Governance in Developing Asia
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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.
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Chapter 2: Governance in developing Asia: concepts, measurements, determinants and a paradox

M.G. Quibria


There is broad consensus in the development community that governance has a critical bearing on economic and social outcomes—and this is prominently reflected in the international development agenda. As well as being a Millennium Development Goal that affirms a commitment to good governance (nationally and internationally), governance is a critical determining criterion in the allocation of aid under the Millennium Challenge Account of the United States (US) government and the International Development Association resources of the World Bank. Following the lead of the World Bank, all multilateral development and financial institutions actively pursue governance reform in developing countries. This agenda reflects the current development paradigm that views good governance as essential to economic growth, with good governance promoting a more efficient division of labor, higher productivity of investment and the efficient implementation of social and economic policies (United Nations 2005).

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