Central America and the Caribbean.

Central America,  15 Years of Decentralisation?   Some Reflections on Development Cooperation

Autor: Josep Centelles i Portella
Data original:   Gener 2005                 
Idioma :  ENGLISH    També en:  castellà
Observacions:  Comunicació presentada a l' International Policy Dialogue  "Democracy and Social Cohesion in Latin America and Europe" celebrat a Berlin i organitzat pel Banc Mundial i la Agència de Cooperació alemana.  21 January 2005 in Berlin
Sumari: L'autor posa en dubte que en 15 anys s'hagin produit una real descentralització i analitza dues causes d'aquest "fracàs".  1.-En el sistemes municipals de CA no hi ha incentius polítics a la real descentralització y, amés, la cooperació internacional tampoc la fomenta.  2.- El model de financiació local no incentiva la recaudació pròpia dels governs locals.

 1.- There are no political incentives for decentralisation, and international cooperation, in fact, does not generally encourage such incentives.

We are of the opinion that the donor culture needs to attain a degree of maturity and that a debate should be initiated in relation to the local and political counterbalance of cooperation. What of the Spanish local council which has undertaken to support its twin town in Nicaragua in proportion to the taxes it collects. Does this music sound sweet to the ears? Is this the road to development?


2.- The municipal financing model does not provide an incentive for local tax collection.


It is a poor precedent for democracy that a politician can present him/herself for election with a programme to be financed by another governmental body or by international cooperation aid and based on relatively little effort at the local level. This is a clear example of an affront against the political responsibility of elected representatives, and over the long term, an erosion of their authority. Fiscal responsibility is the framework for political responsibility and so should form the basis for the recovery of the prestige of mayors and of local politics.

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