INTRAC has been a keen observer of the rush towards decentralisation. We have been privileged to witness the efforts of several agencies to re-engineer themselves over the past few years. Agencies have been keen to change their image and to achieve a more efficient form of organisation. We have been involved as consultants, advisers and observers within several agencies going through such a process. This paper starts by looking at the rhetoric around decentralisation with an article by Brian Pratt. This is an amended version of an earlier article that appeared in the newsletter ‘ONTRAC’ and which opened the debate on the subject. this is followed by a contribution from Alan Fowler which explores in depth the management implications of decentralisation. This piece also includes the definitions used to distinguish different types of decentralisation.