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 9: Improving education services: district governance and student learning in Indonesia

Menno Pradhan and Joppe de Ree


Increasing evidence suggests that low education outcomes in developing countries partly result from the low efficiency of public education spending. Recorded teacher absenteeism rates in developing countries in the range of 16–27 percent starkly illustrate that education spending does not always lead to better education services (Chaudhury et al. 2006). The World Bank’s 2004 World Development Report, likewise, notes a lack of correlation between changes in education spending and outcomes at the country level; it argues that improving accountability for public spending is crucial to improving education outcomes (World Bank 2004). Comparing countries, empirical evidence suggests that bad governance hampers the efficiency of public spending in education. The two studies most relevant for this chapter use corruption perception as an indicator of governance. Comparing public education spending in 57 countries, Rajkumar and Swaroop (2008) find that whereas public spending on education as a share of gross domestic product does not have a significant relationship to levels of educational attainment, the interaction between public spending and governance does. Countries with lower corruption are better able to ensure that public education spending translates into higher educational attainment for their citizens.

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