KAS: Book Publication; Decentralization and Local Development (2011)
In 2011 Visions Center for Strategic and Development Studies authored the book Decentralization and Local Development, which presents scientific research addressing the subjects of decentralization, local development, community development, institutional capacity-building and the role of the private sector and civil society in local development. The books intent was to shed light on the significant developmental role of the governorates, to expand public participation in the decision-making process, and to promote the priorities of local development issues. These goals have been designed in accordance with the principle of decentralization, the strategic planning approach and the integrative participatory management in determining priorities for local, comprehensive and sustainable development.
The achievement of decentralization objectives requires pro-active participation and collective efforts on all levels, with cooperation and dialogue between various sectors of society from government, local, and civil, to private institutions. Which can be accomplished through the identification, development, and enhancement of skills and special interests of government officials, decision makers, officials of the governorates and municipalities, and other government departments in order to increase their institutional capacity building in establishing local communities.
The establishment of effective communities is based on providing comprehensive and accurate information that leads to a prompt decision-making process. Timely decision-making is essential in order to meet modern changes, which have been influenced by the increasing role of information technology, where it represents a vital element in achieving economic and social development. The concept of community development refers to planned communication efforts, which can create positive and friendly attitudes towards development, and help facilitate community access to the information. Community development in concerned with creating appropriate social and cultural conditions related to individuals in order to respond to and support developmental plans and programs during implementation and to enhance their sustainability.
Researchers stressed the importance of a decentralized management approach that is based on limiting the decision-making process of one main body and transferring the decision-making and administrative authorities from the central government to local governments and communities through administrative and semi-independent organization units. The success of the decentralization process depends on the clarity of roles and responsibilities and on the involvement of all the concerned parties from public and private institutions and civil society organizations.
This book aims also at contributing to the improvement of political participation and civic education of citizens and local community associations. It intends to strengthen democratic practices, and citizen participation in the formulation of developmental policies, monitoring good governance, implementation process, and demanding improvement and modification when deemed necessary.