Asian countries have introduced major reforms and new institutional mechanisms in recent years to promote the engagement of elected local governments, civil society, and the private sector. This book examines emerging issues in democratic local governance and factors that influenced the impetus for and the substance of reforms. It asks the following questions:
• What have been the challenges in designing and implementing decentralization policies and programs?
• What are the constraints on strengthening citizen participation?
• Can reforms promote gender and rights perspectives in local governance?
• What is the role of local government in service delivery and access?
• How effective are the mechanisms for accountability and transparency in local governance?
• What are the driving forces influencing democratic local governance reform?
The book addresses these questions as it discusses studies from theoretical and comparative perspectives on specific issues as well as myriad cases across Asia, often dealing with country-specific reforms.