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Monitoring Government to Improve Its Performance: Peruvian Civil Society and Decentralization

Posted date: 
Thu, 04/26/2012
Source of the information: 
International Budget Partnership

Decentralization is often seen as a necessary reform to advance democracy in a country. In Peru, decentralization involved the transfer of functions, skills, and decision-making capacity and autonomy to subnational authorities that are elected by universal vote. It also brought the state closer to the people by introducing mechanisms to channel civic participation into public management. Following its launch in 2001, however, decentralization has not, in and of itself, been a priority in the agenda of political parties, and it is constantly threatened by efforts to weaken or reverse it.

It is thus essential for Peruvian civil society to closely monitor decentralization efforts. IBP partner Grupo Propuesta Ciudadana does this through its Vigila Peru (“Citizen Watch Peru”) project. The project’s monitoring work highlights a risk of recentralization as evidenced by proposals and other actions to undermine regulations designed to deepen the decentralization process, such as those that promote fiscal decentralization and more effective management of budgeting and public contracting processes by subnational governments. Other monitoring priorities include the role of subnational governments in relation to civic participation, accountability, transparency, and access to information.