public services http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/taxonomy/term/617/all en The Interview: Cyprian Fisiy http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/interview-cyprian-fisiy-0 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even">Exploring ideas, innovations and fresh approaches to our world is at the heart of the public sphere. <a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">People, Spaces, Deliberation</a> brings you significant voices from academia and the practice of development through a series of interviews.<br /><br /> Providing public services must deliver reliable results because it's in the public interest. However, development practitioners may wonder whose interest is really at stake- the public's or the private sector's. "And there you find <strong><em>contestation of the public good </em></strong>and what you need to do differently," says Cyprian Fisiy, former Director of the Social Development Department in the World Bank's Sustainable Development Network.<br /><br /><strong>Watch the full video </strong>for Cyprian's review of what it takes to be successful in development.<div class="asset-wrapper asset aid-59 asset-video"> <strong > The Interview: Cyprian Fisiy </strong> <div class="content"> <div class="field field-name-field-asset-video-file field-type-emvideo field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/NLf4WO1to6M?list=UU9aD4rHABtBpgcgZ1c3S6pg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-asset-video-desc field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"></div></div></div></div> </div> <p> </div></div></div> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:27:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 6667 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere The Link Between Income Inequality and Public Services is Stronger than I Realized (Thanks to Emma Seery for Putting Me Straight) http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/link-between-income-inequality-and-public-services-stronger-i-realized-thanks-emma-seery-putting-me <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/8758052647_3a79911b65_o%20%281%29.jpg" style="float:left; height:187px; width:280px" />Oxfam has been banging on to good effect recently about <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/working-for-the-few-economic-inequality" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">extreme global inequality in income and wealth</a>. Over many years, we have also been making the case for universal health and education. It turns out the link between the two is stronger than I’d realized, according to ‘<a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/working-for-the-many-public-services-fight-inequality" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Working for the Many: Public Services fight Inequality</a>’, a new paper published today.</p> <p> We normally discuss inequality before and after tax (eg it’s progressive taxation that really brings Europe’s inequality down). But recent work published by the <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k9h363c5szq-en" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">OECD</a> and <a href="http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTPOVERTY/Resources/InequalityInFocusJuly2012FINAL.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">World Bank</a> has put a monetary value on the ‘virtual income’ provided by public services. This produces some startling findings on inequality.</p> <p> Public services mitigate the impact of skewed income distribution, and redistribute by putting ‘virtual income’ into everyone’s pockets. For the poorest, those on meagre salaries, though, this ‘virtual income’ can be as much as – or even more than – their actual income. On average, in OECD countries, public services are worth the equivalent of a huge 76 per cent of the post-tax income of the poorest group, and just 14 per cent of the richest. It is in the context of huge disparities of income that we see the true equalizing power of public services.</p> </div></div></div> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 16:42:00 +0000 Duncan Green 6665 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Competing Approaches to Social Accountability http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/competing-approaches-social-accountability <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><strong><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldbank/1117779303/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img alt="" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/1117779303_3138c13074_o.jpg" style="float:left; height:187px; width:280px" /></a>Advocates of social accountability approaches believe that regular elections are not enough to bring about a change in service delivery</strong><br /><br /> Seeking accountability from public service providers remains one of the most prominent governance challenges in developing countries. In recent years, there has been a burst of social accountability tools, and NGOs and governments have promoted their use widely. Broadly, social accountability refers to approaches that seek to foster accountability through enhanced civil society engagement.<br /><br /> The advocates of social accountability approaches believe that the regular cycle of elections—in spite of the near continuous cycle of elections for the village councils, state and centre—are not enough to bring about a substantive change in service delivery. In this context, there is the opportunity to experiment with alternative mechanisms of fostering social accountability. Researchers at the Centre for Future State of the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, UK, conclude from their field studies in Delhi and Sao Paulo, Brazil, that social accountability tools can be used to set the minimum required standard of public services by “highlighting deficiencies in existing provision or entitlements”. This also works when citizens’ demands are “framed in terms of legal or moral rights”.<br /><br /> As a set of approaches for “good governance”, social accountability tools represent an interesting collection of hypotheses. One, that involving citizens in local planning, budgeting and spending decisions will ensure that the design and implementation of public services is pro-poor. Local governments and decentralized systems for local planning and service delivery are the usual form in which this approach manifests itself. </div></div></div> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 17:21:00 +0000 Suvojit Chattopadhyay 6657 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere #3 from 2013: Who is Listening? Who is Responding? Can Technology Innovations Empower Citizens to Affect Positive Changes in their Communities? http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/3-2013-who-listening-who-responding-can-technology-innovations-empower-citizens-affect-positive <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Johanna/9235392888_e31f2ce869.jpg" style="float:left; height:186px; width:280px" /><em><strong>Our Top Ten blog posts by readership in 2013</strong><br /> This post was originally published on August 15, 2013</em><br /><br /> It was a sunny, hot Saturday afternoon and I mingled with farmers, community leaders, coffee producers and handicrafts entrepreneurs who had traveled from all parts of Bolivia to gather at the main square of Cliza, a rural town outside of Cochabamba. The place was packed and a sense of excitement and high expectations was unfolding. It was to be anything but an ordinary market day.<br />    <br /> Thousands of people had been selected from more than 700 rural communities to showcase their products and they were waiting for a special moment. President Evo Morales, Nemesia Achocallo, Minister for Rural Development, Viviana Caro, Minister for Development Planning, and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, on his first official visit to Bolivia, would soon be meeting them.  <br /><br /> While waiting among them, I felt their excitement, listened to their life stories and was humbled by the high expectations they had in their government, their leaders and the international community to support them in reaching their aspirations for a better future for their families and communities. From many I heard the need to improve the well-being of their families and communities and their goal of “Vivir Bien!”</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 15:17:00 +0000 Soren Gigler 6435 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere The Growing Anger of the Merely, Barely Middle-Class http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/growing-anger-merely-barely-middle-class <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Johanna/9098630094_c448067dff.jpg" style="float:left; height:175px; width:280px" />The growing militancy of middle class citizens in developing countries is very much in the news these days; and there is a corresponding attempt to understand why so many protest movements in developing countries are now being led by hitherto quiescent middle classes.  I have particularly enjoyed analyses by <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323873904578571472700348086.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Francis Fukuyama in the <em>Wall Street Journal</em></a>, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/17/opinion/global/lula-da-silva-the-message-of-brazils-youth.html?_r=0" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">President Lula of Brazil in the <em>New York Times</em></a> and <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2013/07/08/130708ta_talk_surowiecki" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">James Surowiecki in the <em>New Yorker</em></a>.  The humble contribution I’d like to make (from my personal experience) is this. To understand the growing anger of middle class citizens in developing countries you have to understand two aspects of the conditions under which they live: the <strong><em>merely</em></strong> bit and the <strong><em>barely</em></strong> bit.<br />  <br /> Let’s begin with the <strong><em>merely</em></strong> bit; that is, why in many of these countries when you are merely middle-class you have a problem. To grasp why being merely middle class is a tough situation to be in you have to understand what those they aspire to be like (the well to do in their societies) are able to provide for themselves. Before I left Nigeria in the middle 1990s, the wife of one of our leading politicians came up with the following insight: that to be comfortable you had to become your own local government. And she was right. Here are the things that your local government should provide and it did not and so you had to provide these things for yourself:</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 08 Aug 2013 18:11:00 +0000 Sina Odugbemi 6427 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere