Learning from the Japanese local governance experience [Published in Japanese]: Some suggestions for the Bolivian municipal level

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This paper tries to identify what kind of key elements of the Japanese local government experience could eventually be replicated in the Bolivia’s decentralization reform, in order to improve the implementation of the latter.

Although Bolivia and Japan have two very different decentralization models, separationist and integrationist respectively, the paper succeeds in extracting three main policy recommendations regarding more equalized fiscal transfers from the central government to the municipalities, improved civil service at the local level through the incorporation of an independent personnel commission parallel to the executive and legislative branches of each municipality, and finally the introduction of more economic-promotion oriented Local Public Enterprises.

Naturally, to move from the policy-proposal design to the introduction of the proposal in the government agenda and finally to the implementation of the project itself, a lot of preconditions are needed, like suitable political consensus, sufficient institutional and human-resource capacities, enough financial resources, adequate technological advancement, etc. Fortunately, the time of big changes that Bolivia is facing right now, due to the newly installed administration at the central government and the forthcoming Constitutional Assembly in the next months, gives us a unique window of opportunity to at least overcome one of the most difficult steps, which is the political approval of the policy. Therefore, all new and innovative structural ideas at all levels, including the municipal one, are most welcomed right now. Let this paper be one of them.
Original languageOther
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalGekkan Jichi Forum (Monthly Local Autonomy Forum), Local Autonomy College - Tokyo
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Decentralization
  • Bolivia
  • Japan

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