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Decentralization of provision of public services has been an important item in the agenda of developing countries. While some scholars and practitioners argue that decentralization is associated with improvements in provision due to higher accountability, others note its potential pitfalls. In particular, decentralization to local communities characterized by poverty, low levels of education, and inequality may lead to low accountability and higher susceptibility to political capture. This paper explores these dynamics empirically, taking advantage of the fact that in Brazilian municipalities primary education is provided by schools under municipal as well as under state management. The performance of these two types of school in the same municipalities is compared in terms of their levels of inputs and the efficiency of service delivery using non-parametric data envelopment analysis (DEA). The results suggest that there are indeed drawbacks to decentralization in municipalities where inequality is higher and education and political participation are lower.
This report presents descriptive statistics from Colombian water and sanitation data, and corresponding public opinion data. The water and sanitation data are at the firm and municipality level and produced by several Colombian government agencies. The public opinion data are provided by the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP). (View publication)
This paper proposes a methodology to resolve the problems that result from using a combination of objective and subjective information in evaluating urban quality of life. The paper further suggests techniques to identify and rank issues of potential importance for urban dwellers. In order to combine objective and subjective information in a coherent manner and focus on the most relevant dimension ... (View publication)
This paper explores how different levels of knowledge correlate with desirable preventive and curative practices against malaria in Honduras. The paper additionally analyzes “information externalities” associated with non-specific malaria health services, communicational campaigns and organized community networks. Using the 2004 ENSEMAH survey, the analysis tests for statistical differences in the ... (View publication)
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