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By improving availability of data on key fiscal, political and administrative variables at the national and sub-national level, decentralization policy and outcomes can be assessed more effectively. Improving the quality of these data will also enhance the potential for monitoring service delivery outcomes, which could enhance the accountability of local and national governments and promote responsible governance.

This site contains two sets of data – fiscal and qualitative – collected from the IMF’s Government Finance Statistics. The project was funded by the Danish Governance Trust Fund.

By improving availability of data on key fiscal, political and administrative variables at the national and sub-national level, decentralization policy and outcomes can be assessed more effectively. Improving the quality of these data will also enhance the potential for monitoring service delivery outcomes, which could enhance the accountability of local and national governments and promote responsible governance.

This site contains two sets of data that has been collected by the Decentralization Thematic Group and funded by the Danish Trust Fund:

Fiscal Indicators

Based on GFS more than 100 countries included

- Sub-national Expenditure Share
- Sub-national Revenue Share
- Vertical Imbalance

Expenditure assignment

Revenue assignment

Borrowing framework

Transfer system

Other Sources of Decentralization Data

Sample Indicators
(from USAIDs Decentralization and Democratic Local Governance Programming Handbook)

1. Strengthened National Enabling Environment

Administrative Dimension

  •   Number of responsibilities specifically reserved to local government (as opposed to central government)
  •   Number of reforms passed, relative to recommended or promoted reforms
  •   Number of local government actions overturned by central government
  •   Scope of responsibilities clearly defined for each level
  •   Number or percentage of local laws passed without hindrance from central government
  •   Percentage of local government staff hired independently by local government
  •   Degree of assignment of functional responsibilities from central government to local government
  •   Existence of codes of conduct or other legally binding statements for local officials

Financial Dimension

  •   Increased legislative authority to levy and collect local taxes and fees for local use
  •   Trends in local own-source revenues
  •   Percentage of locally generated revenue retained by local governments
  •   Percentage of residents paying (specified) local taxes
  •   Degree of independence in use of central government financial transfers
  •   Percentage of local government budget mandated by central government
  •   Authority for local debt financing
  •   Existence of local economic development strategies and incentives

Political Dimension

  • Passage of constitutional and legal reforms to transfer power (i.e., local governments have protected
  • legal status and specific powers and responsibilities)
  • Number or percentage of local government decisions overturned by central government
  • Level of authority to accept, reject, or modify central government plans for urban infrastructure constructed by central agencies
  • Level of consultation with associations by local officials on national policy issues
  • Laws supporting freedom of association and speech
  • Percentage of citizens registered to vote and percentage of registered citizens voting (disaggregated by gender and ethnicity) in local elections
  • Percentage of executives, administrators, candidates, and elected officials who are women or minorities
  • Examine finance, resource management, service delivery, and other priority trends in the host country and similar countries
  • Examine availability and reliability of financial data
  • Use workshops and field studies to help the host country define priority structural and policy changes

Policy dialogue:

  • Conduct workshops and other fora to bring stakeholders together to develop a common understanding of options and action plans for fiscal, management, and operational reform
  • Conduct dialogue at all governmental levels on fiscal reform, economic growth strategies, and equity issues

Technical assistance:

  • Help develop alternative fiscal and revenue systems and related regulations
  • Provide legal assistance to revise municipal finance legislation
  • Support development of property registry systems, tax mechanisms, and revenue collection systems
  • Assist with evaluation of local fiscal conditions and implementation of open and transparent budget processes
  • Support capital improvement planning and financing of infrastructure improvements
  • Help strengthen local governments™ fiscal status to enable them to qualify for a bond rating
  • Assist in the establishment of a secondary municipal bond market
  • Provide sample policies and models of municipal creditworthiness
  • Support technical ietwinningln to transfer skills and experience on practical management and operations priorities
  • Create and facilitate management and operations teams charged with developing and testing innovations and sharing experiences
  • Bring irstate-of-the-sciencel. techniques, appropriate technology, and best practice studies to those responsible for specific municipal services


  • Present finance models on a firsthand basis through targeted training in technical areas
  • Lead regional study tours designed to develop an operational understanding of local government finance, budget, and interactive communication with citizen-customers of local services
  • Conduct seminars and workshops on such subjects as customer orientation, quality circles, performance management, and service delivery planning
  • Bring together representatives of local government, NGOs, business, the news media, and others for training and action planning to enhance results through improved relationships and communication
  • Conduct training needs assessment(s) in a consensus-building manner to build understanding of and support for training
  • Develop useful, priority training modules that integrate new approaches and new training techniques

Financial assistance:

  • Invest in and install management systems in key areas such as accounting and finance, property management, and cash investment
  • Private sector and NGO development:
  • Promote techniques for ioreinventingld local government, such as partnering NGOs and business, service contracting, sale of enterprises, franchising, and small business development
  • Explore and work to institute mechanisms to encourage private investment in areas such as job creation and provision of infrastructure in designated commercial/industrial areas
  • Support development of consulting organizations and think tanks that support local government capacity development

Support for local government associations:

  • Bring in-service training, reorientation, and validation to local government professionals such as finance directors, public works engineers, community planners, economic developers, and communication and public relations professionals
  • Help associations share best practices within technical fields
  • Provide model legislation for quasi-public bodies that receive financial support from appropriated funds
  • Provide institution-building support through strategic planning, organizational development, and strengthening of member relations, communication, and advocacy and lobbying skills
  • Assist in establishing technical twinning relationships with other local government organizations
  • Provide direct grants to existing associations to improve administrative capacity
  • Provide indirect grants through a national intermediary group or through the relevant government ministry (e.g., the Ministry of Local Government)
  • Conduct management training directly or through a government ministry
  • Conduct international training and study tours for association leadership

Sample Target Scale *

Sample National Enabling Environment Indicator: Degree of independence municipalities and their citizens have to make investment decisions.

Stage 1

Investment decisions are dictated, directed, or carried out by central government.

Stage 2

Central government recognizes need to grant autonomy to localities. Central government has expanded level of consultation with local government and allows some degree of local government decision-making.

Stage 3

Local governments exercise significant autonomy in investment decisions. Commitment by central governments to expand autonomy is incorporated into national policy.

Stage 4

Local governments act autonomously in making investment decisions with support from central government consistent with national policy.

Sample Democratic Local Governance Indicator: Extent to which women and disenfranchised groups are represented in local governments and other decision-making bodies.

Stage 1

No women or disenfranchised groups are represented in local government.

Stage 2

NGOs or other numbers of the public have indicated that women or disenfranchised groups are under-represented in local government.

Stage 3

Women or disenfranchised groups are on the ballots to be elected as local government officials.

Stage 4

The percentage of women or disenfranchised groups in local government positions and other decision-making bodies has increased and continues to grow.

Sample Local Government Capacity Indicator: Degree to which public budget and decision-making processes are effectively carried out.

Stage 1

No public meetings or printed materials on budget are available.

Stage 2

Budget is properly prepared and printed in newspapers or available at local or central government ministry offices.

Stage 3

City council includes one citizen at-large seat or other formal community representation mechanism at annual budget hearings.

Stage 4

Citizen initiatives or positions are gathered and incorporated into budget documents and the planning and approval process.

* This scale is adapted from the 1998 Results Framework, an operational document of the Office of Environment and Urban Programs of the USAID™s Global Environment Center.

Municipal Finance and Management in the New Independent States

Performance Monitoring


  • Strengthen accountability and control by keeping track of results compared with plans and objectives
  • Improve decision-making by clarifying information on objectives, alternatives, and consequences
  • Enhance performance by improving implementation and methods
  • Build understanding of municipal finance and management by providing information of significance to various stakeholders and audiences
Result 1: Decentralized local government finance and management capacity

Intermediate Results

1.1 Increased use of good management and finance practices and systems for local decision-making


Adoption of new approaches and practices adapted to local needs

More timely data availability

Increased analysis of financial data

Performance-based budgeting in place

Service fees related to costs of service

1.2 Improved local government policies, regulations, and procedures

Reviews of current policy conducted

Legislative changes identified

Increased local control of and responsibility for finance and management

1.3 Greater transaction processing and information systems capacity

Information system plan in place

Organizational framework established for management information systems

Systems up and running

Increased use of management information to guide decisions 

1.4 Organizational structures and approaches better suited for democratic local governance in a free-market economic system

Organizational systems reviewed

Management development programs in place

Means established for handling citizen complaints

Result 2: Local government transparency/accountability
2.1 Increased public knowledge of and participationin budgeting and municipal decision-making

Budgets published and available to public

Open budget processes (public hearings)

Fully auditable financial records

Competitive bidding processes used

2.2 Increased public influence on municipal service outcomes

Referenda on major issues

Open media coverage of local government issues

2.3 Clearly defined lines of authority and responsibility for public officials

Open publication of service data and results

Public organizational charts

2.4 Performance monitoring conducted

Performance monitoring systems in place

Performance monitoring information available to public

If you have additional or updated data…

The database will be greatly improved by the users contributions. If you have information that is not currently in the databases or that is more up to date, please share it with us, and we will include it in the databases.