Author(s): Paul Smoke
The reform of economic systems in developing countries during the 1980s focused largely on increasing the role of the market and improving the environment in which it operates. For some years, there was a preoccupation with the private sector, such that reformers almost seemed to forget the potential role of the public sector in promoting development. In recent years, there have been widespread attempts both to redefine the role of the public sector in developing countries and to improve its performance. An increasingly important component of these reforms is the introduction of policies to decentralize the functions of government.