Decentralization has been a buzz word in the development world for quite a while, as it is believed that local governments are more accountable to their constituents than are centralized governments. This logic seems to be making a resurgence in Somalia, where Somali intellectuals and Western academics are pushing for a form of government that might be better suited to Somalia's fluid, fragmented and decentralized society: rebuilding Somalia from the bottom-up.
It is called the building-block approach. The first blocks would be small governments at the lowest levels, in villages and towns. These would be stacked to form district and regional governments. The last step would be uniting the regional governments in a loose national federation that controlled, say, currency and the pirate-infested shoreline, but did not sideline local leaders.
While decentralization has certainly been proven effective in various African locales, it has likewise heralded in problems of resource deficiency, wasted resources and policy overlap. While decentralization may solve some of Somalia's problems, it may equally exacerbate others.