As a result of the decentralization of health systems, some countries have introduced intermediate (provincial) levels in their public health system. This paper presents the results of a case study conducted in Kinshasa on health system decentralization. The study identified a shift from a focus on regulation compliance assessment to an emphasis on health system coordination and health district support. It also highlighted the emergence of a?managerial (as opposed to a bureaucratic) approach to health district support. The performance of health districts in terms of health care coverage and health service use were also found to have improved. The results highlight the importance of intermediate levels in?the health care system and the value of a more organic and managerial rationality in supporting health districts faced with the complexity of urban environments and the integration of specialized multi-partner programs and interventions.