Improving public service delivery of transportation in Tbilisi through fiscal decentralisation: lessons from the Dutch case
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During the last couple of decades, after establishing a sovereign state, Georgia has been experiencing challenges with the performance of its public service delivery systems. Recently the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia has proposed an innovative decentralisation strategy, which provides a perfect opportunity for exploring the policy options that could be used to improve the overall performance of the public service provision in Georgia. One of the challenges mentioned above is the public transportation system of the capital. Tbilisi strives to have a well-functioning public transportation system; however, current policies cannot keep up with the rapid development and the growth of the city. The Dutch case of decentralisation of the transportation policy is explored in this thesis to seek opportunities for lesson-drawing that could assist Tbilisi in tackling its public transportation problems, and in re-designing its public transportation system. More particularly, the goal of the thesis is to examine how Tbilisi can improve its public service delivery of transportation through fiscal decentralisation while applying Dutch experience in this particular field. This thesis outlines three policy issues in Tbilisi, which includes a lack of performance of the public transportation companies, missing public transport planning and operating systems, and a modest share of the public transport usage, and proposes solutions to these issues by analysing the Dutch case of fiscal decentralisation. The results of this thesis demonstrate that there are multiple lesson-drawing/policy transfer opportunities that could be helpful in addressing the policy challenges in Tbilisi including fiscal decentralisation in terms of expenditure assignment and intergovernmental transfers, as well as, privatisation with the means of competitive tendering. Nevertheless, the research also acknowledges the limitations of policy transfer and the potential constraints of lesson-drawing in policy design.