This short case study on local governance in Zambia highlights the deficit of the Zambian system in terms of service-delivery, participation and accountability. The state system has left decentralised government under-funded, insufficiently accountable and in conflict with line ministries. Development agencies have met these inadequacies by creating parallel structures for service-delivery that enhance participation. However, these parallel structures undermine the state system, are not sustainable, and have proliferated without coordination at district level and without inter-institutional learning. However, people's willingness to participate is clear, and the problems of this case point to how an enhanced model of democratic decentralisation would expand opportunities for participation, and provide a framework for coordination and improved accountability. The EU is a major funder of development programmes in Zambia, and may therefore exert influence over the Zambian government to move towards greater and coordinated democratic decentralisation.
European Forum on Rural Development Cooperation
Montpellier, France, 4-6 September 2002