Developing countries face considerable challenges in the design and operation of local infrastructure planning systems in decentralized or decentralizing countries. Many of these are well documented, but the complex political economy environment in which planning evolves has received insufficient attention. The forces driving decentralization and other public sector reforms shape how planning emerges, functions and performs. Local planning involves a range of differentially empowered and variously motivated actors at multiple levels and in diverse ways. The dynamics among them can support or undermine authentic local planning, with potentially significant implications for results. This paper reviews the evolution of local infrastructure planning with a focus on least developed countries, outlining the key expected and observed relationships among decentralization, planning systems and infrastructure development. The main goal is to create greater awareness of political economy issues that could inform the design and management of more effective and pragmatic local infrastructure planning systems.
Romeo, Leonardo and Smoke, Paul, "The Political Economy of Local Infrastructure Planning" (2014). International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series. 15.