Hypothesis It is hypothesized that poor income acquisition leads to poor

Hypothesis it is hypothesized that poor income

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Hypothesis It is hypothesized that poor income acquisition leads to poor service delivery by local authorities Rationale of the Study The researcher decided to undertake this study because of three main reasons: The first being the insufficiency in explanation about the widely perceived poor performance of Zambia’s local authorities in general and LCC in particular, so the study opted to foster understanding of this state of affairs. The second is lack of clear answers in the existing local government literature to the perplexing
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10 question: why is LCC without enough money to adequately deliver services to communities when most, if not all local authorities, are known to have various local sources of revenue and receive grants from central government? The research was partly a quest for answers to this question. Thirdly, the author undertook this research about local fiscal issues and service delivery because almost all activities carried out by LCC involve money, and the council exists for one major purpose – to provide services to the local people, so it was deemed necessary to investigate fiscal decentralization in relation to service delivery and with respect to LCC, the largest local authority in Zambia. This research is beneficial in the following three major ways: (a) It is expected that its findings, and subsequent conclusions will help to enhance the capacity of central government and LCC to resolve problems associated with inadequate financing which is a contributing factor to dismal service delivery; (b) The research findings are also expected to clearly highlight issues related to fiscal decentralization and service delivery with a view to understanding the constraints related to the financing and performance of local authorities in Zambia, in general, and LCC in particular; and (c) The research builds on the existing literature or theories pertaining to local government finance and service provision, ultimately contributing to the body of scientific knowledge. Conceptual Framework The main concepts of relevance to the study include: Decentralization; Fiscal Decentralization; Service Delivery; Central Government Control; Local Institutional Autonomy; Financial Administration; and Intergovernmental Transfers and Relations. Decentralization This refers to the transfer of responsibilities, authority, functions, as well as power and appropriate resources from central government to lower-level administrative units such as local authorities to deliver services to the local people (NDP, 2002).
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11 Turner and Hulme (1997:257) point out that, “A major obstacle to the effective performance of public bureaucracies in most developing countries is the excessive concentration of decision-making and authority within central government…. The popular remedy for such centralization is decentralization, a term which is imbued with many positive connotations – proximity, relevance, autonomy, participation, acceptability and even democracy.” Momba (2002) adds, “Decentralisation not only increases the level of participation but also leads to increased accountability.
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