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Mr. Giorgio Brosio, Mr. Ehtisham Ahmad, and Ms. Maria Gonzalez
This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate. A politically driven and ambitious decentralization program implemented by the authorities since the late 1990s has had mixed results in terms of enhancing service delivery. Paradoxically, concerns with the results of service delivery, partially driven by donors' requirements, have resulted in a deconcentrated system relying on conditional grants and unfunded mandates. This has reduced the incentives, responsibility, and ownership for local authorities to improve service delivery. Crucially, for functions where the local authorities have had full responsibility, better service quality has resulted than in those areas in which there are overlapping responsibilities between the center and the local authorities.
International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews the Progress Report for Guinea’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). Several measures were taken at the institutional, technical, and human levels to improve the mobilization of fiscal resources. In the monetary area, the government continued to use indirect instruments to control liquidity: reserve requirements, open market operations, treasury bills, and lead interest rates. In the area of transportation and public works, priority was given to road transport by opening up access to production areas, improving the conditions of passenger transport, and strengthening the competitiveness of the national economy.
Mr. David E. Sahn and Mr. Stephen D. Younger
This paper examines the progressivity of social sector expenditures and taxes in eight sub-Saharan African countries. It uses dominance tests to determine whether health and education expenditures redistribute resources to the poor. The paper finds that social services are poorly targeted. Among the services examined, primary education tends to be most progressive, and university education is least progressive. The paper finds that many taxes are progressive as well as efficient, including some broad-based taxes such as the VAT and wage taxation. Taxes on kerosene and exports appear to be the only examples of regressive taxes.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.