International Development Planning Review

Can city governments in the South deliver for the poor?: A municipal finance perspective

International Development Planning Review (2003), 25, (1), 1–29.

Abstract

Finance is a critical constraint for cities seeking to address the problems of urban poverty, but one that has received little attention in the literature. Using material from a study of urban governance and poverty in 10 cities in the South, this paper analyses the issue of finance under two broad headings: resource mobilisation and use, and budgeting and expenditure management processes. It examines the nature and scale of resources available to the cities concerned, whether these impinge on the poor, and how far they are used to meet the needs of the urban poor. It then examines the avenues that the poor have to influence decision making about the use of resources, through representative democratic and participatory processes, and how far that influence on budgetary choices feeds through into actual expenditures. A conclusion is that executive discretion and lack of transparency at the budget implementation stage undermine whatever influence the poor may have on the formal budget process.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

ABERS, R. (1998), 'Learning democratic practice: distributing government resources through popular participation in Pôrto Alegre, Brazil' in J. Friedmann and M. Douglass (eds), Cities for Citizens: Planning and the Rise of Civil Society, Chichester, Wiley. Learning democratic practice: distributing government resources through popular participation in Pôrto Alegre, Brazil Cities for Citizens: Planning and the Rise of Civil Society Google Scholar

AMIS, P. and KUMAR, S. (2000), 'Urban economic growth, infrastructure and poverty in India: lesson from Vizakhapatnam', Environment and Urbanization, 12, 185–96. Urban economic growth, infrastructure and poverty in India: lesson from Vizakhapatnam Environment and Urbanization 12 185 96 Google Scholar

BAHL, R. W. and LINN, J. F. (1992), Urban Public Finance in Developing Countries, New York, Oxford University Press. Urban Public Finance in Developing Countries Google Scholar

BEALL, J., PARNELL, S. and CRANKSHAW, O. (2001), Towards Inclusive Urban Governance in Johannesburg (Working Paper No. 24 for the Urban Governance, Partnerships and Poverty Research), Birmingham, University of Birmingham. Google Scholar

BENJAMIN, S. (2000), 'Governance, economic settings and poverty in Bangalore', Environment and Urbanization, 12, 35–56. Governance, economic settings and poverty in Bangalore Environment and Urbanization 12 35 56 Google Scholar

BENJAMIN, S. and BHUVANESWARI, R. (2001), Democracy, Inclusive Governance and Poverty in Bangalore (Working Paper No. 26 for the Urban Governance, Partnerships and Poverty Research), Birmingham, University of Birmingham. Google Scholar

BIRD, R. M. and RODRIGUEZ, E. R. (1999), 'Decentralization and poverty alleviation: international experience and the case of the Philippines', Public Administration and Development, 19, 299–319. Decentralization and poverty alleviation: international experience and the case of the Philippines Public Administration and Development 19 299 319 Google Scholar

BIRD, R. M. and SMART, M. (2002), 'Intergovernmental fiscal transfers: international lessons for developing countries', World Development, 30, 899–912. Intergovernmental fiscal transfers: international lessons for developing countries World Development 30 899 912 Google Scholar

BIRD, R. M. and VAILLANCOURT, F. (1998), Fiscal Decentralization in Developing Countries, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Fiscal Decentralization in Developing Countries Google Scholar

BLAIR, H. (2000), 'Participation and accountability at the periphery: democratic local governance in six countries', World Development, 28, 21–39. Participation and accountability at the periphery: democratic local governance in six countries World Development 28 21 39 Google Scholar

BURKI, S. J., PERRY, G. and DILLINGER, W. (1999), Beyond the Centre: Decentralizing the State, Washington, DC, World Bank. Beyond the Centre: Decentralizing the State Google Scholar

CROOK, R. C. and MANOR, J. (1998), Democracy and Decentralisation in South Asia and West Africa: Participation, Accountability and Performance, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Democracy and Decentralisation in South Asia and West Africa: Participation, Accountability and Performance Google Scholar

DAVEY, K. J. (1983), Financing Regional Government, Chichester, John Wiley. Financing Regional Government Google Scholar

DAVEY, K. J. with BATLEY, R., DEVAS, N., NORRIS, M. and PASTEUR, D. (1996), Urban Management: The Challenge of Growth, Aldershot, Avebury. Urban Management: The Challenge of Growth Google Scholar

DEVAS, N. (2001), 'Does city governance matter for the urban poor?', International Planning Studies, 6, 393–408. Does city governance matter for the urban poor? International Planning Studies 6 393 408 Google Scholar

DEVAS, N. and KORBOE, D. (2000), 'City governance and poverty: the case of Kumasi', Environment and Urbanization, 12, 123–36. City governance and poverty: the case of Kumasi Environment and Urbanization 12 123 36 Google Scholar

DEVAS, N. with AMIS, P., BEALL, J., GRANT, U., MITLIN, D., RAKODI, C. and SATTERTHWAITE, D. (2001), Urban Governance and Poverty: Lessons from Ten Cities in the South (Policy Briefing Paper from the Urban Governance, Partnerships and Poverty Research), Birmingham, University of Birmingham. Google Scholar

DFID (Department for International Development) (2001), Meeting the Challenge of Poverty in Urban Areas, London, DFID. Google Scholar

DUTTA, S. (1999), Urban Governance, Partnerships and Poverty in Ahmedabad (Working Paper No. 16 for the Urban Governance, Partnerships and Poverty Research), Birmingham, University of Birmingham. Google Scholar

ETEMADI, F. (2001), Towards Inclusive Urban Governance in Cebu (Working Paper No. 25 for the Urban Governance, Partnerships and Poverty Research), Birmingham, University of Birmingham. Google Scholar

FERNANDO, A., RUSSELL, S., WILSON, A. and VIDLER, E. (1999), Urban Governance, Partnerships and Poverty in Colombo (Working Paper No. 9 for the Urban Governance, Partnerships and Poverty Research), Birmingham, University of Birmingham. Google Scholar

FOSTER, M. and MIJUMBI, P. (2002), How, When and Why Does Poverty Get Budget Priority? Poverty Reduction Strategy and Public Expenditure in Uganda, London, Overseas Development Institute. How, When and Why Does Poverty Get Budget Priority? Poverty Reduction Strategy and Public Expenditure in Uganda Google Scholar

FUNG, A. and WRIGHT, E. O. (2001), 'Deepening democracy: innovations in empowered participatory governance', Politics and Society, 29, 5–41. Deepening democracy: innovations in empowered participatory governance Politics and Society 29 5 41 Google Scholar

GOETZ, A. M. and GAVENTA, J. (2001), Bringing Citizen Voice and Client Focus into Service Delivery (Working Paper No. 138), Brighton, IDS. Google Scholar

GOLDFRANK, B. (2002), 'The fragile flower of local democracy: a case study of decentralization and participation in Montevideo', Politics and Society, 30, 51–83. The fragile flower of local democracy: a case study of decentralization and participation in Montevideo Politics and Society 30 51 83 Google Scholar

GRINDLE, M. and THOMAS, J. (1991), Public Choice and Policy Change: The Political Economy of Reforms in Development, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press. Public Choice and Policy Change: The Political Economy of Reforms in Development Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

HARDOY, J., MITLIN, D. and SATTERTHWAITE, D. (1992), Environmental Problems in an Urbanizing World, London, Earthscan. Environmental Problems in an Urbanizing World Google Scholar

HELLER, P. (2001), 'Moving the state: the politics of democratic decentralization in Kerala, South Africa and Pôrto Alegre', Politics and Society, 29, 131–63. Moving the state: the politics of democratic decentralization in Kerala, South Africa and Pôrto Alegre Politics and Society 29 131 63 Google Scholar

HELMSING, A. J. H. (2002), 'Decentralisation, enablement and local governance in low-income countries', Governance and Policy, 20, 3. Decentralisation, enablement and local governance in low-income countries Governance and Policy 20 3 Google Scholar

IDD (INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT) (2002), 'Local government decision-making: citizen participation and local government accountability', IDD Research News, May. Google Scholar

INTERNATIONAL BUDGET PROJECT (2000), A Taste of Success: Examples of the Budget Work of NGOs ( www.international budgetproject.org Google Scholar

KING, R., INKOOM, D. and ABRAMPAH, M. (2001), Urban Governance in Kumasi: Poverty and Exclusion (Working Paper No. 23 for the Urban Governance, Partnerships and Poverty Research), Birmingham, University of Birmingham. Google Scholar

LACASSE, F. (1996), Budgeting and Policymaking: Questions, Tensions and Solutions in OECD, Paris, OECD. Budgeting and Policymaking: Questions, Tensions and Solutions in OECD Google Scholar

LITVACK, J., AHMED, J. and BIRD, R. (1998), Rethinking Decentralization in Developing Countries, Washington, DC, World Bank Sector Studies. Rethinking Decentralization in Developing Countries Google Scholar

LUCAS, H. and NUWAGABA, A. (1999), Household Coping Strategies in Response to the Introduction of User Charges for Social Services: A Case Study on Health in Uganda (Working Paper No. 86), Brighton, IDS. Google Scholar

MANOR, J. (1999), The Political Economy of Democratic Decentralization, Washington, DC, World Bank. The Political Economy of Democratic Decentralization Google Scholar

MELLO, M. (2001), Urban Governance, Accountability and Poverty: The Politics of Participatory Budgeting in Recife (Working Paper No. 27 for the Urban Governance, Partnerships and Poverty Research), Birmingham, University of Birmingham. Google Scholar

MILLS, A., BENNETT, S. and RUSSELL, S. (2001), The Challenge of Health Sector Reform: What Must Governments Do?, Basingstoke, Palgrave. The Challenge of Health Sector Reform: What Must Governments Do? Google Scholar

MITLIN, D. (2000), Civil Society and Urban Poverty: An Overview of the Stage 1 Cases (Working Paper No. 22 for the Urban Governance, Partnerships and Poverty Research), Birmingham, University of Birmingham. Google Scholar

MOHAN, G. and STOKKE, K. (2000), 'Participatory development and empowerment: the dangers of localism', Third World Quarterly, 21, 247–68. Participatory development and empowerment: the dangers of localism Third World Quarterly 21 247 68 Google Scholar

MOORE, M. and PUTZEL, J. (1999), Thinking Strategically about Politics and Poverty (Working Paper No. 101), Brighton, IDS. Google Scholar

MOSER, C. O. N. (1998), 'The assetvulnerability framework: reassessing urban poverty reduction strategies', World Development, 26, 1–19. The assetvulnerability framework: reassessing urban poverty reduction strategies World Development 26 1 19 Google Scholar

NICKSON, R. A. (1995), Local Government in Latin America, Boulder, CO, Lynne Reiner. Local Government in Latin America Google Scholar

NORTON, A. and ELSON, D. (2002), What's Behind the Budget? Politics, Rights and Accountability in the Budget Process, London, Overseas Development Institute. What's Behind the Budget? Politics, Rights and Accountability in the Budget Process Google Scholar

PLUMMER, J. (2000), Municipalities and Community Participation: A Sourcebook for Capacity Building, London, Earthscan. Municipalities and Community Participation: A Sourcebook for Capacity Building Google Scholar

PRESCOD, M. (2002), Budget Implementation Practices in Jamaica: A Review with Emphasis on the Consequences for Social Sector Spending (Background Study for the Jamaica Social Policy Evaluation Study). Google Scholar

PRIA (PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH IN ASIA) and NETWORK OF COLLABORATING REGIONAL SUPPORT ORGANISATIONS (1999), Status of Finances of Panchayati Raj Institutions: An Overview, Delhi, PRIA Publications. Google Scholar

PRUD'HOMME, R. (1995), 'The dangers of decentralization', World Bank Research Observer, August. Google Scholar

RAKODI, C. (2001), Urban Politics and Governance: A Review of the Literature (Working Paper No. 30 for the Urban Governance, Partnerships and Poverty Research), Birmingham, University of Birmingham. Google Scholar

RAKODI, C. and LLOYD-JONES, T. (2002), Urban Livelihoods: A People-centred Approach to Reducing Poverty, London, Earthscan. Urban Livelihoods: A People-centred Approach to Reducing Poverty Google Scholar

RANIS, G. and STEWART, F. (1994), 'Decentralisation in Indonesia', Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, 30, 41–72. Decentralisation in Indonesia Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies 30 41 72 Google Scholar

RODRIÂGUEZ, A. and WINCHESTER, L. (1999), Urban Governance, Partnerships and Poverty in Santiago (Working Paper No. 14 for the Urban Governance, Partnerships and Poverty Research), Birmingham, University of Birmingham. Google Scholar

ROWLAND, A. M. (2001), 'Population as a determinant of local outcomes under decentralisation: illustrations from small municipalities in Bolivia and Mexico', World Development, 29, 1373–91. Population as a determinant of local outcomes under decentralisation: illustrations from small municipalities in Bolivia and Mexico World Development 29 1373 91 Google Scholar

RUSSELL, S. and VIDLER, E. (2000), 'The rise and fall of government: community partnerships for urban development: grassroots testimony from Colombo', Environment and Urbanization, 12, 73–86. The rise and fall of government: community partnerships for urban development: grassroots testimony from Colombo Environment and Urbanization 12 73 86 Google Scholar

SCHNEIDER, A. and GOLDFRANK, B. (2001), Budgets and Ballots in Brazil: Participatory Budgeting from the City to the State (draft paper), Brighton, IDS. Google Scholar

SCHONWALDER, G. (1997), 'New democratic space at the grassroots? Popular participation in Latin American local governments', Development and Change, 28, 753–70. New democratic space at the grassroots? Popular participation in Latin American local governments Development and Change 28 753 70 Google Scholar

SEPEHERI, A. and CHERNOMAS, R. (2001), 'Are user charges efficiency-and equity-enhancing?', Journal of International Development, 13, 183–210. Are user charges efficiency-and equity-enhancing? Journal of International Development 13 183 210 Google Scholar

SHAH, A. (1994), The Reform of Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in Developing and Emerging Market Economies, Washington, DC, World Bank. The Reform of Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in Developing and Emerging Market Economies Google Scholar

SOUZA, C. (2001), Participatory Budgeting in Brazilian Cities: Limits and Possibilities in Building Democratic Institutions (Working Paper No. 28 for the Urban Governance, Partnerships and Poverty Research), Birmingham, University of Birmingham. Google Scholar

TANZI, V. (1995), Fiscal Federalism and Decentralization: Some Efficiency and Macroeconomic Aspects, Washington, DC, World Bank. Fiscal Federalism and Decentralization: Some Efficiency and Macroeconomic Aspects Google Scholar

TER-MINASSIAN, T. (ed.) (1997), Fiscal Federalism in Theory and Practice,Washington, DC, International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Federalism in Theory and Practice Google Scholar

TURNER, M. (1997), 'Decentralisation within the state: good theory but poor practice?' in M. Turner and D. Hulme (eds), Governance, Administration and Development, Basingstoke, Macmillan, 151–74. Decentralisation within the state: good theory but poor practice? Governance, Administration and Development 151 74 Google Scholar

UNCHS (UNITED NATIONS CENTRE FOR HUMAN SETTLEMENTS) (1995), An Urbanizing World: Global Report on Human Settlements 1995, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Google Scholar

UNCHS (UNITED NATIONS CENTRE FOR HUMAN SETTLEMENTS) (2001), Cities in a Globalizing World: Global Report on Human Settlements 2001, London, Earthscan. Google Scholar

VANDERSCHUEREN, F., WEGELIN, E. and WEKWETE, K. (1996), Policy Programme Options for Urban Poverty Reduction: A Framework for Action at the Municipal Level, Washington, DC, World Bank and UNCHS. Policy Programme Options for Urban Poverty Reduction: A Framework for Action at the Municipal Level Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

WILDAVSKY, A. (1988), The New Politics of the Budgetary Process, London, Scott/ Foresman. The New Politics of the Budgetary Process Google Scholar

WORLD BANK (2001), Attacking Poverty: World Development Report 2000/2001, New York, Oxford University Press. Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Devas, Nick