Guest Post By Abdul Nafay.
Decentralization means to distribute the administrative functions or powers of a central or main authority among several local authorities.
A decentralized organization is one in which the decisions are not only taken by the central government but the local authorities, with managers at various local levels make operating decisions according to their sphere of responsibility.
decentralization is of four main types.
4. Market decentralisation.
As we have to deal with the first two so we will highlight them only.
It involves the transfer of political authority from central to local elected bodies in the form of states.
It refers to providing local government with the capacity and authority to define and collect taxes and revenues, manage public resources and make expenditures for the provision of public services.
Advantages of Decentralization:
Decentralization has many advantages which include:
1. Top management and central government are relieved of day-to-day problem solving and are allowed to think for central government problems with concentration.
2. Decentralization provides lower level managers the experience to make self decisions. Without such experience, they will not be prepared to make decisions when they are promoted into higher level positions.
3. Lower level managers generally have more detailed and up to date information about local conditions than top management and can convey to them in a much better way. Therefore, the decisions of lower level management are based on better and solid information.
4. It increases inter-government competition.
5. It leads to more regional and geographical differences which increases welfare for the state and society.
Disadvantages of Decentralization:
Decentralization has following disadvantages:
1. Lower level managers may make decisions without fully understanding the “big picture.” However, as it is mentioned above that the lower level management better knows about their problems.
2. In a truly decentralized organization, there may be a lack of coordination among autonomous managers. However, this can be reduced if the local managers know the communicating skills.
3. Lower-level managers may have objectives that are different from the objectives of the entire organization. For this purpose, the upper level or central level management should set their goals in front of the lower level managers. In this way, they will get a specified direction.
4. In a strongly decentralized organization, it may be more difficult to effectively spread innovative ideas and the company goes on working without innovation that may lessen the competition to some extent and confine the profits made by any company.
Decentralization in SOUTH AFRICA:
Since the middle of 1980’s, most African countries have started a transfer of power, resources and responsibilities to their sub-national governments.
Two countries, Ethiopia and South Africa have chosen a federal system.
Nigeria, which used to be the only federal state in Africa, has adopted a new constitution that maintains the federal system. It gives more powers to its sub-national governments.
Before decentralization in Africa, maintenance of basic infrastructure and service quality work were neglected in the rural areas and the very few resources were given to the local governments. Development and funds were concentrated in the urban areas, in particular the capital city.
USA has a total population of 314,229,000 which makes 4.47% of the whole world.
It has area 50 states and every state runs the local system by the methodology proposed by the central government.
Pakistan has a population of 180,482,000.
It has 5 states and every state runs it system with the help of the methodology of central government.
If Pakistan supports decentralization as the European and African countries, then there can be a hope that Pakistan can improve its economy and it will help Pakistan in decreasing the rate of corruption. One of the main reasons of corruption in Pakistan is that all the authorities have been given to the 5 states which are very few to control and use the whole resources of the country.
So, decentralization in Pakistan is surely needed. We should better adapt to the new changes instead of making these 5 states our holy cows. It is definitely not a matter of patriotism and it has nothing to do with it. We will have to adopt the changes to make our way to progress and decentralization is one of it.