Strategic Planning in Post-Communist Settings: The Example of Hungary
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The first part of the chapter is a review about the history, culture and political framework of strategic planning in post-socialist countries, with a focus of Hungary. The second part presents the findings of an empirical research study based on the answers of 294 municipalities. In this study, strategic planning was centralized along with all other attributes of public administration in post-communist countries. During their history of administrative and fiscal decentralization after the 1990s, independent municipalities in the area started to develop plans to adapt to the fast-changing economic environment and while they became fiscally independent, their accountability toward their inhabitants grew. With the fast spreading of private-public partnerships and in general the increasing cooperation between local governments, private, civic and non-governmental actors after 1990, these stakeholders also became involved in the planning process.
The research among Hungarian local governments shows that after 2010, the government started to re-centralize the public administration and service provision. Parallel with the central government gaining power, strategic planning lost its importance, before it could fully develop. Today, 90% of Hungarian municipalities do not feel that they are in control of their own revenues and thus planning today in Hungary focuses on how to manage the day-to-day operations of the municipality. The result of this practice is that municipalities in Hungary often perform financial planning instead of strategic planning.
KeywordsStrategic planning Decentralization Financial transfers Budapest Tab Hungarian local governments Community development
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