Project Case Study
Building capacity for decentralised service delivery in Ethiopia
Developing processes and systems to improve local service delivery
Building local government capacity to enable it to successfully implement its own poverty reduction programmes is crucial in the fight against poverty. Both the National Regional States of Amhara and Tigray, two major regions in northern Ethiopia, with a combined population of more than 21 million people, are severely afflicted by poverty. In Amhara, for example, only 28% of people in 2008 had access to an improved water source, and in Tigray in 2005 the average literacy rate was only 50%.
Ethiopia’s policy of decentralisation has meant that local governance has become increasingly important. In line with this, between 2005 and 2006, we were asked by the World Bank to support the implementation and operationalisation of new legislation and policy on decentralised and autonomous local government authorities in Amhara and Tigray.
A project initiated by the Ethiopian Ministry of Federal Affairs, it focused on building capacity through institutional reform, systems development and training to promote effective policy formulation and implementation. It concentrated on sectors critical to poverty reduction including infrastructure, health and education. We worked closely with our Ethiopian counterparts and specialists to prepare implementation guidelines and to develop basic rules, regulations, procedures and systems in response to the new legislation.
We successfully supported these two regional states to strengthen their public financial management processes and systems so that they could bear the increased responsibility of decentralised service delivery through local government bodies.