ERIC Number: ED472263
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Education Decentralization in Sub-Saharan Africa--Espoused Theories and Theories in Use.
Naidoo, Jordan P.
Education decentralization efforts are examined in six primarily rural, sub-Saharan African countries--Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Stated reasons do not always reflect the real underlying rationales for decentralization. Education decentralization that is publicly advocated to improve service delivery and local empowerment may actually be motivated by cost reduction or increasing political control. There is much discrepancy between the claims and practices of education decentralization. Core education decisions around curriculum, day-to-day school management, and organizational issues are hardly ever decentralized so as to encourage local community participation in decision making. Macro-level economic and political contexts influence the implementation and outcomes of decentralization. Devolution of authority to local communities cannot succeed unless all stakeholders internalize the objectives, benefits, and responsibilities involved. Decentralization reforms that change the distribution of power, authority, and resources meet greater resistance than those that reassign administrative responsibilities alone. Devolution of power to lower levels of government or local communities may be more rhetoric than reality. Appropriate organizational structure, technical capacity, and resources to implement decentralization policies are necessary, as are political will and congruency between "bottom-up" and "top-down" principles. (Contains 137 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: Comparative Education, Decentralization, Democracy, Developing Nations, Educational Administration, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Governance, Government Role, Participative Decision Making, Politics of Education, Power Structure, Privatization, Rural Schools, Theory Practice Relationship
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa