouts and guidelines in conjunction with the programme, and in 2016 it distributed them to all newly elected mayors and regional presidents. 

As a result of the programme-organised practice-based transfer of knowledge by colleagues and state technical services as part of on-the-job training (workplace learning) and peer learning (shared learning), municipalities were able to speed up the tendering of infrastructure projects. In addition, 21 municipalities who received advice have increased their own financial revenues between 2015 and 2018 by a total of 24 per cent. 

Citizens and local civil society are increasingly involved in planning processes in the partner municipalities. Therefore, between 2010 and 2018 more than 21,000 citizens in 29 partner municipalities took part in events on local planning and providing information on municipal affairs. Due to the growing participation of women in these processes in particular, 25 partner municipalities increased their measures aimed at improving the situation of women and girls by around 494 per cent between 2015 and 2017. For example, there were training courses for women on a range of economic activities.