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Making Services Work for Poor People

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  • Shantayanan Devarajan
  • Ritva Reinikka

Abstract

The weak link between public spending in health and education, and health and education outcomes can be partially explained by the fact that the delivery of services that are critical to human development -- health, education, water and sanitation -- are widely failing poor people. The money is often spent on private goods or on the non-poor; it often fails to reach the frontline service provider; incentives for service delivery by providers are weak; and poor people sometimes fail to demand these services. This paper examines the experience with alternative mechanisms for service delivery -- contracting out to the private and NGO sectors, community participation, co-financing by service beneficiaries -- and shows that this, as well as the experience of more traditional public sector provision, can be interpreted by looking at three principal-agent relationships in the service-delivery chain: between policymakers and providers; between clients and providers; and between clients (as citizens) and policymakers. Weaknesses in one or more of these relationships can lead to service-delivery failure, while attempts to strengthen one may not always work because of deficiencies in other links in the chain. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Shantayanan Devarajan & Ritva Reinikka, 2004. "Making Services Work for Poor People," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 13(1), pages 142-166, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:13:y:2004:i:1:p:i142-i166
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice Some international evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1033-1067, June.
    2. Stasavage, David, 1997. "The CFA Franc Zone and Fiscal Discipline," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(1), pages 132-167, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2003. "Making Services Work for Poor People : The Role of Participatory Public Expenditure Management (PPEM)," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11318, The World Bank.
    2. Gudrun Kochendörfer-Lucius & Boris Pleskovic, 2004. "Berlin Workshop Series 2004 : Service Provision for the Poor--Public and Private Sector Cooperation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15027.
    3. Punam Chuhan-Pole & Manka Angwafo, 2011. "Yes Africa Can : Success Stories from a Dynamic Continent," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2335.
    4. Gomanee, Karuna & Morrissey, Oliver & Mosley, Paul & Verschoor, Arjan, 2005. "Aid, Government Expenditure, and Aggregate Welfare," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 355-370, March.
    5. Akramov, Kamiljon T. & Asante, Felix Ankomah, 2008. "Decentralization and local public services in Ghana: Do geography and ethnic diversity matter?," GSSP working papers 16, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Richard M. Bird, 2005. "Value-Added Taxes in Developing and Transitional Countries: Lessons and Questions," International Tax Program Papers 0505, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
    7. World Bank, 2004. "Education in Rwanda : Rebalancing Resources to Accelerate Post-Conflict Development and Poverty Reduction," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15034.
    8. Fenta Mandefro & Mina Noor & Nora Stel, 2011. "Service Delivery and State Legitimacy: Multi-Stakeholder Processes in Water and Sanitation in Ethiopia," Working Papers 2011/37, Maastricht School of Management.
    9. Bwire, Thomas & Lloyd, Tim & Morrissey, Oliver, 2013. "Foreign Aid, Public Sector and Private Consumption: A Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Approach," WIDER Working Paper Series 094, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Fenta Mandefro & Mina Noor & Nora Stel, 2012. "Service Delivery and State Legitimacy: Multi-Stakeholder Processes in Water and Sanitation in Ethiopia As defined by the," Working Papers 2012/44, Maastricht School of Management.
    11. Sacks, Audrey, 2012. "Can donors and non-state actors undermine citizens'legitimating beliefs ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6158, The World Bank.
    12. Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2010. "Aid and Conditionality," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    13. Mukherjee, Anit N., 2007. "Public expenditure on education: A review of selected issues and evidence," Working Papers hd1, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    14. Predrag Bejakovic, 2005. "The role of economic and political measures of the palliation of poverty in Croatia," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 29(1), pages 75-97.
    15. Audrey Sacks, 2012. "Can Donors and Nonstate Actors Undermine Citizens' Legitimating Beliefs?," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16955, The World Bank.
    16. Wagstaff, Adam & Bilger, Marcel & Buisman, Leander R. & Bredenkamp, Caryn, 2014. "Who benefits from government health spending and why? a global assessment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7044, The World Bank.

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