Most countries in Latin America have undertaken decentralization processes over the last twenty years with the intention of improving the effectiveness and accountability of government. Transport and in particular roads, represents a difficult sector to decentralize because roads are an important part of a country's economy, are expensive to maintain, cross different jurisdictions and, for different types of roads, there are different management tasks and financing mechanisms. In Latin America the experience with road decentralization has been mixed, with some countries following more or less consistent and well-focused processes, while others have had to reverse some of the measures taken. One case the authors consider worth analyzing in more detail, given its characteristics and results, is that of Bolivia. There, decentralization took place very rapidly and aggressively, moving from a highly centralized system to one totally decentralized, although, from a political point of view, this process was not complete given that Departmental Government Heads (Prefectos), continued to be chosen by the President. During this period road management went into such disarray that it forced policy makers to undertake some partial recentralization reforms that affected almost exclusively the primary network. The entire process (decentralization and partial recentralization) did not affect the municipal roads that continued under the responsibility of municipal governments. Therefore, with respect to Bolivia, this study concentrates on the primary and secondary networks, and on the few tertiary networks that were under the central administration and were transferred to the Departmental Governments. This paper analyzes several cases of road decentralization in selected countries, in order to draw lessons of experience, and examines these in the Bolivian context. The cases included are Colombia, Spain, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 110 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00807016
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TWU-37
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 7 2001 12:00AM