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The provision of public services such as health care, education, sanitation and criminal justice is one of the key functions of the government. People care about public services and except them to be efficiently and effectively delivered. Public services provide the most common interface between people and the state, their functioning shapes people’s sense of trust in and expectations of government. At a national level, public services underpin human welfare and economic growth. Public services need to be delivered with integrity, centered around citizens and responsive to their needs, particularly the needs of the most vulnerable.
Promoting greater transparency and enabling ordinary citizens to assess the quality, adequacy and effectiveness of basic services, to voice their needs and preferences and to become involved in innovation offers an opportunity to enable better use of public funds, and improve service delivery (Ringold et al, 2013).
Public services account for a large proportion of government budgets, but increased spending has often not been matched by improvements in outcomes. In the worst case, public services can be bedeviled by corruption which leads to money intended for books, teachers, dispensaries, medical supplies and infrastructure being syphoned off by officials or private contractors (World Bank, 2004). Around the world, children still leave school is unable to read and do basic arithmetic, and the quality of healthcare remains uneven.
Public services are traditionally organized in a way that puts the public in a passive role, as the recipient of a standardized service. Citizens are connected like never before and have the skill sets and passion to solve problems. Local people often know what the solutions to problems in their area, but are rarely empowered by bureaucratic processes, instead facing public services which may be impersonal, irrelevant, and inefficient.
Inclusive Development for Citizens recognizes that the provision of basic services plays a crucial role in fostering inclusive development as services delivery invests in human capital as well as enhances the ability of the marginalized population to undertake different economic activities and as a result attain high quality livelihood. Through the selected priority areas, Inclusive Development for Citizens sets out its efforts at ensuring that these services are relevant and efficiently provided to the public.