chapter  7
15 Pages

Decentralization and Local Governance in Kazakhstan

WithShahjahan H. Bhuiyan

Many governments in transition countries have adopted decentralization as part of broad market reforms since the early-1990s. During the first transition decade in postcommunist states, many centralized government structures failed to carry out effectively critical functions that had been provided during the planned economy period, not to mention meet the requirements of a market economy (UNDP, 2002). In order to close these gaps in governance, these countries created some form of sub-national government structure, whether to maintain control or to deliver local public service across the country, or both. Sub-national structures range from elected state, provincial, municipal, or local governments, and involve the transfer of varying degrees of decision-making power and resources from the central level to local governments (Babajanian, 2008; UNDP, 2007). The decentralization debate addresses a key problem of public administration — that of “delegated discretion” (Fukuyama, 2004).