Non-state providers

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

Nicole Stremlau and Ridwan Osman

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

Is the private sector more efficient? A cautionary tale

Sumedh Rao

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

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

María José Romero

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

The state-private interface in public service provision

Elizabeth Dávid-Barrett

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

The legitimacy of states and armed non-state actors

Somalia (UN Photo/Stuart Price)

Legitimacy is a crucial aspect of all power relations. Without legitimacy, power is exerted through coercion; with legitimacy, power can be exerted through voluntary or quasi-voluntary compliance. Legitimacy lies at the core of state-citizen relationships and thus of the whole state-building agenda. This Topic Guide explores the meaning of legitimacy in relation to state and ...» more

Non-state provision of skills development in South Asia

Development practitioners increasingly see skills development as a way to improve the employment and incomes of the poor. However, findings on the effectiveness of such trainings are typically mixed. Only programmes that entail linkages with the labour market have had a significant impact. Even with such linkages in place, what has worked and what has failed in implementation ...» more

Services in the city: governance and political economy in urban service delivery

Harry Jones, Clare Cummings, Hamish Nixon

How good is service delivery in urban areas? This discussion paper reviews literature on the political economy of four key urban services: solid waste management, water supply, transport, and urban health services. The four sector reviews demonstrate the importance of governance factors – partly rooted in physical, economic, social and political differences between rural and ...» more

The role and impact of private schools in developing countries: a rigorous review of the evidence

Laura Day Ashley et al.

This rigorous review looks at the evidence on the role and impact of private schools on the education of school-aged children in developing countries. The focus of the review is on private school delivery of education to poorer sections of societies, including private schools identified as low-fee private schools (LFPs). The evidence is mixed and large gaps remain. The ...» more

Service delivery

UNAMID Delivers Water to Darfur Students during Exam Period

Equitable access to essential public services is vital for human development, inclusive growth, and tackling persistent inequality. This topic guide provides an overview of the best available evidence on inclusive service delivery. It includes lessons from cases where aid has been effective at addressing weak front-line incentives, where services have been delivered in very ...» more

Historical Origins of Uneven Service

Frank-Borge Wietzke

Variations in non-state service provision are a relatively understudied dimension of wellbeing inequality in sub-Saharan Africa. This study from Madagascar documents long-term associations between nineteenth-century missionary education and the availability of private schools today. The article exploits an original data set with unusually detailed information on missionary ...» more

When Does Service Delivery Improve the Legitimacy of a Fragile or Conflict-Affected State?

Claire Mcloughlin

Understanding the key sources of legitimacy available to a state, and whether and how external aid interventions might seek to influence them, is a rapidly growing area of concern for development agencies. Received wisdom holds that providing vital public services – like health, education, water and sanitation – is likely to enhance state legitimacy, especially in fragile or ...» more

Extortion with Protection: Understanding the effect of rebel taxation on civilian welfare in Burundi

Rachel Sabates-Wheeler, Philip Verwimp

This study was conducted to answer the question: Does payment to rebels insure against future welfare loss and does the nature of payment matter? It tests the relationship between payments, the nature of extraction by the rebels, and welfare outcomes, by using a panel dataset from Burundi where information on protection payments during the 10 year civil war were collected. It ...» more

Delivering good aid in hard places: The Yemen Social Fund for Development approach

Lamis Al-Iryani, Alain De Janvry, Elisabeth Sadoulet

This paper draws on first-hand experience with the Yemen Social Fund for Development (SFD) and on a review of results from rigorous impact evaluations to examine the four factors behind SFD’s success in delivering good aid in hard places. The factors include: 1) stakeholder ownership over projects due to its close work relationship with local communities following a ...» more

Community-based disaster risk management in Pakistan

Disaster risk management (DRM), including disaster risk reduction (DRR), has received increased attention - particularly community-based DRM (CBDRM). Despite limited implementation and very limited evidence, some findings emerge: Factors of success have included: - Work that is multi-sectoral, integrated and multi-hazard. - Good programming, with high-quality analysis, ...» more

Regional development programmes and poverty reduction

This report looks into the actual performance, and possibly impact, of regional development programmes on national-level poverty reduction and associated factors such as ‘good governance’. The evidence base presents some strengths, such as the availability of diverse and rigorous evaluations, but also significant difficulties, most notably the lack of clear data on impact, ...» more

Understanding and Tackling Violence Outside of Armed Conflict Settings

Jeremy Lind, Becky Mitchell

Understanding and tackling violence that occurs outside of armed conflict settings is essential to improving the wellbeing of some of the world’s poorest communities. Whilst advances have been made in terms of designing policies that address violence in fragile or conflict-affected countries, progress has been slower in relation to dealing with violence happening outside of ...» more

Managing Famine Risk: Linking Early Warning to Early Action

Rob Bailey

This document is the final report of a Chatham House research project on the barriers that hinder appropriate response to early warning of slow-onset food crises. It finds that famine risk is well understood but badly managed. Famine early warning does not lead to early action, often because of governments' perceptions of political risk: changing the status quo requires that ...» more

Evidence about the effectiveness of child protection programmes in developing countries

Key findings: There is little evidence on the effectiveness of child protection programmes in developing countries. Furthermore, some of the available evidence does not provide information on links between specific practices on the one hand and improved outcomes and impact for children on the other hand. There are, however, some targeted insights into what works and what does ...» more

Social protection and basic services in fragile and conflict-affected situations

Rachel Slater, Richard Mallett, Samuel Carpenter

In an effort to generate better understanding and to identify useful lessons and findings for researchers and decision makers working on and in fragile and conflicted-affected situations, this review synthesises and assesses the available evidence on social protection and basic services (health, education and water) in fragile and conflict-affected situations. Relevant ...» more