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 7: Harnessing public–private service delivery arrangements in developing Asia

Joseph J. Capuno


In many countries, public agencies or private firms or organizations are gradually moving away from being exclusive providers of goods and services that traditionally were assigned to the state or markets, respectively. Increasingly, state agencies and private organizations are collaborating to finance, produce or provide public services as varied as large infrastructure and utilities projects and local public and merit goods that confer localized or purely private benefits to targeted population groups. Although limited, the data on such arrangements are quite revealing. In Asia and the Pacific, the World Bank reports that from less than 20 joint projects with firms or consortiums in the energy, telecommunications, transport and utility sectors in 1990, these projects reached 2457 by 2010. In other instances, nonprofit, private organizations are engaged in the provision of social services. While it is not known exactly how many civil society and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) are involved in this area, their presence is widening. The World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations has 923 members in Southeast Asia, 3524 in South and Central Asia, 724 in Western Asia and 395 in East Asia. In Bangladesh, in 2006 there were around 2000 NGOs, and the four largest that extend microfinance services had 14.2 million borrowers (World Bank 2006).

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