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 13: Concluding remarks

Anil B. Deolalikar and Shikha Jha


Governance is a complex and difficult concept to pin down. An expansive definition of governance would include the nature of political regime (for example, the process by which governments are selected); state capacity to formulate, implement and deliver policies and services for the welfare of citizens; and respect for social and legal institutions (rule of law). According to most indicators, developing Asia ranks low in the quality of governance; indeed, the only other region in the world placing lower is sub-Saharan Africa. Despite poor performance on governance, however, many countries in developing Asia have achieved remarkable economic success as well as impressive social progress over the past three decades. There are many possible reasons for this. For one, the effects on economic growth from other growth-determining factors, such as capital accumulation and trade openness, may have neutralized the negative influence of poor governance on development.

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