of the website provides links to resources which are designed to assist
practitioners in the assessment and implementation of decentralization
in developing countries. For example, the Intergovernmental Relations
Institutional Review toolkit, prepared by members of the World Bank’s
Decentralization Thematic Group, characterizes the degree of decentralization
within a country and assesses how well it is designed and implemented.
Characterizing the degree of decentralization is useful for monitoring
how the roles and responsibilities of different levels of government
change over time within a particular country and to a lesser extent,
for cross country comparisons. Assessing the design and implementation
of decentralization is important for learning if the current arrangements
are likely to lead to (a) fiscal imbalance and macroeconomic instability
and (b) efficient and equitable service delivery. (Service delivery
is also affected by many other institutional issues and thus, is addressed
in a separate toolkit.) The toolkit is structured into two major sets
of questions to help the analyst in a particular country: (1) characterize
decentralization (i.e. how much/what kind of decentralization exists
in the country), and (2) assess the design of decentralization (i.e.
are there particular design or institutional arrangements which are
likely to lead to a "soft budget constraint" and become problematic?).
to the toolkit, links to handbooks prepared by Roy Bahl (Georgia State
University), USAID, and others are available.