The decentralisation of government functions has been a major theme of the past decade or so in many part sof the world. At the same time, there has been a broadening of the understanding of governance away from simply what governments do to include civil society and the private sector. There has also been a shift away from the direct provision of services by government to more indirect approaches in partnership with the private sector, NGO's and community organisations. This module will explore the impact of these trends on the structures, operations and management of decentralised government. Forms of decentralisation vary widely around the world, as do the structure of sub-national government. This module analyses the issues involved in the design of systems and structures of decentralised government, and examines the major themes in public management at the local level in developed, developing and transitional countries.