Developing, managing, and sharing knowledge on natural resources, conflict, and peacebuilding
Library / Contesting Institutional Engineering for Decentral...
Source: Sage Open, 2016
Author(s): Sane Pashane Zuka
Topics: Conflict Prevention, Dispute Resolution/Mediation, Governance, Renewable Resources
In line with 1993/1994 political change from autocratic to democratic rule in Malawi, centralized natural resources management has been replaced by decentralized approaches. Decentralized natural resource governance, however, requires transfer of responsibility and control over resources to locally elected actors. Using Domasi and Njala irrigation schemes, this study explores the processes and outcomes of institutional engineering that was considered prerequisite for the establishment of local governance in Malawi. The study findings reveal that decentralization is predominantly a political activity; hence, the transition to decentralization cannot be a matter of just passing democratic legislation. Consequently, mere institution of democratic structures does not automatically lead to achievement of democratic governance as was theorized.