Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Centralised versus decentralised monitoring in developing countries: a survey of recent research

Afridi, Farzana, Dhillon, Amrita, Chaudhuri, Arka Roy and Kaur, Dashleen (2023) Centralised versus decentralised monitoring in developing countries: a survey of recent research. In: Faguet, Jean-Paul and Pal, Sarmistha, (eds.) Decentralised Governance: Crafting Effective Democracies Around the World. LSE Press, London, UK, 235 - 269. ISBN 9781909890848

[img] Text (Afridi_centralised-versus-decentralised-chapter--published) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (307kB)

Identification Number: 10.31389/lsepress.dlg.i


We consider the effectiveness of centralised and decentralised monitoring using a theoretical framework of factors affecting each approach. Centralised monitoring is more costly, yet more professional. However, the monitors themselves are not directly affected by the activity they are monitoring, so they may have less at stake in policies or services working well. By contrast, in community monitoring local people and civil society have high stakes in improving local outcomes. In the political economy literature, top-down audits have been seen as more effective in certain types of activities (like procurement) where detailed documentation exists, and where corruption can be more clearly defined as compared to mismanagement. Community monitoring has had higher efficacy when collective action problems can be solved, when monitoring teams have a sense of agency, and when the composition of teams is more homogeneous. Community monitors have deeper knowledge of local agents, so that (ceteris paribus) this approach should be less costly for the government because monitoring resources can be targeted better. However, both local monitoring and local agents may suffer from problems of elite capture.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Authors
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2023 14:06
Last Modified: 30 May 2024 12:36

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics