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Decentralisation in practice: power, livelihoods and cultural meaning in West Africa. Workshop highlights 2004

The international workshop on Decentralisation in Practice,
convened jointly by the Department of Cultural Anthropology
& Ethnology at Uppsala University and the Drylands programme
of IIED took place in Uppsala, Sweden on the 4-6 May
2004. Through presentations and plenary discussion, workshop participants debated factors determining how policy commitments to devolved forms of government actually work in practice and their effects on local people’s livelihoods. The workshop demonstrated how the decentralisation processes in West Africa are essentially political requiring major shifts in power relations between different actors at different levels, and that to understand these processes both a livelihoods and a cultural perspective are essential. This report presents the highlights of the event, focusing on key issues raised by the papers and the debate following their presentation.

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Our programme of work on 'Making decentralisation work' responded to a policy change in many countries in the African Sahel which saw the transfer of certain decision-making powers and resources away from central government to elected local government bodies.

More at www.iied.org:
Making decentralisation work

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