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SDRC TR 1993-06: Regional Workshop on Decentralization and Human Welfare

Over the past two decades, several countries in the Asian Region have attempted to decentralize as a way of furthering growth with equity goals within their political framework. Decentralization is defined broadly to mean the transfer of planning, decision-making, and administrative authority from the central government to the local administrative units or local government. Decentralization has been achieved in different ways by different countries. In Thailand, strategies were delineated in their Fourth National Development Plan which decentralized basic economic services to increase rural production and social services to reach the maximum number of people. Provincial development planning made the province the key unit in sub-national development. Linkages were developed between the national and provincial plans. In Indonesia, strategies for rural development assumed two forms: One was embodied in the sectoral development strategy through projects that cut across provinces, and the other was through budget allocation where subsidies were allotted to local government to implement specific projects that they have selected. In Vietnam, the economic renovation period known as Doi Moi gave impetus to countryside initiatives in land utilization, production organization and social welfare. Local and regional needs are identified by the local governments. The workshop examined the key issues in the decentralization experiences of selected countries in Asia and, subsequently, developed a regional research proposal to look into decentralization and its impact on human welfare. The critical issues in decentralization which were examined are: a) philosophy and implementation of decentralized schemes in the social sector in the countries concerned; b) problems in linking policy goals and program implementation; c) basic elements crucial in the success or failure of the selected programs; d) revisions needed to facilitate decentralized development management; and e) research issues that can be addressed through communal deliberation and action. The workshop was held from December 1-3, 1993 and was participated in by researchers from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Each participant prepared a country situation analysis. The workshop participants were Dr. Sheldon Shaeffer of the International Development Research Centre, Canada; Dr. Bienvenido Rola, ESCAP, Thailand; Dr. Boonlert Leoprapai, Mahidol University, Thailand; Dr. Bui Gia Thinh, Vietnam; Dr. Manasse Malo, University of Indonesia, Indonesia; Dr. Anurak Panyanuwat, Chiang Mai University, Thailand; and Dr. Trinidad S. Osteria, De La Salle University, Philippines.

DLSU-Social Development Research Center
Authors Keywords
Osteria, Trinidad; Welfare Programs; welfare issues; decentralization;
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