Decentralization is at the heart of empowerment and participation in local political processes that improve public services and match citizens’ needs. Where democratic statehood comes under pressure, strong local governance structures play a crucial role in safeguarding power vested in the people and civil society.

Decentralization is a cornerstone of reforms in many transition countries. It strengthens democratic governance, responds to local demands, delivers better citizens’ services and, hence, increases legitimacy. Yet, despite a transfer of power and competences to sub-national levels, regional and local administrations often lack capacities, institutionalization and efficiency of procedures and workflows. The generation of financial resources is insufficient and their allocation inefficient. Consequently, local governments often do not meet citizens’ expectations that jeopardizes people’s support for reform.

GFA concept and services

© GFA/GIZ, ProDec Niger GFA accompanies change processes and offers services in decentralization for local institutions, civil society and other beneficiaries. Goal-oriented dialogue is considered key to designing successful reform processes as a mix of client-oriented, customized tools and state-of-the-art methods. GFA’s advisory services range from new approaches of local administration management via development-oriented planning to the cooperation between local stakeholders and departments at different levels. The elaboration of vertical financial transfer mechanisms is complemented by the improvement of local revenue and tax administration for more local financial autonomy. Human capacity development and the GFA Unit Digital Learning for Impact (DLI) for adult education and on-the-job training is at the heart of the company’s interventions, while human-centered digital tools and workflows supplement these services.

Title picture: © robertonencini |


Christian Bürger
Portfolio Manager
E-mail: christian.buerger[at]


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