Virtual Kollage: The advantages of a decentralized system of government

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The advantages of a decentralized system of government



THE ADVANTAGES OF A DECENTRALIZED SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT
Definition of decentralization
Decentralization can be defined as that system of government in which some administrative powers of the central government is knowingly transferred from a higher level of authority to a lower level of authority. In other words, power could be transferred from the central government to regional or district units.

MERITS
Brings government to the doorstep of the people
One of the merits of decentralization is that it brings the government from wherever it is to the people at the local level. The people are able to have easy access to the various services that are provided by the government. For example, to take a passport, one does not have to go to the capital city before he or she can do so. The person can take the passport at the decentralized office near him or her.

It minimizes tyrannical tendencies
Another advantage of decentralization is that the tendency to become dictatorial is minimized. There is government at the local level and because people participate actively in the operations of the government at the decentralized level, they become political wise to check any holder from sliding into dictatorship.

Allows room for taking initiative
Some problems are peculiar to some localities and therefore only local solutions can be applied to it. The fact that there is room for fining local solutions means that the people at the local are able to take initiatives to solve their own problems.

Takes some burdens off the central government
Decentralization allows for the central government to give part of its responsibility to the regional and district authorities. Once the load of government is shared the burden that would necessarily have been on the central government is take off and makes the burden less compounding.

Healthy rivalry
The presence of many regions and districts and each trying to do well for its locality brings about healthy competition among the regions and districts. When one district becomes successful with a programme, the programme can be adopted by other regions to raise the living standard of the people.

Reduces delay in policy implementation
Unlike in a centralized government where policy alterations have first to be referred to the centre, in a decentralized system, the people can vary the policy to suit local situations as long as it does completely deviate too much from the original policy. This helps to reduce the delay that is associated with the implementation of government programmes.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. a. What is decentralization?
    b. Highlight five advantages of decentralization.  

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