Main Article Content
The paper assessed the roles, strategies and challenges of decentralisation and local governance and how decentralisation improves service delivery to the public in The Gambia. The study used descriptive survey design through the administration of structured questionnaire of five-point Likert scale among the selected local government councils. Using random sampling, the sample size for the study was 325 respondents which comprised both administrative staff and service beneficiaries of sampled local councils in The Gambia namely, Kanifing Municipal Council, Brikama Area Council, Kerewan Area Council, and Mansakonko Area Council as well as the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government. A total of 325 copies of questionnaire were administered out of which 300 were retrieved from the field. This represents a response rate of 92 percent. Primary data were collected through questionnaire administration and conduct of interviews. The collected data were analysed using simple percentages and frequencies with the help of Stata version 13. Secondary data were obtained from policy documents, records, journals, relevant text books and the Internet. The study revealed that decentralisation and local government administration played a key role in local governance which impacted on the lives of beneficiaries of the local councils. The study concluded that decentralisation and local government administration faced formidable constraints which impede its efficient and effective implementation. These challenges include inadequate manpower and training of council staff, and ineffective communication and sensitisation among stakeholders on the roles and strategies of decentralisation. Added to that, political interference in the operations and administration of the internal affairs of local councils, created problems of inefficiency and bottlenecks in the smooth administration of local councils.