décentralisés - les services décentralisés de l’Etat

< Previous | Next >

nmsconsultoria

Senior Member
UK, English
Hello,

In texts about development in Africa I regularly come across references, with very positive connotations, to: les services décentralisés de l’Etat. I have always translated this as something along the lines of: decentralised state services. However, the word "decentralised" bugs me because I don't think it means much to an anglophone audience (the centralised-decentralised preoccupation of the French for example doesn't much come up in the politics of English speaking countries, at least not using that language) and therefore doesn't convey the positive sense of the French text. I presume "les services décentralisés" implies that services reach the people that need them as opposed to existing in theory but in practice no further than some central government ministry building. Here is the context:

Dans le meilleur des cas, les agriculteurs camerounais peuvent compter sur les services décentralisés de l’Etat et des organismes privés pour accéder à des informations leur permettant de mieux développer leurs activités et d’améliorer les conditions de vie de leur famille. Peu d’organisations agricoles au Cameroun bénéficient d’un appui-conseil.

My go:

In the best case scenario, Cameroonian farmers can rely on decentralised state services and those from private organizations for information to help them better develop their activities and improve the lives of their families. In practice, few agricultural organizations in Cameroon benefit from such information support.

Can anyone do better on "décentralisés"?


Many thanks.
 
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Decentralised in this sense generally means that the funding comes from central government but is managed and accessed by the end user through local agencies, whether at a municipal or regional level. In the UK the word devolution is used more often than decentralisation, although it has become fairly strongly associated with devolution to one of the constituent nations rather than to any other level of decentralised government.
    I think "can rely on local government services" is the best I can suggest.
     

    nmsconsultoria

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    That's brilliant Glasguensis, so English sounding, I just knew there was a better way. Thank you!

    By the way, would you say I had got the sense of the paragraph right? Here:

    leur famille. Peu d’organisations agricoles

    I added the words "In practice," because without some such contrasting clause, in English, the second sentence doesn't seem to follow on from the first:

    their families. In practice, few agricultural organizations

    Would you agree?
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Yes, I believe you have the sense of the paragraph correct. I can see why you added the "in practice", although to be fair the French version also lacks a link between the two sentences.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top