GLOBAL SERVICES
Lesson 4: Delivery of Public Services
GOVERNMENTS AND SERVICES
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Governments are usually the main provider of public
services.
Governments are often ill-suited to provide social services
because 1) monopoly provides few incentives to cut costs
and increase quality of service and 2) bureaucracy/lack of
flexibility
Other problems noted in the literature for sanitation and
water delivery, include bad financial management, low
funding priority, lack of staff experience and qualifications,
absent or weak customer service orientation, political
interference, little or no independent regulation and an
absence of civil society consultation.
Many countries around the world subscribed to concept of a
welfare state – especially in Europe and in former
European colonies, such as India. Government services to
those in need – disabled, elderly, poor – would be paid
through taxation, but provided to recipients for low or now
cost.
Because governments cannot actually afford to provide all
the necessary services – NGOs and voluntary organizations
often fill the gaps.
NGOS AS EDUCATION PROVIDER
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NGOs play many roles in
supporting education service
delivery
Advocacy to governments to
fulfill demands of the UN’s
Education for All initiative
 Provide support to improve the
quality of government provision
through school adoption programs
(i.e. International Studies Schools
Network of the Asia Society)
 Direct Services: provide educational
opportunities to those excluded from
government schooling – such as street children, orphans, child
soldiers, indigenous children, minority group children, disabled
children, refugees, etc.
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Often NGO programs only reaches a small amount of all
children in any given country. Government usually remains
the primary provider.
Assessment data of teachers is not always available.
External monitoring not always present, as found in many
government schools.
PRIVATE SECTOR: WATER AND SANITATION
SERVICES IN DEVELOPING WORLD
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Millions die every year from lack of access
to safe water and adequate sanitation.
In developing countries, there is often
weak government capacity, especially in
urban and rural environments.
Private sector participation (PSP) does not
tackle the underlying causes of lack of utility
access. Problems exist in capacity building,
community participation, finance and
institutional reform.
There is often no provision to take back service
delivery if the private sector fails or when
contracts end-> irreversible dependence on private providers
Government capacity must be addressed. In PSP, local and central governments’
role is to facilitate, monitor and regulate. When decentralizing delivery, local
government capacity needs to be built up to ensure responsiveness to local needs
and the provision of quality services.
Poor need to be seen as contributors, not just recipients of services. Social
mobilization and community participation is key for sustainable development.
Poor often do not receive services because of the need for cost recovery.
Private sector has a role, but it cannot be realized if there is corruption or political
resistance to serving the poor.
Stable rules, political commitment to address the underlying causes, good
governance and an informed and active citizenry are needed for successful PSP.
NGOS: NOT-FOR-PROFIT HEALTH CARE IN INDIA
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In India, health services
usually provided by
government or private
sector. Private sector care
is delivered either by forprofit or not-for-profit
providers
Individual practitioners
provide most of the care in
the for-profit health sector
Initially, not-for-profit health
sector was hospital-based but
it later expanded to include community health doctors in development
projects. Now, the NGO role in health care is varied: advocacy, awareness
and education, research, and actual provisioning of services
Indian government provides grants and subsidies to NGOs to assist the
state in health programs, such as tuberculosis, leprosy and family planning
programs.
There is no official count of number of NGOs in health care. Some studies
list 7000 NGOs in health-related services as of 1997
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