Decentralization and Good Governance - PRODEC IV

GIZ, 2022 - 2024
Contract value: 1,661,831 EUR

Since 2011, the decentralized state structure has been enshrined in the Constitution of the 7th Republic of Niger as a territorial-administrative principle of administration and government. With the adoption of the national decentralization policy in 2012, this reform agenda was formally given high political priority. However, concrete progress in its implementation at the local level has lagged behind expectations to improve the delivery of basic government services to the population and to increase the populations trust in government institutions and actors. The sectoral ministries directly affected by the decentralization reform often lack the political will to implement the transfer of competencies and resources for the education, health, water and environment sectors, which have been formally transferred to local authorities since 2016. State actors at the local level often fail to live up to their roles and the increased responsibilities that come with decentralization, and deconcentrated state services provide insufficient support to local authorities in assuming new responsibilities. At the national level, a weak national governance structure and insufficient involvement and accountability of the Ministry of Finance in the devolution process are hampering the progress of decentralization reform. The role of local authorities in local economic development is correspondingly difficult, especially since private sector activities tend to take place in the informal sector, leaving little room for government actors to influence the process. In addition, most of the communities in the partner regions of Tillabéri, Tahoua and Agadez face security problems. This makes it difficult or impossible for the state to provide services and results in high government spending on internal security. Threats against the population and public officials by terrorist and criminal groups affect public, social and economic life. Existing conflicts are intensifying (e.g., over agricultural resources), and new conflicts and challenges are emerging.

Youth, marginalized groups, and women and girls are particularly affected by these developments. Their already high levels of political, economic and social marginalization, combined with little knowledge of their rights, are exacerbated by the deteriorating security situation. The affected communities lack the resilience to adequately address the problems and challenges. The legal framework for the implementation of decentralization is well advanced and has created essential conditions for the transfer of competencies and resources to local authorities. They include the transfer for the four sectors of education, health, water and environment, the creation of a municipal public service, the National Resource Transfer Plan (2018-21) and an interministerial committee set up to coordinate the plan (Comité technique pour le transfert des compétences et des ressources, CTTCR). The Centre de formation en gestion des collectivités territoriales (CFGCT) and the Agence Nationale de Financement des Collectivités Territoriales (ANFICT) are basically fulfilling their roles. There are good examples of participatory subnational development planning, functional approaches to citizen participation, empowerment and commitment of citizens and municipal staff to transparent governance and accountability.



Decentralization Serves People´S Needs


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