Evidence Brief: Public Sector Performance
Ineffective public sector performance remains a major obstacle to development in many poor countries. Providing better information to voters and improving community participation can help increase public sector accountability and performance.
- Although standards of governance are generally improving, inadequate public sector performance remains a major obstacle to development in many poor countries today. Encouragingly, there is a growing body of research that points to promising strategies at both the macro and micro level.
- At the macro level, research focuses on how to make democratic elections deliver better outcomes for poor people. A key part of this looks at strategies to ensure that voters have enough information to make sound choices on Election Day. Successful interventions here include candidate debates, publicizing the results of government audits, and public deliberation between candidates and voters.
- At the micro level, a variety of strategies focus on increasing community participation in development programming. Studies have documented positive results in terms of building local infrastructure and monitoring the delivery and targeting of public services. Theses local approaches cannot, however, replace a functional central government in driving development.