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 5: Corruption in Asia and the Pacific: a manifestation of weak governance

Shikha Jha and Pilipinas F. Quising


Weak governance is often assumed to be synonymous with corruption; however, corruption is an outcome of bad governance. Governance relates to the state’s authority and capability through rules and institutions to manage the process of development and to provide public services. Corruption on the other hand refers to the use of public office for personal gain, and is reflected in, among other things, money laundering, bribes to government officials (even for routine public services), ghost beneficiaries of public programs, the diversion of supplies, the use of substandard construction material and embezzlement of funds. Such practices are commonplace in Asia and the Pacific. When laws are not enforced, police officers get away with charging motorists with bogus traffic violations and municipal officials demand payment for legitimate connections of piped water to residences. Without adequate awareness and voice, the poor are denied benefits to which they are entitled. In education and health, corruption undermines the provision of these basic public services when teachers skip class or doctors fail to attend public health clinics. In all these areas, public officials need to be held accountable for their services.

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