Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Cooperation Under Decentralization in a Fragile and Conflict Affected State: A Democratic Republic of Congo Case Study
by McMahon, Lindsay T., Ph.D., The George Washington University, 2020, 301; 28089094
Abstract (Summary)

Decades after adopting decentralization reforms, fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS) struggle to realize anticipated gains in public sector responsiveness and accountability. Poor communities, reliant on essential public services, suffer disproportionately. Decentralization reforms, requiring cooperation across different levels of government, can improve public sector responsiveness in FCAS. This is because decentralization reforms connect decision-making, resources, and expertise, typically concentrated at the central level, with lower levels of government where public officials directly address citizens’ demands. To examine cooperation between levels of government in a FCAS context, I undertook a case study in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I explored vertical cooperation within DRC public institutions responsible for rural water and sanitation services to determine to what extent, under what circumstances and for what reasons public officials within these agencies worked together across administrative levels to achieve health and sanitation outcomes. I used a qualitative case study and collected data from semi-structured interviews, a document review, and on-site observations to respond to these questions. From the study’s findings I devised a conceptual framework to better understand vertical cooperation within decentralizing institutions in FCAS contexts. My findings point to ways to improve public service outcomes in DRC through better vertical cooperation within service agencies. In certain circumstances, the study’s insights may be transferable to other decentralizing FCAS striving to deliver public services under challenging conditions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pandey, Sanjay K.
Commitee: Newcomer, Kathryn E., Brainard, Lori A.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Public Administration
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Public administration, International Relations, Public policy
Keywords: Decentralization, Fragile states, Public service delivery, Vertical cooperation
Publication Number: 28089094
ISBN: 9798664790504
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