Decentralisation amidst poverty and disunity : the Sudan, 1969-1983
This thesis is a study of decentralisation in the Sudan both as a mechanism for the management of ethnic diversity and for development administration. The study focuses on a particular period (1969-1983) during the Nimeiri regime when extensive administrative reforms were carried out which gave the Sudan one of the most decentralised governmental systems in Africa. Although decentralisation was applied in the Sudan to achieve these twin objectives, its effectiveness fluctuated depending on the political situation at central government level. A case study was conducted to investigate the impact of decentralisation policy in one district council, Wau. The research was particularly focused on education, one of the services for which the local authorities were responsible. The field research involved the collection of data through a structured questionnaire to investigate such variables as: educational administration, school management, school environment and community participation. An analysis of the data reveals that all was not well with decentralisation in the Sudan. In light of these findings, the last part of the thesis reassesses the conditions for effective decentralisation policies generally and the Sudan in particular. Finally, areas for further research are suggested based on the findings of the study. This thesis confirms the following hypotheses: - The success of state-ethnoregional cohesion is largely dependent on the state's ability to initiate integrative policies. - A decentralised system of government requires effective and active central participation to control and guide its implementation. - Entrusting incommensurate powers to local authorities in areas at a rudimentary stage of development adversely affects their role as participants in development.