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 11: Rights, accountability and citizenship: India’s emerging welfare state

Yamini Aiyar and Michael Walton


This chapter examines India’s recent experiment with building rights-based welfare architecture. At its heart is a project to transform the state through the reform of service delivery systems and so give citizens new entitlements and spaces to place claims on the state. This relates to two major policy debates: the pros and cons of a rights-based approach to social welfare and the use of social accountability instruments to improve service delivery. India’s move toward a rights-based welfare approach has its origins in three sociopolitical shifts: the emergence of civil society movements focused on changing state–citizen relations, the expanding role of the judiciary in interpretations of social policy, and the growing salience of the political view that the recent surge in economic growth and turn to the markets has not seen an expansion of inclusion. This view gained ground with the unexpected election victory of a political coalition led by the Congress Party in 2004 and its reelection in 2009. Inclusive growth was the electoral mantra of this coalition.

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