The Governance of Urban Service Delivery in Developing Countries: Literature Review

Jones, H. Clench, B. and Harris, B.
Date published
01 Mar 2014
Research, reports and studies
National & regional actors, Government, System-wide performance, Urban
Overseas Development Institute

Key messages of this report:

  • Policy makers, practitioners and researchers need to identify, understand and address the pressing challenges associated with the delivery of services in urban areas in the developing world.
  • Specific attention should be paid to urban services that are most important for broader development goals, and those that present unique challenges in urban environments, including solid waste management, water and sanitation and transport services.
  • Governance and political economy factors are important in determining the effective delivery of public services, including in urban areas. However, while the literature is more fully developed with respect to some services than others, the body of knowledge is not strong on the key governance challenges specific to urban areas, or how these challenges can be overcome.
  • There is a need for additional comparative research and empirical studies on such under-researched areas. This review aims to provide a basis for such efforts in the future.