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Decentralization has sometimes been presented as a magic bullet for both development and democracy. Since nearly everyone, from world leaders to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to donors, agrees that development and democracy both fail unless women are included on an equal footing with men, successful decentralization should make government more accessible, accountable, and responsive to women.But does it? Since 2004, 13 research teams in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America, supported by theWomen's Rights and Citizenship program of Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), have been exploring this question. This brief provides a summary of the findings.