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Public Service Delivery

Chapter 4: Case studies on Bangladesh and Mozambique

The Institutional Diagnostic Project case study on Bangladesh and Mozambique is an attempt to explain the paradox of sustainability of the former and the disappointed hopes of the growth of the latter.

Institutional Diagnostic Synthesis (RA2)- Presentation

Outline of the presentation Objective, methodology and development of the project The synthesis volume and concluding chapters a) Identifying obstacles to development: economic perspective b) Identifying institutional obstacles: the role of politics c) Identifying institutional obstacles: state capacity and property…

Appraising institutional challenges in the early stages of development- Chapter 10: Conclusion

Two central lessons can be drawn from the foregoing analysis. First, many institutional failures are traceable to the way politics functions. Therefore, any diagnosis or understanding of the impediments to a country’s long-term development that overlooks the country’s political economy…

Chapter 9: Identifying institutional obstacles to structural transformation: state capacity and property rights

After having examined the role of politics (in last chapter) in spurring or slowing down structural transformation and development, we are now ready to probe the issue of state capacity. This will complete our discussion of the role of governance-related…

Chapter 8: Identifying institutional obstacles to structural transformation: the role of politics

In this chapter, the focus is on issues that involve politics. More specifically, we look at the role of political leadership and state autonomy in development. The institutions involved determine the quality of governance in a country, but they are…

Chapter 7: Identifying obstacles to structural transformation: an economic perspective

Whether in the four case study countries or in the successful development stories of South Korea and Taiwan at the time when they were at a comparable level of income per capita, the issue of development consists of providing the…

Appraising institutional challenges in the early stages of development: Introduction to part 3

This last part of the volume puts together the lessons learned from the in-depth case studies undertaken within the Institutional Diagnostic Programme (IDP), and the more cursory analysis of the success development stories of South Korea and Taiwan at about…

Chapter 6: Taiwan’s development miracle

There are several reasons why development scholars should be interested in the case of Taiwan. As one author has written: ‘It once had a single dominant party following the Leninist model; it now has a competitive multiparty system. It was…

Chapter 5: South Korea in the early days of its takeoff

‘What would have been the conclusion of an institutional diagnostic of the development potential of South Korea conducted in the mid- or late-1970s, at a time when the country was still a low-income country, at roughly the same income level…

Appraising institutional challenges in the early stages of development

If there is absolutely no doubt that institutions matter for development, and for development policies and strategies in the first place, the crucial issue is knowing how they matter. After all, impressive economic development achievements have been observed despite the…

Teacher Rotation and Student Outcomes: Experimental Evidence from Uganda- Working paper

This report summarizes an ongoing study of the effect of teacher rotation on student outcomes in Uganda. In the status quo, teachers are transferred (“rotated”) across schools at the discretion of district authorities. In randomized treatment schools, we incentivize teachers…

Updating the state: information acquisition costs and public benefit delivery

In a field experiment spanning the entirety of two Indian states, we randomized bureaucrats’ access to a mobile phone based e-management platform for India’s flagship workfare program. We randomized which levels of the administrative hierarchy received access to the app,…

Public trust, policing, and the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from an electoral authoritarian regime

We examine how trust shapes compliance with public health restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda. We use an endorsement experiment embedded in a mobile phone survey to show that messages from government officials generate more support for public health…

Age sets and accountability

Abstract: This document is the second of two progress reports that provide an overview of the progress made on the DFID RA4 project “Social structures, political accountability, and effective public goods provision.” Our study is interested in better understanding how…

Recruitment, effort, and retention effects of performance contracts for civil servants: Experimental evidence from Rwandan primary schools

Abstract: This paper reports on a two-tiered experiment designed to separately identify the selection and effort margins of pay-for-performance (P4P). At the recruitment stage, teacher labor markets were randomly assigned to a pay-for-percentile or fixed-wage contract. Once recruits were placed,…

Promoting accountability in public projects: donors, audits, and rural electrification

Abstract: International donors and governments require contracting mechanisms that provide accountability in order to mitigate leakage and corruption in public infrastructure projects, especially when construction is outsourced to private sector contractors. This is an important goal because low-income countries spend…

Gang rule: understanding and countering criminal governance

Abstract: Gangs govern millions worldwide. Why rule, and how do they respond to states? Many argue that criminal rule provides protection when states do not, and that increasing state services could crowd gangs out. We began by interviewing leaders from…

Can training improve organisational culture?

Experimental evidence from Ghana’s civil service Abstract: Organizational culture is an important driver of organizational performance, but evidence on how to improve performance-oriented organizational cultures is scarce – especially in the public sector. We partnered with Ghana’s Civil Service to…

Mozambique Institutional Diagnostic: Chapter 8

Mozambique Institutional Diagnostic Chapter 8: Decentralization reforms in Mozambique The role of institutions in the definition of results Abstract: With the introduction of the economic reforms in the late 1980s, the opening up of the political arena and the end…

Mozambique Institutional Diagnostic: Chapter 7

Mozambique Institutional Diagnostic Chapter 7: Health, development, and institutional factors The Mozambique case Abstract: The central aim of this text is to show the impact institutions have on the performance of the health sector in Mozambique. The text shows that…

Thematic Insight: Motivating and monitoring public service provision

The ability to recruit, elicit effort from, and retain civil servants is a central issue for any government. Poor performance of frontline civil servants (e.g., teachers, health workers, tax collectors) suggests that governments need to find and deploy more effective…

Bangladesh Institutional Diagnostic – Chapter 8

Bangladesh Institutional Diagnostic Chapter 8: Institutional challenges in public spending: the case of primary education Chapter overview: List of figures Introduction The importance of education (primary education) for development in Bangladesh The primary education sector in Bangladesh: basic performance Challenges…

Financial Incentives in Multi-Layered Organisations: An Experiment in the Public Sector

Empirical Evidence from the Community Health Worker Program in Sierra Leone Authors:  Erika Deserranno, Northwestern University, and Philipp Kastrau and Gianmarco León-Ciliotta, Universitat Pompeu Fabra Introduction:  Poor performance of frontline service providers (e.g., teachers, health workers, tax collectors) has generated…

The Quran and the Sword – the Strategic Game between Autocratic Power, the Military And the Clerics

This paper elucidates the willingness of an autocrat to push through institutional reforms in a context where traditional authorities represented by religious clerics are averse to them and where the military, who have their own preferences about reforms, control the…

Innovation, Voice and Hierarchy in the Public Sector: Evidence from Ghana’s Civil Service

Abstract: Research on innovation in government often focuses on ideas introduced by senior leaders or managers, but ideas from public servants themselves are an important and underexplored channel for improving performance in government bureaucracies. We provide new evidence on the…

Research Insight: Candidate Selection and Accountability in Sierra Leone

This EDI Research Insight publishes early stage results from a study designed to explore questions about  representation, accountability and performance among government officials in Sierra Leone. As in many developing countries, in Sierra Leone the process of selecting candidates often…

Event: “Sharing Solutions” – Improving management and accountability for public service delivery

Charity Moore from the Harvard Kennedy School presents research from a project on “USing digital trails to improve management and accountability for public service delivery in India.” Service delivery in development settings in hierarchical in nature, which can lead to…

Event: “Sharing Solutions” – Recruitment, effort and retention effects of performance contracts

Andrew Zeitlin from Georgetown University presents his research on the compositional consequences of performance pay in the education sector in Rwanda. H notes that in developing country education there is tremendous variation in teacher quality and internationally, these differences have…

Event: “Sharing Solutions” – Performance-based incentives in multi-layered organizations

Gianmarco León on pay-for-performance (P4P), which has been shown to be effective in job performance in both private and public organizations. The research examines how incentives affect performance when they are implemented across multiple layers of an organization – from…

Event: “Sharing Solutions” – Political economy and governance of rural electrification

Edward Miguel of the University of California at Berkeley presents research on “The political economy and governance of rural electrification in Kenya.” In the last few years it has become a major policy and foreign aid priority to enhance the…

Tanzania Institutional Diagnostic – Synthesis

Tanzania Institutional Diagnostic Chapter 8: Synthesis This chapter provides a synthesis of information and arguments developed in the first seven chapters of the Tanzania Institutional Diagnostic. Chapter outline Part 1.  The basic institutional constraints on Tanzanian development The main challenges…

Tanzania Institutional Diagnostic – Chapter 5

Tanzania Institutional Diagnostic Chapter 5: Decentralization and development Chapter outline Introduction The theory of central–local government relationships The evolution of local government in Tanzania Local and central governance in Tanzania today: a complex and confusing legal framework Fiscal decentralisation: the…

Tanzania Institutional Diagnostic – Chapter 1

Tanzania Institutional Diagnostic Chapter 1: Reflections on the political and economic development of Tanzania Chapter outline A short account of the political history of Tanzania The colonial era The German colonisation The British mandate on Tanganyika Independence Forging a nation: the…

Improving management and accountability for public service delivery

“Using digital trails to improve management and accountability for public service delivery (India)” A presentation by Charity Moore, Harvard Kennedy School This presentation was part of the convening event hosted by CEGA at the University of California, Berkeley, in August…

Clientelistic politics and economic development – an overview

This paper provides an overview of the literature on political clientelism  and its relation to economic development. It starts by describing the range of mechanisms used by political operatives to monitor how specific voters vote in order to target clientelistic…

At the Intersection: A Review of Institutions in Economic Development

We present accepted basic arguments on the role of institutions in development and then discuss the corresponding empirical evidence in support (or not) of those arguments. Methodologically, our emphasis is on experimental evidence wherever available, and thematically we focus on…

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