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Making services work for poor people: the science and politics of delivery


MAKING SERVICES WORK FOR POOR PEOPLE: THE SCIENCE AND POLITICS OF DELIVERY                                                  WDR Picture 1                                            WDR Picture 2
Anniversary Conference: 28th February to 1st March, 2014                                                                                                              
The World Bank, Washington DC

Organised by the World Bank in collaboration with the Overseas Development Institute

The 2004 World Development Report (WDR), Making Services Work for Poor People, is recognised as ground-breaking in its appraisal of accountability relationships and performance for service delivery. Ten years on, what have we learnt about the science and politics of service delivery – and what are the emerging issues that will shape future priorities?

Much of the WDR’s core analysis on the centrality of accountability relationships for service delivery continues to be borne out by research and practice, although emerging themes in the international development landscape highlight some tensions. In collaboration with the original WDR team, this event will provide an opportunity to discuss new developments in service delivery, reflect on data, trends and experience in different sectors, and revisit the original publication’s core ideas and analysis.

More about the conference

The main themes of the conference will be:                                                                                                                                 

• The politics of delivery
• Information and incentives
• Behavioural economics and social norms
• Service delivery in fragile states
• Financing service delivery

These themes will be explored in a range of parallel sessions, structured as follows:

Guide to the parallel sessions                                                                                                                                                           
Picture 3Debate session          Contentious issues on which people disagree will be debated by each side making the strongest possible case for their position                                                                                                                   
Picture 4Perspectives sessionCutting-edge issues on which each presenter will provide a different perspective
Picture 5Experiences sessionLessons from applying the WDR2004 framework in practice


Conference Agenda                                                                                                                                   

WDR 2004: Making Services Work for Poor PeopleWDR 2004 : Making Services Work for Poor People (Report)

Print version

Background Reading for Parallel Sessions   |  Other Readings

Friday 28th February 2014    
8.00 am – 09.00am: Breakfast
9.00am – 10.30am: Session 1 - Plenary - Live Streamed                                                    
Auditorium:  Welcoming remarksMakhtar Diop, Vice President, Africa Region, World Bank 
Opening plenary:
Ten years of making services work for poor people: what WDR2004 got right - and wrong (Live Stream)
Shanta Devarajan, World Bank (Speaker); Ruth Levine, Hewlett Foundation (Respondent); Kevin Watkins, Overseas Development Institute (ODI) (Respondent); Tim Harford, author of “Adapt – why success always starts with failure” (Chair)
10.30am – 11.00am: Coffee
11.00am –12.30pm: Session 2 – Parallel sessions on:

F 5P-100 (5th floor)
2.1: Does foreign aid weaken domestic accountability for service delivery?Picture 3
Alison Evans, Independent;  Charles Kenny, Center for Global Development (CGD); Steve Knack, World Bank; Lant Pritchett, Harvard University; Stefan Dercon,United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) (Chair)

F 8P-100 (8th floor)
2.2: Does politics trump everything else in service delivery?Picture 4                              

Yamini Aiyar, Centre for Policy Research India (via VC); Daniel Harris, ODI; Naomi Hossain, Institute of Development Studies; Stuti Khemani, World Bank; Shekhar Shah, National Council of Applied Economic Research; Leni Wild, ODI (Chair)
2.3: How do politicians and providers respond to information? Picture 4
Rukmini Banerji, Pratham (via VC); Shanta Devarajan, World Bank; Justin Sandefur, Center for Global Development; Emiliana Vegas, Inter-American Development Bank; Marta Foresti, ODI (Chair)
12.30pm – 1.30pm: Lunch
1:30pm – 3:00 pm: Session 3 – Parallel sessions on:
F 5P-100 (5th floor)

3.1: Delivering services under stress
–  experiences from a range of post conflict contexts Picture 5 
Richard Batley, University of birmingham;Egbert Sondorp, Royal Tropical Institute; Rebecca Winthrop, Brookings Institution; Deon Filmer, World Bank (Chair)
F 8P-100 (8th floor)
3.2: If “all politics is local”, is decentralisation the solution?  Picture 3
Jean-Paul Faguet, London School of Economics; Vijayendra Rao, World Bank; Paul Smoke, New York University; Leny Wild/Bryn Welham, ODI; Junaid Ahmad, World Bank (Chair)
3.3: Non-state providers and service delivery outcomesPicture 4 
Jishnu Das, World Bank; Michael Kremer, Harvard University; Justin Sandefur, CGD; Philippe Krause, ODI (Chair)
3.00pm – 3.30pm: Coffee
3.30pm – 5.00pm: Session 4 – Parallel sessions on:

F 5P-100 (5th floor)
4.1: Improving service delivery: changing incentives or social norms?Picture 3 
Pascaline Dupas, Stanford University; Varun Gauri, World Bank; Jeff Hammer, Princeton University; Karthik Muralidharan, University of California, San Diego; Steve Commins, University of California, Los Angeles (Chair)
F 8P-100 (8th floor)
4.2: Views from the field: the 2004 WDR in South Asia, Latin America, Africa and MENA  Picture 5
Hana Brixi, World Bank; Robert Chase, World Bank; Sarah Keener, World Bank; Qaiser Khan** World Bank; Ariel Fiszbein, Inter-American Dialogue(Chair)
**Improving Basic Services for the Bottom Forty Percent: Results of the Poverty and Social Impact Assessment of Decentralized Basic Service Delivery in Ethiopia by Qaiser Khan, World Bank
4.3: How does information empower poor people? Picture 4
Gayle Martin, World Bank; Rakesh Rajani, Twaweza; Jakob Svensson, Stockholm University; Andrew Norton, ODI (Chair)
5.00 – 6.00 pm: Session 5 – Plenary – Live Streamed 
Keynote address (Live Stream)

Keynote address from Tim Harford, author of “Adapt – why success always starts with failure” 
Emmanuel Jimenez, World Bank (Chair)

6 – 7 pm: Poster presentations 
Cocktails, with poster presentations on lessons from impact evaluation 
7.30 pm: Dinner (By Invitation Only) 
Saturday 1st March, 2014  
8.00 am – 09.00 am: Breakfast 
9.00am – 10.30am: Session 6 - Plenary  - Live Streamed 
Innovative approaches to scaling up service delivery (Live Stream)
Stefan Dercon, United Kingdom Department for International Development; Homi Kharas, Brookings Institution; Michael Kremer, Harvard University; Nora Lustig, Tulane University; Paul Collier, Oxford University (Chair)
10.30am – 10.45am: Coffee
10.45am – 12.15pm: Session 7 – Parallel sessions on:
F 5P-100 (5th floor)
7.1: Fragile states: is there a tradeoff between delivering services and building institutions? Picture 3
Derick Brinkerhoff, RTI International; Paul Collier, Oxford University; Jacob Shapiro, Princeton University; Rachel Slater, ODI/Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium; Alan Whaites, OECD (Chair)
F 8P-100 (8th floor)
7.2: How can public financial management and tax reforms strengthen service delivery?Picture 4
Ehtisham Ahmad, London School of Economics; Matt Andrews, Harvard University; Zitto Kabwe, Tanzania Member of Parliament; Philipp Krause, ODI; Edward Hedger, ODI (Chair)
12.15pm – 1.15pm: Session 8 – Plenary - Live Streamed 
Priorities and challenges for the next decade of service delivery (Live Stream)
Marta Foresti, ODI; Mwangi Kimenyi, Brookings Institution; Lant Pritchett, Harvard University
Rakesh Rajani, Twaweza; Deon Filmer, World Bank; Alison Evans, Independent (Chair)
1.15pm: Lunch 

Contact information for the conference:  Nathalie Lenoble (World Bank),


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