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Comparative Decentralization Lessons from Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Philippines

George M. Guess
Public Administration Review
Vol. 65, No. 2 (Mar. - Apr., 2005), pp. 217-230
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Society for Public Administration
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3542555
Page Count: 14
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Comparative Decentralization Lessons from Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Philippines
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Abstract

This article provides an analytic framework to guide regimes that are designing or implementing decentralization programs. It is based on a comparison of three Asian cases of fast-track decentralization. The framework suggests that regimes contemplating devolution must face fundamental issues of (1) background support, (2) culture and institutions, and (3) technical design and sequencing. It can be used by regimes to compare the relative difficulty of fundamental challenges to decentralization with their own capacity and potential for effective response. The three regimes responded similarly to the first two issues and differed in how they performed technical activities to implement the decentralization programs. Within this technical sequence, the regimes varied widely in performance. In that the Philippine program has attained better performance so far, the different responses of that regime are significant. More research is required to explain differences in technical performance in the Philippines and other similar programs and to attribute measures of decentralization success to these differences.

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