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Local-level governance in the Pacific

CollectionsANU Dept. of Pacific Affairs (DPA) formerly State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) Program
Title: Local-level governance in the Pacific
Author(s): Schoeffel, Penelope
Turner, Mark
Keywords: Pacific
public service reform
local level reform
local governance
Date published: 2003
Publisher: Canberra, ACT: State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) Program, The Australian National University
Citation: Schoeffel, P. & Turner, M. (2003). Local-level governance in the Pacific. SSGM Discussion Paper 2003/7. Canberra, ACT: ANU Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program
Series/Report no.: Discussion Paper (The Australian National University, State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) Program): 2003/7
Throughout Melanesia and many parts of the Pacific, systems of government continue to be reviewed and restructured. Decentralisation of state powers and responsibilities from the national to provincial and lower levels of government is a recurring theme. The major rationale is that it is both more democratic and more efficient to locate decision-making powers closer to the people. A good deal of thought and effort by government planners and constitutional engineers has gone into central - local relations, particularly into the division of powers and financial arrangements between the two levels. From one country to another the resulting models of decentralisation have varied considerably. In all of this effort however, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the nature and shape of local-level government. In the years since independence, it is clear that in many Pacific countries local-level institutions have decayed and the quality of their governance has deteriorated. Now - in light of the apparent inability of national governments to provide stability, consistent services and good governance - the demand for the reform and strengthening of government at the local level is increasing. In May 2003, the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Project hosted the Local-level Governance in the Pacific Workshop at the Australian National University. This discussion paper comprises the papers presented by two key speakers, Dr Penelope Schoeffel and Professor Mark Turner. Taken together they provide insights into models, structures and processes of local governance and how these might be developed in countries where governmental systems are under review.
ISSN: 1328-7854


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