With a population of 355 million and the vast majority of people living in middle-income countries, the MENA region came into the Arab Spring with multiple strengths, including a young and educated population, strong resource base, and economic resilience that helped it weather the 2008/9 global financial crisis.
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“One of the main lessons of the report is that the sustainability of the Burundi decentralization process requires a firm engagement from both citizens and their leaders” says Marco Larizza, Seni... Show More +or Public Sector Specialist, World Bank task team leader, and one of the authors of the report. “The aim is also to promote efficient strategies to increase citizen participation in local governance, as well as other social accountability measures”, he adds.The report suggests that despite recent progress, citizens and communities have few opportunities to effectively engage in local decision-making processes. The study also highlights the need for establishing more transparent mechanisms for tax collection and executing commune’s development plans. For example, in Rutegama, a commune located in the center of the country, the current administration was able to implement significant reforms and gain citizens trust in establishing an accountable and transparent tax collection system, making Rutegama one the few financially viable communes in the country.The report - result of a strong process of engagement and dialogue between the World Bank, the government, Burundi citizens and development partners - is composed of four chapters. Chapter 1 is an overview of Burundi’s political and macro-economic context, and reviews the evolution of the decentralization process. Chapter 2 is an analysis of decentralization from a fiscal perspective, and identifies key reforms to be considered in order to sustain the process while meeting communal financial needs. Chapter 3 provides an in-depth analysis of communal land registration services. It discusses the benefits and opportunities related to current initiatives promoting access to land services for the 116 rural communes. Chapter 4 offers a perspective on state/citizens relationship to improve accountability and local participation in the decision-making process.The report, produced at the request of the government, is part of a series of programmatic studies developed by the World Bank to assist Burundi in its efforts to promote accelerated and inclusive growth and improve transparency and accountability in the use of public expenditures. Although the Government of Burundi is the main beneficiary of the analysis, this exhaustive study is intended for a larger audience, including donor community members, business managers, civil society representatives, etc. Show Less -