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 10: Citizen empowerment in service delivery

Babken Babajanian


The participation of citizens in the delivery of public services is a prominent issue in the policy agendas of many governments, development agencies and aid donors. Evidence suggests that citizen participation can help improve service delivery, leading to a better match with local needs, greater quality and access, and lower corruption and resource misallocation. Indeed, the last two decades have seen a proliferation of policies and programs promoting citizen empowerment. This chapter examines the different approaches for their effective promotion. There are different citizen empowerment approaches or models that seek to enhance the ability of citizens to monitor service delivery, voice their needs, demand transparent and fair allocation of benefits and resources, claim their rights and improve quality and accountability. These models include instruments with different objectives, institutional properties and operational procedures.

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