Common constraints and incentive problems in service delivery
There is growing recognition that,despite significant increases in resourcing, public service delivery is still failing in many developing countries.Political and governance factors may offer at least part of the explanation.A stronger evidence base is needed to address these factors,with greater cross country analysis that identifies some of the most common political economy constraints and incentive problems,and draws out lessons for how they can be overcome.
To contribute to this evidence base, ODI undertook a review of the existing evidence base in three sectors (education, health,water and sanitation)across multiple countries.The review points to a set of five common political economy constraints and incentive problems that seem to affect levels of performance.
-Political market imperfections, in terms of disruptions in the relationships between politicians and citizens.These include a lack of credibility in the political promises politicians make to citizens,a lack of information among voters about politicians’ performance,and forms of social fragmentation among voters (often manifested as identity politics).
-Policy incoherence,or contradictions (both within and across sectors) in policy design,structure and roles causing some part or the entirety of policy design to become unimplementable or unimplemented.This can be horizontal,with overlapping mandates and confused responsibilities among co-providers and other public bodies,or vertical,where policies do not have clear implementation plans or funding.