Governance in Developing Asia

Governance in Developing Asia

Public Service Delivery and Empowerment

Edited by Anil B. Deolalikar, Shikha Jha and Pilipinas F. Quising

Governance in Developing Asia is one of the first books of its kind to provide an overview of the role that better governance and citizen empowerment can play in improving public service delivery in developing Asia. The World Development Report 2004 set a framework for public service delivery in terms of the short and long roads to accountability of service providers to citizens. More than a decade on, this important book revisits the issue and departs from the WDR framework, highlighting its shortcomings and offering alternative solutions. The contributors present fresh evidence on the relationship between governance and development outcomes, including growth and indicators of living standards. They argue that the Asia-Pacific region must do better in delivering essential public services if it wishes to continue improving the quality of life for millions of its people. They show how the quantity and quality of public services in a country can be improved if the government actively solicits citizen involvement in service delivery.

Chapter 1: Overview

Anil B. Deolalikar and Shikha Jha

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, asian politics and policy, development studies, asian development, development studies, politics and public policy, asian politics, regulation and governance


Developing Asia has achieved remarkable progress in raising prosperity, reducing poverty and improving many social indicators. The most notable areas of progress have been in achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, reducing hunger and malnutrition, and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other communicable diseases. But developing Asia lags behind other world regions in one area in particular—the provision of basic public services and in the quality of services provided. Within the region, large differences exist in the quality and quantity of the services and their access to the poor, due, among other things, to corruption in the form of extortion, bribes and theft of resources. The impacts of such practices are often hardest on the poor who struggle to make payments or simply lose out on services.