Working Paper Series

Pro-poor Targeting and Electoral Rewards in Decentralizing to Communities the Provision of Local Pub

Authors

  • Alain de Janvry, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley
  • Hideyuki Nakagawa, University of California at Berkeley
  • Elisabeth Sadoulet, University of California at Berkeley

History

  • Goldman School of Public Policy Working Paper (July 2009)

Abstract

Even though several studies have assessed the degree of progressivity in targeting
communities under the participatory Social Investment Fund (SIF) approach to
the provision of local public goods, there is yet little evidence on how increasing
decentralization affects the quality of this targeting. We identify the impact of
increasing decentralization on community targeting using the unique situation of
Zambia’s SIFs where the degree of decentralization changed in time and space
across districts over the 15 years of program implementation. We find that greater
decentralization of SIFs’ functions to districts that had been deemed to have the
necessary level of managerial capacity led to more progressive targeting across
wards, mildly so at the national level and strongly so within districts. We also
observe how local electoral politics gained importance with greater
decentralization, with more votes received by the candidate from the majority
party in the district council attracting more projects to a ward, and more projects
in a ward rewarded by more votes for the councilor from the incumbent party.
Decentralization thus made concerns with community poverty more salient in
targeting and local politics more important in public goods allocation.

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