By William R. Dillinger
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Additional resources for Better urban services: finding the right incentives
These, in turn, were often caused by problems in the relationship between central and local governments. Over the past ten to fifteen years, the Bank has increasingly shifted the emphasis toward these issues in its economic and sector work and lending. Based on experience thus far, this book concludes that this shift in emphasis should be accelerated so that, when necessary, reforms of the incentives facing local governments, including intergovernmental institutional arrangements, become a key element in country strategy and project design.
This approach would help to ensure consistency both in the Bank's dialog with national government on macroeconomic and distributional issues and in the range of sectors in which the Bank is active. It would also ensure that adequate attention is given to the range of systemic problems that affect the performance of a number of sectors in a cost-effective fashion. These country strategies should attempt to define a limited number of key issues viewed as critical to performance in local service delivery, to the productivity and sustainability of projects, and to broader economywide development goals such as poverty alleviation and private sector development.
In the absence of piped water supply systems, for example, households are forced to purchase water from vendors, at several multiples of the costs of piped water systems. The Management Problem Failures in the coverage and quality of services reflect, in part, aggregate resource constraints. The ability of an economy to provide convenient, reliable urban services is constrained by the demands of other fundamental needsfood, clothing, basic shelter, and securityin extremely poor countries. But the available evidence suggests that the constraint on improved service delivery is not merely one of resources.