Education decentralization


In many developed and developing countries, there has been a growing trend of decentralizing education systems. The process of transferring decision-making powers from central Ministries of Education to intermediate governments, local governments, communities, and schools. The extent of decentralization can vary from administrative decentralization to a much broader form of financial control to the regional or local level.

Reasons countries choose education decentralization is due to the many shortcomings of centralized education service provision, such as: opaque decision-making, administrative and fiscal inefficiency, and poor quality and access to services. Generally, the process of decentralization can substantially improve efficiency, transparency, accountability, and responsiveness of service provision compared with centralized systems and promises to be more efficient, better reflect local priorities, encourage participation, and eventually, improve coverage and quality.  Education decentralization demands harmonization of a complex set of functions, each for primary, secondary, tertiary, and non-formal education.

DCG’s expert consultants have worked on collecting, analyzing and reporting on the optimal education funding levels required to enable local governments to obtain more control over resources as part of the "Montenegro education decentralization reform project’’, which made clear that local governments in Montenegro needed to be given more responsibility and provide more input in local education issues.

In Macedonia, DCG was involved in training local government staff who lacked experience and guidance how to manage their local schools as part of educational system reforms introduced under the Municipal Management of Macedonian Schools Program. DCG experts developed methodologies for project management plans as well as monitoring and evaluation techniques so local governments could better monitor local activities and ensure they correspond with ongoing national government general oversight.