Service delivery

Urban governance

Seoul sunrise panorama

What is urban governance and why does it matter? How can key urban policy issues be addressed? This topic guide introduces the literature on urban governance and its relationship to growth and poverty reduction. It considers the key debates and issues, and sets out some implications for practice on specific urban governance challenges. ...» more

Citizens’ perceptions of urban public services

Social Policy and Development Centre
2016

This research report summarises how urban citizens in Pakistan rate and perceive six public services: water, sewerage, public hospitals, public transport, and law and order sectors. It explores access, quality and reliability of service provision; problems encountered; and responsiveness of service providers in addressing these problems. The information gathered in this report ...» more

Digital financial services in the Pacific – Experiences and regulatory issues

Asian Development Bank
2016

This paper examines how digital financial services (DFS) can be used to improve financial inclusion in the Pacific. It looks at the current use of DFS in seven Pacific island countries, explores the regulation and supervision of DFS, and provides recommendations for the expansion of DFS in the Pacific. The paper explains the two main models for the supply of DFS: bank-led ...» more

Governance and service provision

Over the past decade, development professionals have become increasingly aware of the fact that providing better services for the poor is as much about governance as it is about solving technical problems. Building new schools, health centres, and water points is all very well, but if teachers and nurses don’t turn up to work or…» more

Innovating for pro-poor services: Why politics matter

Nathaniel Mason, Clare Cummings, and Julian Doczi
2016

This paper argues that politics is a major factor that can interact with innovations, with positive or negative implications for services for poor people and achievement of related sustainable development goals targets. The key question it seeks to address is, ‘How do innovation and politics interrelate when it comes to providing services for poor people, and what are the ...» more

Women’s resilience: Integrating gender in the response to Ebola

African Development Bank
2016

This report presents the results of desk research by the African Development Bank’s Office of the Special Envoy on Gender on the implications of Ebola virus disease (EVD) for women in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The reduction in health services has increased maternal, infant, and child mortality rates. According to reports across the three countries, women farmers and ...» more

World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends

World Bank
2016

The digital revolution has brought easier communication and information, greater convenience, free digital products, and new forms of leisure.  However, digital dividends have had much less impact on global productivity, expansion of opportunity and the spread of accountable governance than once expected.  This report argues that improving digital dividends requires digital ...» more

Courts, clans and companies: Mobile money and dispute resolution in Somaliland

Nicole Stremlau and Ridwan Osman
2015

Mobile money has thrived in Somaliland, providing access to storing money in e-wallets and the ability to pay for goods and services in a largely cashless economy. Its widespread adoption raises a number of social and legal questions, particularly around handling disputes. How are these disputes resolved, by which entities and according to which laws or regulations? Why are ...» more

Haiti – Can smartphones make schools better?

World Bank
2015

In Haiti, World Bank researchers worked with the Ministry of Education to evaluate a pilot program to use digital technology to help keep track of teachers in school and enable more effective monitoring of schools. The plan was to use smartphones to take photos in school of teachers and send the photos to a central server that could be accessed by school inspectors and ministry ...» more

Ethnic heterogeneity and public goods provision in Zambia: Evidence of a subnational ‘‘diversity dividend”

Rachel M. Gisselquist, Stefan Leidere and Miguel Nino-zarazua
2015

This article challenges the ‘‘diversity debit” hypothesis that ethnic diversity has a negative impact on social, economic, and political outcomes. It argues that rather than focus on why this is the case, research should seek to explore the underlying mechanisms of such negative relationship, specifically why these relationships may differ across sub-national budgetary and ...» more

Do citizens reward good service? Voter responses to basic service provision in southern Africa

Daniel de Kadt and Evan S. Lieberman
2015

This study tests the accountability hypothesis that dramatic improvements in key basic infrastructural service areas – water provision, sewerage, and refuse collection – lead to increased electoral returns to the incumbent. The findings from four Southern African countries reveals a negative relationship between change in service provision and change in incumbent vote share, ...» more

Is the private sector more efficient? A cautionary tale

Sumedh Rao
2015

This review finds no conclusive evidence that one model of ownership (i.e. public, private or mixed) is intrinsically more efficient than the others, irrespective of how efficiency is defined. Instead the literature suggests that the efficiency of service provision is dependent on the type of service (health, education, etc.) and other specific contextual factors (e.g. ...» more

Realising the right to a basic education in South Africa

Shaun Franklin & Daniel McLaren
2015

Is South Africa meeting its constitutional and other legal obligations in making quality basic education accessible to all? This report finds that while progress has been made on access to basic education, quality and adequacy remain key issues that the government needs to address. This paper aims to guide the government in how to better fulfil these obligations and to provide ...» more

Links between education and peace

Education is a significant contributor to peace, and appears in two of the 24 indicators in the Positive Peace Index produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace.  Education can lead to peace and be a part of ‘building back better’ by supporting the transformation of the security situation, political institutions, economic regeneration and social development. However, ...» more

Curriculum development in fragile states to encourage peace and reduction of conflict

Research on education and conflict shows that education systems are not politically neutral but are an important part of the political economy that can exacerbate or mitigate conflict (Novelli et al., 2014; Bush and Saltareilli, 2000). The curriculum can be used as a vehicle to promote dominant ideologies. There are numerous instances where school curricula have been used to ...» more

What lies beneath? A critical assessment of PPPs and their impact on sustainable development

María José Romero
2015

Donor governments and financial institutions, such as the World Bank, are increasingly promoting public-private partnerships (PPPs), as a way to finance development projects. This report looks at the empirical and theoretical evidence on the nature and impact of PPPs based on experiences in Tanzania and Peru to assess whether they deliver on their promises. The report has ...» more

Reaching boiling point: high school activism in Afghanistan

Antonio Giustozzi & Ali Mohmmad Ali
2015

This research paper explores patterns of politicisation in Afghanistan’s high schools.  It reveals how the ban on political activities within schools has had little impact, and explores how the reproduction of the political establishment within schools poses a potential risk to Afghanistan's future stability. It suggests two ways to address this: (1) revoking the ban in order ...» more

Social development and human development

This Topic Guide aims to answer the question ‘What is the interaction between social development issues and human development outcomes?’ An individual’s right to lead a long and healthy life, to be educated and to enjoy a decent standard of living cannot be realised without addressing social development issues. This is because these issues determine individuals’ access to ...» more

The state-private interface in public service provision

Elizabeth Dávid-Barrett
2015

Political theory sets out a strong case for the state to play a major role in public service provision. Yet services are often provided by a range of state and non-state actors as well as by collaborative partnerships. This paper surveys the literature, seeking to map arrangements in developing countries and to understand the politics of different types of service provision. It ...» more

External support for retention allowances

Retention allowances can come in the form of separate payments or salary top-ups. Donors have generally been reluctant to support retention allowances because they feel salaries are a government responsibility and because of concerns over the sustainability of such support. However, the scale of the crisis has sometimes been so great that they have stepped in to provide ...» more