By Martin Feldstein
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Experiences where no agency is primarily responsible, as in Chile and Colombia, illustrate that the Ministry of Finance or the national planning office usually takes over when the process of decentralization is not clearly headed by another agency. Providing reliable information for the public discussion of federal, state, and local fiscal and financial policy, and evaluating the design and exchange of information; Designing, collecting, and disseminating key indicators for the implementation of decentralization, monitoring the changes of revenue and expenditure responsibilities, and evaluating the capacity of subnational governments to assume new responsibilities.
Thus far Mexico has improved its intergovernmental and intersectoral coordination largely through top-down mechanisms, such as conditional transfers and federal monitoring. 1. Coordination of Decentralization: Lessons in Latin America The Latin American experience with coordination of the decentralization process indicates the following lessons: 1. Horizontal, intersecretary agreements (national level) or conferences of governors, mayors, or finance secretaries (subnational level) have had only modest effects, generally restricted to a few specific policies.
The municipal share of public spending has also grown, although this trend is not as fully documented. This process is being driven by heightened political competition at all levels of government and by the desire of the federal government to include decentralization in its program for broadening political participation. Each country must, however, develop its own strategy of decentralization and its own particular institutional infrastructure in accordance with its history, its objectives, and the constraints it faces.