Legal and Institutional
Budgeting and Service
Throughout the developing world, citizens are demanding greater government accountability and responsiveness as well as better delivery of public services. Economic inequalities accentuated by globalization, lagging public sector reform efforts, entrenched corruption, and persistent concerns about the overall legitimacy of government decision making at all levels have fueled such demands, creating a deeper sense of urgency about budgeting and service delivery shortcomings.
A consensus among development specialists favors the creation of more effective and participatory policy-making mechanisms to exert greater control over service delivery design and operation, but implementing such mechanisms has proven difficult. Stronger citizen “voice”—demand-side pressures for reform—should result in better incentives for public officials to budget and deliver services of the type and amount desired by the public.
Appropriate legal and institutional frameworks can create significant participatory “spaces” and opportunities—often grounded in