This paper aims to inform policy makers and stakeholders in the Philippines about the critical features of, and practical experiences with, federalism and decentralization in South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia. The Philippines is currently considering revisions to its present multilevel structure. Our description of the constitutional choices and subsequent experiences of these multilevel states provides an opportunity for reflection on how other countries sought solutions to the challenges they faced. This paper is also intended to provide some inspiration to those participating in the current discussions of constitutional revision in the Philippines.
The emphasis will be on South Africa with smaller remarks about Kenya and Ethiopia.
The aim of this paper is not to provide a detailed overview of the system of multilevel government in each of the three countries. Instead, the paper highlights a number of themes, which may be of relevance to the debates in the Philippines. It examines how the themes affected each of the three countries and how each theme was addressed.