Thursday, February 24, 2011
PUBLICATIONS: Two New IFPRI Discussion Papers on Decentralization
IFPRI has released two new discussion papers presenting case studies of decentralization efforts that may be of interest to CAPRi readers.
- Institutional and capacity challenges in agricultural policy process: The case of Democratic Republic of Congo. This paper is an exploratory study that looks at early stages of the decentralization and other reforms in the policymaking and planning processes in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The paper develops a conceptual framework and adopts an innovative mapping tool to identify capacity and incentive challenges impeding the effective design and implementation of policy processes. Findings suggest that the decentralized platform, through the Agriculture and Rural Management Councils, has shown some improvement in civil society participation in local-level and national-level policy and planning processes; however, these councils are being threatened by sustainability of funds and lack of demonstrated benefits and impact of participation. The weak institutions for managing, coordinating, overseeing, and monitoring seriously hinder the attainment of an evidence-based and inclusive policy process. Findings also suggest an alarmingly inadequate and aging staff in key public-sector organizations both at the national and local levels, which warrants an urgent and speedy design and implementation of the civil service and human resource reform process to accelerate recovery and development in the economy. This paper concludes with specific suggestions and considerations for priority actions to address the institutional challenges in the reform process and strategic training investments. Finally, we identify key areas for future research. [more]
- Decentralization of public-sector agricultural extension in India: The case of the district-level Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA). This paper examines the evolution and spread of ATMA over the last decade and considers some of the challenges of national implementation of a decentralized process in the public-sector extension system of India. Using primary and secondary sources, in addition to interviews and discussions gathered at a recent national workshop, this paper examines whether the inherent organizational capacity, culture, and management within the public-sector extension system has been addressed by ATMA during the pilot period, during the national scale-up, and now under the revision guidelines. Using an organizational capacity framework, the paper concludes that despite the ambitions of the program, the inherent capacity and culture of public-sector agricultural extension in India, where limited organizational learning from implementation process is taking place, limits the ability of ATMA to fulfill its original objectives. [more]