Assessment on the implementation of woreda decentralization in Gambella People’s National Regional State, Ethiopia: the case of Abobo and Lare woredas

  • Tegegne Gebre-Egzhiaber 1
  • Abrham Gebreselassie Gebreyes 2
  • 3
  • 1 University Professor, Institute of Regional and Local Development Studies and Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • 2 MA in Regional and Local Development Studies, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  • 3 MSc Student, Szent István University, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Gödöllő, Hungary

This research is concerned with the assessment on the implementation of woreda decentralization in Gambella Peoples National Regional State with particular emphasis to Abobo and Lare woredas. It attempted to explore the objectives, legal and institutional frameworks and implementation status of the recently embarked DLDP and fiscal decentralization in the Gambella region. Secondly, the study provided a modest preliminary investigation of some performance indicators of the program in terms of power and authority, local governance processes, inter-governmental relations, financial and administrative capacities, planning and budgeting processes, community participation and basic service delivery trends with particular reference to the two woredas. Finally, the study tried to illustrate some of the major inherent and encountered problems and the possible prospects of the program. To meet the above objectives, the research employed more of qualitative case study approach. Both primary and secondary data sources were used in gathering pertinent information. The technique of collecting primary data includes in-depth interviews at regional, woreda and kebele levels, focus group discussions with the community and personal observation. Secondary sources are published and unpublished materials such as books, different reports and manuals that cover federal to the woreda. Descriptive method of analysis is used to analyze the primary and secondary data. The study found out that decentralization in general and woreda decentralization in particular had not been implemented adequately due to several reasons. It is challenged by many problems such as inadequate devolution of power, limited decisions-making authority and autonomy transferred to local governments, absence of political will and commitment to devolve power in real sense, lack of legal and institutional framework, poor inter-governmental relations and weak coordination with different stakeholders, upward accountability and absence of transparency in the operation of local governments, shortage of resources (skilled human power and material), limited administrative, institutional and technical local capacities, weak budgeting and expenditure administration, poor revenue generating capacity and heavy financial dependency on federal and regional governments, and weak public sector service deliveries. Regarding participation, there is low level of community participation in different sectors at the stage of problem identification, prioritization of needs, planning and budgeting processes and decision making activities at regional and local levels. Hence, to make decentralization meaningful and benefits of woreda decentralization to be realized, recommendations are made on power and authority, political commitments, legal and institutional frameworks, capacity issues, inter-governmental relations, accountability, transparency, financial and human resources and community participation.

Befoglaló szám: 
pp. 1-11