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In the modern society governments have enormous task of managing and monitoring the political
and social economic aspects of the citizens of a country at all levels. As a result, governments
find it easy to divide the administration into central and local government so that service delivery
can be improved. Central government is defined by Wikipedia as “a government of a nation-state
and is more typically a characteristic of a unitary state” while the Business dictionary defines
local government as “an administrative body for small geographic areas such as a city.” Looking
at the jurisdiction of central and local government from the definitions of the two given here, it is
clearly seen that though both are involved in administration, central government deals with
national level issues that have a wider scope incorporating all citizens of that country while the
local government is a supporting pillar of the central government at lower levels of society such
as a municipal region.
Although central government administrative powers are strategic in nature and affect all citizens
of the country, the primary objective of having local government is to decentralize the powers of
central government in order to facilitate efficient delivery of services and encourage
accountability and transparence at lower levels of society which brings a direct benefit to the
citizens of a country especially the poor. This brings in an inclusive society and eradicates any
forms of exclusion to citizens. In short terms, a local government is designed to bring the
government closer to the people.
The purpose of this assignment is to compare and contrast the characteristics of central and local
government and also look at the qualities of good citizenship and the factors hindering good
Similarities of central and local governments
There are a number of similarities between central government and local government in the sense
that both are involved in planning, organizing, coordinating and controlling the affairs of the
country although at different levels.
Local governments are a creation of central government. The local governments are controlled
by central government through the Ministry of Local Government. Both central and local

Local government implement plans of central government and also plan locally for a municipal and works within those boundaries ensuring that citizens in particular areas of the country are well taken care of. The central 2 . Planning is a future oriented activity which is aimed at making decisions today which will affect the operations of a company tomorrow. The local government on the other hand. arranged and coordinated so that each part relates to the other in a united and coherent manner so as to attain the prescribed objectives (Gary. organizing systematically the efforts needed to carry out these decisions and measuring the results of these decisions against the expectations through organized feedback” . Central government can also use its administrative powers to control the councils. Organizing involves the formation of formal structures of authority and the direction and flow of such authority through which work subdivisions are defined. Councilors and council directors are involved in implementing policies at lower levels of this system. The third point is controlling which involves establishing standards that must be followed to ensure that the activities do not deviate from the pre-arranged plans. The second point is to do with organizing. “planning is a continuous process of making present entrepreneurial decisions systematically and with best possible knowledge of their futurity. Central government looks at the national level by solving external issues involving other countries while at the same time deciding on internal issues affecting the citizens which are implemented by local government. has a council where the mayor (a political figure) and the town clerk or council secretary are senior executives who are in charge of municipal affairs. Central government may come up with a plan of constructing a main road passing through several cities. Central government approves schemes and plans of development for councils. 1988). According to Peter Drucker (1973). This plan though set at a higher level may involve a lot of local government institutions on implementation.governments are involved in planning. These individuals have different roles to play such that in the end their programs affect all citizens. Therefore organizing becomes a fundamental component of both central and local government in the sense that grouping and assigning tasks follow a systematic order which has lines of command ensuring that everything happens smoothly. Central government has the parliament where cabinet ministers and members of parliament sit to debate on issues pertaining to the development of the nation. Councils receive guidelines from government or ministerial officers resident in the council area.

central government is responsible of issues to do with national security. international affairs and economic decisions which are totally at a high level where as local government is only assigned to solve issues domestically specific to a particular town or district. However there are others who violet those laws and end up being termed as bad 3 . Qualities of good citizenship A citizen is a member of a country. In a similar way. local government works within the framework of central government and follows legislations and decisions that are made by central government. It is therefore correct to state that central government is responsible of formulating nationwide policies and laws that impact the well-being of every citizen in that country while local government is a tool used by central government to achieve national objectives at lower levels. local governments will set their own standards to make sure that their objectives are met. central government makes policies while local government carries on the policies and makes sure they are implemented according to central government requirements. Thirdly. This means that what central government decides and implements has a national bearing as compared to local government. Secondly. Differences between central and local government Although central government and local government have a lot of similarities as discussed in the previous section. To start with central government is a national face of a country or state where as local government in contrast is a lower organ of governance responsible of activities of governance usually restricted only to a particular region. In addition to that. Each country has laws and regulations that all citizens follow.government will set up performance measures to be followed making sure no deviating from these performance measures. the case would be handled by central government first and later handed over to local government responsible of the particular region after central government ensures that all protocols and procedures relating to the issue are properly scrutinized. there are also a number of differences that can be noted. This shows that if an issue involving another nation had to arise requiring doing activities in a certain town or district. Those laws are aimed at ensuring that all people live in harmony with each other and develop together.

Sharing time could be volunteering in certain community work such as cleaning houses of the less privileged such as Old People’s Home in the Maramba or educating youths on certain dangerous behavioral acts such as prostitution. This voluntary work can go a long way in the sense that someone will benefit from that at the end of the day. a good citizen can offer cash or items to the less privileged people. This means avoiding dangerous acts. 4 . Thirdly.citizens. a good citizen is one who exercises self-control by restraining oneself from doing bad things. In working hard. In addition to sharing time. This section of the assignment discusses the qualities of a good citizen and factors that hinder good citizenship. We see the blind. This act is totally bad and is not a quality of good citizenship. the qualities of a good citizen will be grouped into two categories namely. For the sake of this assignment. they provide services to their neighbours and relatives and this in the end enables them to earn money. staying health and helping others to do so as well. good citizens also create jobs in their communities which make them hire fellow citizens to do work and enable them get a wage in the end. a good citizen is one with empathy which is having concern or compassion for the well-being of others especially the vulnerable in society. When a person works hard to develop the nation or community in which they live. Taking care of your body and keeping health enables someone to be active in the community. Qualities of a good citizen refer to the good acts that each citizen must possess in order to enhance unit and development in their country. They go out and infect others with the HIV virus in the pretext that they should die many. old and poor moving round begging for alms and very few people give them any kind of attention. national development and civically active. A good fortune could be extra time. (a) National development A good citizen is a person who works hard to develop the nation in which they live. Secondly. There are many people needing help in terms of money or material items in our communities. This can be sharing their good fortune back to the community in which they live. Qualities of working hard and creation jobs help contribute to the development of a stronger economy in the country. money or items that could help others in the same community. Some people get infected especially with HIV/AIDS and feel they should not die alone.

Voting is an important exercise which every citizen of a country should be involved in. In addition to the two points above. For this reason it should not be only politicians trying by everyone in any capacity until a desired goal is achieved. stores and housing estates. a good citizen needs to have a conscience to perform duty and service in a devoted manner. a good citizen should be involved in the planning process especially the construction of new supermarkets. it is the duty of a good citizen whether too young to vote. The common method of choosing leaders in Zambia is through voting in an election. Running a country is so involving that if left in wrong hands would cause a lot of damage to the nation. (b) Civically active A good citizen must be living up to democratic principles by participating in the affairs of a state such as choosing leaders of the country. a good citizen is one who exercises patriotism by having a sense of love and loyalty to the state by observing the values and principles of one’s country.Furthermore. Having a good conscience allows someone to perform his or her duties honestly and diligently. nurses. it is a duty of every good citizen to participate in local. Listening to discussions especially politics from different parties and being impartial on views of others makes one be recognized and respected by fellow citizens. Teachers. parliamentary. As long as what those in power or public offices do actions which hinder development to the country. Most issues discussed are complex and go beyond the lines of one political party therefore having a national view on such matters gives a good contribution. For this reason. This can done through reading newspapers and staying up to date with current affairs making one get fully informed on issues that affect societies in many areas. did not vote for those in power or never participated in an election to advise them. Perseverance is another quality of good citizenship. This is seen in politics where individuals keep trying to win an election until they get it. presidential and any by-election that takes place to ensure that good leaders are elected. In addition to politics. The second point of a good citizen must is courageousness and being able to monitor issues that matter a lot in the country and advise the powers that may be in any way possible. Citizens must be willing to attempt several times in order to accomplish worthwhile goals in society. 5 . A good citizen should contribute to national development by being responsible and working hard if given public duty in any capacity.

In addition to this point the electoral systems have defects which cause those in power to violet electoral procedures for them to retain power at all costs. a good citizen is one who respects the law. Thirdly. To start with many people are ignorant or low education which causes many to fail to comprehend the factors required in developing the nation. Politics especially although in the name of democracy have destroyed morals of many people. It is the willingness to work through peaceful and legal means to change unjust laws. There are so many news media today such as newspapers. Others do not have creative ideas because they are not exposed to information. print media has also taken advantage of people’s ignorance and has brought in serious twist and misinformation to the public to an extent that citizens are not able assess issues knowledgeably and correctly. People sink so low that they would do anything during that period just to voted. there is so much poverty in our societies such that people fail to consider anything that is for the public. television and internet. police officers. This makes them blind to see real issues and they end up following ideologies of their parties even when they have perverted agendas. We see politicians going to church during campaigns 6 . there are a number of factors that hinder good citizenship. radios. Respecting the law means abiding and following the laws of the land even when someone is not in total agreement. When they hear anything to do with developing something for the common good of all people they fail to understand that such actions are good to society. Individuals put so much allegiance to political parties above national interests. Finally. They fail to realize that any little work done towards developing a community creates a platform of change which in one way or the other would benefit them.doctors. It has become a norm to cheat people during campaign times just to win a vote. et cetera perform public duties which in most cases involve a laissez faire kind of management. Factors hindering good citizenship Despite the acts of good citizenship being helpful to society as seen in the previous section. Secondly. These duties require good citizens who are able to remind themselves that such duties are meant to serve the majority poor citizens. They only consider their own needs and feel providing charitable work is a share waste of time.

In addition to that. Central government is the policy maker while local government is the policy implementer at lower levels of society. modern societies have become complex in nature in such a way that citizens are involved in many activities which becomes difficulty to harmonize interests of one’s citizen with those of another. The president of Zambia recently issued a statement that government was full of nepotism which prevented other eligible Zambians from taking part and assured that he would work the problem out. Summary Central and local government despite having differences in levels of operation. poverty.just to be seen that they also know God. there are notable hindrances to good citizenship such as lack of education. politics and corruption etc. All these acts hinder good citizenship. We see a number of religions with different practices having large followings and some of these teach people topics that are against national interests. self-centeredness and self-interest cause individuals to avoid public responsibilities and ignore the general welfare of their society. Such acts hinder good citizenship. Others use people to get into government and later refuse to leave those positions as they take it as a mode of survival. 7 . Lastly. We also see others telling masses that they would do numerous things which they fail to do when they are in power. This helps in ensuring that everyone in the country is involved in the governance and running of the country in one way or the other. Government offices become places for bribes and theft which has caused the poor majority who cannot afford a bribe be left out. Despite that. the citizens of the country need to work hard in a number of ways to ensure that their country is developed. Good citizens find time to develop their country in one way or the other. they work hand in hand. A significant point to be mentioned here also is that lack of consciousness or indifference has caused a lot of damage to countries. In addition to this point.

Volume 3(No. Ricci. html [Accessed 22 June 2015]. 1988. Municipal Government and Popular Participation. Cambridge: Cambrdge University Press... n. & Pirez.References Business Dictionary. Management Tasks and responsibility. Local Government. Organization Behaviour: Understanding Life at [Accessed 22 June 2015]. M.. Central Government.businessdictionary. 1991. n. 8 .d.. 1). Wikipedia. H. D.wikipedia. J. Environment. 1973. [Online] Available at: https://en. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Good citizenship in America. P.d. New York: Scott Foresman and Company. Herzer. P. Gary. 2004. [Online] Available at: http://www. April.

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