Sun, 05 May 2013 12:00:00 GMT | By IANS

Public services in Asia failing the needy: ADB study

The delivery and quality of public services have lagged the meteoric growth rates seen in many economies in the region


Public services in Asia failing the needy: ADB study (© Reuters)

New Delhi: Public services such as clean water, sanitation, healthcare, and schooling in many Asian countries, particularly in South Asia, are failing frequently to reach the needy, widening the region's already sharp disparity between the rich and the poor, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) study.

The delivery and quality of public services have lagged the meteoric growth rates seen in many economies in the region, it says, examining the challenges state providers face in delivering quality basic services to low income groups, and the potential for giving disadvantaged communities more power over service delivery.

In South Asia, for example, access to primary schooling has grown substantially over the past decade, but there is no evidence of improved access to public health services, and there is very little progress in the provision of improved sanitation and water sources.

Services are often shrouded in heavy national bureaucracy that impedes efficiency. The report, Empowerment and Public Service Delivery in Developing Asia and the Pacific, launched at the just concluded 46th Annual General Meeting of ADB, says service delivery across the region is mixed.

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