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Local Government Reform in Jamaica: A New Paradigm for Participatory Local Governance

Local Government Reform in Jamaica: A New Paradigm for Participatory Local Governance
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Author(s): Keith L. Miller (Ministry of Local Government, Jamaica)
Copyright: 2017
Pages: 23
Source title: Handbook of Research on Sub-National Governance and Development
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Eris Schoburgh (University of the West Indies, Jamaica) and Roberta Ryan (University of Technology Sydney, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1645-3.ch024

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Abstract

Local government as a formal institution has existed in Jamaica since 1667. It has traditionally been perceived as the lower of a two-tier system of government in which it has essentially operated as an instrument of central government. The second of two major reforms to the local government system was initiated in 1990 and officially launched in 1995. The current reform program constitutes a new paradigm of subnational governance and development, in which local government is no longer primarily a creature of central government, but rather a vehicle for the management of local affairs, including the pursuit of local developmental priorities, with strong participation by local citizens and stakeholders. Such a paradigm is claimed to be critical to addressing governance and developmental challenges that currently confront Jamaica. This study examines the validity of this claim and whether this new paradigm is likely to enhance subnational governance and development.

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