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HDI ranking: 77/187
HDI score: 0.741
The decentralization process in Peru began after the collapse of the Fujimori government, with a 2002 constitutional reform highlighting decentralization. Now the government is working to engage Peruvians and transform the country (World Bank, 2011).
Local governance at a glance
- The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for overseeing local governance.
- There are two types of municipalities: provincials and districts, of which there are a total of 1,834.
- Since 2002, both the provincial mayors and the district mayors have been elected by popular vote (UCLG, 2010; Georgetown, 2013).
- The Law of Transparency and Access to Public Information (2003) and the Law of Responsibility and Fiscal Transparency (2001) both call for revenue transparency in Peru. The transfers to regional governments are accessible on a website created for the general public (MEF, 2013).
- The Ministry of Finance transfers 50 percent of revenues from the mining and hydrocarbon industries to local governments (MEF, 2013).
- Local government expenditures are reportedly around 16.4 percent of total government expenditure, or roughly 2.5 percent of GDP (UCLG, 2010).
Civil society actors include
- Associación para el Desarrollo Local (ASODEL) (The Association of Local Development) assists several regions in Peru to utilize their income tax revenues responsibly and effectively.
- CooperAccion is an NGO that brings together local officials and members of the civil society to discuss plans for the future regarding development and democratic changes.
- The Global Center for Development (GCDD) has a project in Peru working to develop a “Digital Democracy Network.” The UNDEF funded the project, and GCDD implemented wireless computer groupings that connected different disenfranchised groups, policymakers and political organizations.
- Micro Justice Peru implemented a new project in partnership with the UNDEF to strengthen provide legal empowerment and capacity building to individuals in the rural communities of Huancané.
- Transparencia educates citizens about their rights, to promote a more democratic and participatory society.
- Socios Peru strengthens democratic institutions and promotes dialogue regarding different actions and visions for sustainable development implementation. Socios trains state, civil society and enterprise groups through capacity building workshops to promote equal rights and how to avoid future social conflicts.
Capacity building institutions
- The Association of Municipalities of Peru (AMPE) unites the provincial and district municipalities to provide technical and legal advice to local leaders. Their mission is to maintain municipal autonomy and contribute to the decentralization process.
Key initiatives for participatory local governance
- The 2002 Decentralization Framework Law laid out which steps were necessary to transfer responsibilities to local governments (IAF, 2013).
- From this framework, the Government of Peru established several other laws: the 2002 Organic law for Regional Governments; the 2003 Organic Law for District and Provincial Municipalities; and the Participatory Budget Framework Law.
- In 2003, municipalities implemented the “Framework Law on Participatory Budgeting,” and progress has been made in involving local citizens in the budgeting process (The Open Urban Studies Journal, 2009).
- Strategies for International Development-Peru, a non-governmental organization, organized a development fund to support local projects, and this fund promoted enthusiasm among citizens for decentralization and participating in these projects.
- A law on participatory budgeting requires municipality leaders to work with the civil society in planning the budget (World Bank, 2011).
- A World Bank project, “Peru Capacity Building for Subnational Public Investment” is currently in progress that is focusing on decentralization, economic management and monitoring public expenditure (World Bank, 2013).
Challenges for participatory local governance
- A 2011 report from the World Bank cautioned that due to the rushed implementation of mandatory municipal participatory budgeting, limited resources exist for implementation or training in local administration practices by the municipalities (World Bank, 2011).
Recent posts on this website about Peru:
- Good Governance Begins with the Individual (2014)
- LogoLink: Learning Initiative on Citizen Participation and Local Governance (2013)
- Decentralization and deforestation : the moderating role of polycentric governance (2012)
- The land governance assessment framework : identifying and monitoring good practice in the land sector (2012)
- More than you can handle : decentralization and spending ability of Peruvian municipalities (2011)
- Decentralization against parties? : the effects of decentralization on political parties in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru (2011)
- Contracting the road to development : early impacts of a rural roads program (2010)
- Inclusive local governance for poverty reduction : a review of policies and practices (2010)
- Innovations in land rights recognition, administration, and governance (2010)
- Local governments and disaster risk reduction : good practices and lessons learned : a contribution to the Making cities resilient campaign (2010)
List of sources used above (in order of citation):
UN Human Development Index, 2012: “Peru”
World Bank, 2011 “Decentralization and Spending Ability of Peruvian Municipalities”
Georgetown, 2013: “Republic of Peru”
World Bank, 2013: “Peru Capacity Building for Subnational Public Investment”
Revenue Watch Institute, 2012: “Peru Transparency Snapshot”
Inter-American Foundation, 2013: “Decentralization Peruvian Style”
United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), 2010: “Local Government Finance: The Challenges of the 21st Century.”
Hordijk, The Open Urban Studies Journal, 2009: “Peru’s Participatory Budgeting: Configurations of Power, Opportunities for Change”