Sub-National Governance

Heavily centralised state functions are often characteristic of poor, conflict-affected and transitional countries. They often mirror the centralisation of power that facilitates resource capture for personal or political gain. The absence of effective and empowered sub-national governance processes often reduces the effectiveness of policy development, resulting in poor service delivery and becoming a potential source of conflict.

Since the 1990s, Adam Smith International has focused on building effective, transparent and accountable sub-national governance mechanisms as a core facet of public administration reform. We enable local government to listen and respond to local needs, within a framework of a well-developed overarching national policy.

We have worked to build and develop effective sub-national governance mechanisms in some of the world’s most challenging places, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

Our offerings in this area include:

  • Building and developing links and networks between national and sub-national government
  • Developing and establishing structures, policies and processes to effectively prioritise, plan and implement service delivery improvements
  • Fiscal decentralisation
  • Provincial and municipal financial management reform
  • Strengthening the capacity of local administrations to co-ordinate policies, legislation and resources at all levels
  • Human resource management – the development of common systems across sub-national jurisdictions and ministries, including recruitment, promotion, job descriptions, grading and performance appraisal
  • Creating sub-national executive agencies
  • Advocacy programmes to facilitate communication between government and citizens