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  1. The Meaning of Decentralization of Power
  2. Forms of Decentralization
  3. Merits and Demerits of Decentralization


The Meaning of Decentralization of Power

Decentralization is the transfer of authority and responsibility for public functions from the central government to subordinate or quasi-independent government organizations and/or the private sector. It can also be seen as the process of redistributing or dispersing functions, powers, people or things away from a central location or authority. That is to say it is the sharing of power between the central government and the other constituent units, within a political system. Thus, the distribution of powers culminates in the creation of numerous centres of power.


Forms of Decentralization

The forms of decentralization include the following:

  1. Deconcentration
  2. Delegation
  3. Devolution
  4. Divestment


Deconcentration, which is often considered to be the weakest form of decentralization and is used most frequently in unitary states, redistributes decision making authority and financial and management responsibilities among different levels of the central government.

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