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Who Benefits from India's Public Services?

M. Vivekananda (Author) Sita Sekhar (Author) Gopakumar Thampi (Author) Suresh Balakrishnan (Author) Samuel Paul (Author)
Synopsis This book is an independent and pioneering effort to assess the state of India’s public services from a user’s perspective. Most people in India depend on the “state” for many essential services. Yet, the state’s monitoring of service delivery seldom goes beyond tracking public expenditure and physical outputs. Citizens who are the ultimate beneficiaries of these services are never asked for their feedback on the services despite the fact that they possess valuable information on the delivery, quality and responsiveness of services. The authors have admirably filled this gap and provided unique benchmarks with respect to five basic services that matter to most people, viz., drinking water, primary health care, primary education, public distribution of food and public transport across the major states of India. Based on user feedback from 37,000 households drawn from both rural and urban areas, the study derives important conclusions on the access, use, reliability and satisfaction with respect to these services. A key finding is that governments have done more for extending access to services, but much less for their effectiveness and reliability. Equally important are also the findings on how disadvantaged households and less developed regions have fared with respect to these services.
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About the authors

M. Vivekananda

M. Vivekananda is Senior Advisor to Public Affairs Foundation, Bangalor and a former faculty member at the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore. He is an economist with an academic background in Statistics and Econometrics and has varied work experience with research, government, consultancy organizations, and also NGOs. He has authored four books and many articles in reputed professional journals.

Sita Sekhar

Sita Sekhar is Chief Research Officer at Public Affairs Centre. She holds a doctoral degree in Labour Economics and postgraduate qualification in Econometrics, and has taught at college level. Dr. Sekhar’s work profile also ecompasses technical and advisory support to international and national development agencies and organizations.

Gopakumar Thampi

Gopakumar Thampi is Executive Director of Public Affairs Foundation, Bangalore and former Head of the Asia Desk at the Transparency International Secretariat in Berlin. Gopakumar holds a doctoral degree in Entrepreneurial Studies and post graduate qualifications in Economics, Journalism & Mass Communication and Conflict Resolution.

Suresh Balakrishnan

Suresh Balakrishnan is Chief Technical Advisor with UNDP in Laos, and was previously Executive Director of PAC. Dr. Balakrishnan has worked on monitoring and evaluation in the governance and development sectors, with national, provincial and city governments, as well as international agencies and NGOs, in Asia and Africa for over twenty years.

Samuel Paul

Samuel Paul is founder and chairperson of Public Affairs Centre, Bangalore, India. He spearheaded the development of “Citizen Report Cards” as an accountability tool, an experience described in his book Holding the State to Account: Citizen Monitoring in Action (Books for Change, 2002). A former director and professor of economics at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), he has served as advisor to the Indian government, the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Labour Organisation.

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Bibliographic information

Title Who Benefits from India's Public Services?
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2006
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8171885276
length 296p., Tables; Figures; Annexures; References; Index; 23cm.