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Service Delivery and Poverty Reduction

Governance and service delivery: Practical applications of social accountability across sectors
A. Wetterberg et al., RTI Press Publication (2016)
This collection examines six recent RTI International projects that pursued several different paths to integrating service delivery and governance through engaging citizens, public officials, and service providers on issues related to accountability and sectoral services. The six cases illustrate the multiple ways in which citizen participation in accountability, called social accountability, can lead to positive effects on governance, citizen empowerment, and service delivery. The analysis focuses on both the intended and actual effects, and unpacks the influence of context on implementation and the outcomes achieved.

Why Is Water Still Unaffordable for Sub-Saharan Africa’s Urban Poor?
Diana Mitlin and Anna Walnycki; IIED (2016)
Across sub-Saharan Africa, water services for low-income urban communities vary and often unaffordable. Achieving SDG target 6.1 — universal and equitable access to safe and affordable water for everyone by 2030 — will require action on urban water costs.

Productive Water for Agriculture in Senegal – Sustainable Hydro-Agricultural Infrastructure Requires the Involvement of Local Actors
BTC (2016)
In Senegal, agriculture is the main economic activity in rural areas and higher domestic agricultural production has become a prerequisite to ensure food security. To achieve this goal, Senegal and Belgium have jointly designed the Retention Basins and Well Development Project which aims to ensure that farmers and livestock breeders in five of Senegal’s regions have sustainable access to productive water. It is argued that because of the fundamental changes triggered by such infrastructure, it is crucial to involve local actors in the design of these projects as well as in any further steps in order to ensure that the investments are sustainable.

Urbanization and Inequality in Hypertension Diagnosis and Medication in Indonesia
Aizawa, T. and Helble, M.; ADB (2016)
Urbanisation has been progressing quickly in Indonesia and the consequences on health and health inequities are still not well understood. This paper examines the differences in health care services and health inequities in rural and urban areas of Indonesia for the case of the diagnosis of hypertension and its medication. More than half of the people with hypertension have never been diagnosed by a health care professional, and only a small fraction of the people suffering from hypertension are taking medicine for it. The analysis further shows that diagnosis and medication rates are significantly higher in urban areas than in rural areas, implying that urban areas offer better access to health care services and medicines.

Local Economy and Infrastructure Development Project
Kapanadze, Darejan; World Bank (2015)
Local Economy and Infrastructure Development (LEID) Project is the fifth World Bank-financed operation being implemented by Armenia Territorial Development Fund (former Armenia Social Investment Fund). It consists of three components and is to be implemented over five years. The Project activities are expected to benefit the residents, tourists and enterprises in five regions of Armenia (Ararat, Kotayk, Lori, Syunik and Vayots Dzor). Residents, tourists and enterprises are expected to receive improved access to, and quality of, public infrastructure; increased volume of private sector investment in the region; and increased small and micro enterprises in renovated cultural heritage sites and cities. The Government will benefit from increased overall tourism spending and satisfaction, job creation, improved institutional capacity of selected agencies, and improved capacity to operate and maintain assets.

Regionalism in Services
Gootiiz, Bashtur; Mattoo, Aaditya; World Bank (2015)
Can regionalism do what multilateralism has so far failed to do—promote greater openness of services markets? Although previous research has pointed to the wider and deeper legal commitments under regional agreements as proof that it can, no previous study has assessed the impact of such agreements on applied policies. This paper focuses on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), where regional integration of services markets has been linked to thriving regional supply chains. Drawing on surveys conducted in 2008 and 2012 of applied policies in the key services sectors of ASEAN countries, the paper assesses the impact of the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS) and the ambitious ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint, which envisaged integrated services markets by 2015.

Decentralization and Public Service Delivery in Asia
ADB (2014)
This paper assesses how decentralization can contribute, if proper political and fiscal institutions are present, to improving service delivery in Asia. In other words, decentralization is an opportunity and a challenge at the same time. The paper presents the salient characteristics of decentralized government in Asia and then focuses on the analysis of critical issues leading to “partial decentralization” that is common to most models. Consideration is also given to the emerging challenges common to most Asian systems. Finally, the paper addresses the issue of decentralization in the education sector. This is a crucial sector in terms of costliness and of impact on national growth and individual opportunities, where, however, the outcomes of decentralization are difficult to assess.

Fragmented governance and local service delivery in Malawi
ODI (2014)
Ahead of local council elections in May 2014, this study helps government and donors to understand how local government and service delivery work and to assess whether the return of local councils is likely to improve their functioning. The study focuses on the delivery health, education and water services in Blantyre City and Dedza and Rumphi Districts, where local government is characterised by dual administration, unclear mandates and functional fragmentation. The competitive-clientelist political settlement crafted by elites is the underlying cause of local dysfunctions, driving policy incoherence and undermining collective action at all levels of government. In turn, these shape the incentives, choices and behaviours of local officials and frontline providers and hamper the collaboration and coordination needed to delivery public goods. The return of local councillors in May 2014 is unlikely to improve governance and services significantly, and may further entrench clientelist politics in local administrations. The challenge is to identify the types of institutions that can support public goods provision and, in the longer term, will nudge Malawians towards a more developmental political settlement. In line with this approach, the report provides both principles of assistance and concrete suggestions for policy and programming that can help improve the delivery of local services and administration.

Urban poverty in Vietnam – a view from complementary assessments
IIED (2013)
This paper reviews how poverty is measured in Vietnam with a particular interest in how accurately it measures urban poverty. Poverty has been seen as a rural phenomenon in Vietnam and only recently, with rapid urbanisation, has attention been given to urban poverty. Two different approaches are used by the government to measure poverty; and applying these poverty lines, or the international US$1.25 a day poverty line, show a rapid fall in the proportion of the population defined as poor from the early 1990s to 2010. By 2010, the proportion of the urban population considered poor was between 6 and 7 per cent, depending on which of the two approaches were used.

Do They Work? Assessing the Impact of Transparency and Accountability Initiatives in Service Delivery
Joshi; Anuradha (2013)
Drawing on a paper commissioned by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, Joshi outlines the available evidence on the impact of transparency and accountability initiatives in the field of public service delivery. Debates about strengthening accountability have focused on two types of initiatives: increasing government transparency – bringing previously opaque information or processes into the public domain and ‘social accountability’—broadly defined as citizen-led action for demanding accountability from providers. The popularity of such initiatives has also raised important questions about impact. Does increasing transparency or supporting social accountability initiatives lead to outcomes we desire? What are the assumed links through which these impacts are expected to occur? Joshi’s main argument is that there is not enough evidence to identify the conditions under which such initiatives work and have impact. The reasons for this are several: vagueness about what an initiative means; the fragmented nature of the evidence, lack of systematic attention to impact, and few comparative studies that focus on the identification of key enabling factors.

Working with the politics. How to improve public services for the poor
ODI (2013)
In this ODI Briefing Leni Wild and Marta Foresti argue that beyond recognising that institutions matter for development, the key questions which remain to be addressed are: How should governments that are striving to achieve more equitable and efficient service delivery approach the challenge of institutional reform? And how can the international community best support pathways to institutional reforms for more equitable delivery of essential public goods and services? Recent research has moved beyond the recognition that ‘context matters’ to specify just how it matters and what limits the capacity of institutions to implement policies and deliver results. Furthermore, efforts to build evidence-based policy analysis is moving beyond describing and explaining institutional failure, to identify what solutions and models work best in addressing the underlying causes of failure. This has significant implications for international support, and for the role of donor agencies.

Unblocking results: Using aid to address governance constraints in public service delivery
ODI (2013)
Governance constraints and weak institutions are a major cause of poor public service delivery in developing countries, yet there is little evidence on whether and how aid can help to release or ameliorate such constraints. Evidence that does exist tends to focus on the impact of particular types of accountability structures (such as user committees and citizen report cards). In contrast, little research has considered the broader implications of governance constraints for the design and delivery of aid programmes. To address this gap, this study looks at four aid programmes in lower-income countries that appear to have been particularly effective at addressing governance constraints.

Managing Informality: Local government practices and approaches towards the informal economy – Learning examples from five African countries
SALED (2012)
The publication presents six case studies from across different African countries – including Kenya, Mali, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania – featuring local governments’ utilisation of varied approaches to better manage the informal economy or sector thereof in their localities. The cases (Kenya, Rwanda, Mali, Tanzania and South Africa (2 times)) cover a wide range of topics and innovative approaches.

Can aid address key governance constraints in public service delivery?
ODI (2012)
This literature review examines six research topics which explore ways to improve the effectiveness of aid modalities.

Estudio de la descentralización de los servicios esenciales para el caso del Paraguay
CEPAL / GIZ (2012)
The study presents the main features of decentralization in Paraguay. Several aspects related to public service delivery at local level (e.g. health care, school service, waste disposal, public safety) are examined.

Democratic Accountability in Service Delivery A Synthesis of Case Studies
IDEA (2012)
This document serves as an introduction to various IDEA papers that describe the projects in which the connections between Accountability and Service Delivery are analysed.

Governance and Public Service Delivery in Europe and Central Asia: Unofficial Payments, Utilization and Satisfaction
World Bank (2012)

Decentralization Matters for the Poor
KfW (2012)

Descentralización de servicios esenciales. Los casos de Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica y México en salud, educación, residuos, seguridad y fomento
Sergio Galilea O. Leonardo Letelier S. Katherine Ross S. (2011)

Localizing the MDGs: Unlocking the potential of the local public sector to engage in development and poverty reduction
Jamie Boex (2010)
This paper explores to what extent local public entities—whether in the form of elected local governments or through deconcentrated local departments of the national government—can contribute to achieving poverty reduction and development outcomes.

Localizing the MDGs: Local Development and MDGs: What Role for Local Governments?
Global Forum on Local Development (2010)
This Framing Paper aims to outline the key policy issues that underlie the debate over local development and the role that local governments can play in accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The paper puts forward some of the key questions that will be discussed at the Global Forum on Local Development.

Local Level Service Delivery, Decentralisation and Governance. A Comparative Study of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania Education, Health and Agriculture Sectors – Uganda Case Report
Emmanuel Ssewankambo, Jesper Steffensen and Per Tidemand (2007)

Local level service delivery, decentralisation and governance. A comparative study of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania Education, Health and Agriculture Sectors – Synthesis Report
Per Tidemand, Jesper Steffensen and Hans Bjorn Olsen (2007)
This document is a synthesized final report of a comprehensive comparative study of the Health, Education and Agriculture sectors of Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya and provides a basic comparative analysis of the forms and processes of decentralisation in those countries.

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