Delegation, refers to:

  • “The transfer of managerial responsibility for specified functions to other public organizations outside normal central government control, whether provincial or local government or parastatal agencies” (Ferguson and Chandrasekharan).
  • “One form of administrative decentralization which transfers responsibilities and authority to semi-autonomous entities that respond to the central government but are not totally controlled by it. Public forestry corporations and in some cases implementation units of some forestry projects–often donor supported–are examples of this form of decentralization” Besides deconcentration, devolution and delegation, there is another form called privatisation. Ferguson and Chandrasekharan include privatisation as a particular form of devolution to private ownership that has become prominent in recent times (Ferguson and Chandrasekharan). However Ribot in his paper says that privatization is not a form of decentralization. Besides the definitions above, there are some other terms related to decentralization defined by the authors. They are:
  • “Democratic: substantively refers to the accountability of leaders to the people” (Ribot)
  • “Accountability, defined as counter-power—that is, any power that balances or puts a check on the power of other power holders (Agrawal and Ribot 1999). Accountability is constituted by the set of mechanisms and sanctions that can be used to assure policy outcomes are as consistent with local needs, aspirations and the best public interest as policymakers can make them” (Ribot).

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