SECTION ONE INTRODUCTION Background to the study
Decentralization as a concept defies a single definition. Decentralization refers to the transfer of authority to plan, make decisions, as well as manage public functions from a higher level of government to any individual, organization or an agency at a lower level (Boadway & Dougherty, 2018). Transfer of authority as used by in this definition means the sharing of part of governmental power by a central ruling group with other groups, each having authority within a specific area of the state. Another way of understanding decentralization is the devolution of political decision- making power to local level, small-scale entities (Bardhan, 2002). This definition emphasizes devolution as a mechanism for decentralization. This is germane because decentralization allows the devolution of power to lower levels of government and this gives them the possibility to get actively involved in development activities. In terms of analysis, what is common to the above definitions of decentralization are the fundamental areas in the decentralization process-power, authority and responsibility, which start from the center and are then diffuse to the periphery.