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Institutions and Service Delivery (ISD) Project

An important dimension to enhancing the well-being of Africans concerns improving delivery of services for a given bundle of resources.  Resources are obviously critical to the delivery of services to clients and, therefore, improving performance of African economies is important as this increases state capacity to provide services.

But resources are just only one, and sometimes a small component, of the performance factors that impact the quality of service provision.  Recent evidence shows that even when resources are allocated for provision of services, a large portion of the resources might not reach the intended clients.  In other cases, services may not be provided because frontline providers do not show up to work, resulting in poor delivery of services. The implication is that availability of resources does not guarantee that intended beneficiaries do in fact receive the benefits from the resources allocated. Linking institutions to service delivery requires a clear understanding of the factors that impact on service delivery and how those factors vary across institutions.

As a starting point, we require a framework for analysing the determinants of service delivery. Such a framework should articulate how different factors in the service delivery chain interact and how different factors and institutional arrangements impact both on demand and supply of services. This collaborative research project is investigating the role of institutions in service delivery in Africa. The project involves an in-depth investigation of service delivery experiences in Africa with a view to unearthing how institutional arrangements impact on the quality of provision by focusing on accountability relationships across service delivery chains.
Membership of Project Steering Committee

  1. Olu Ajakaiye (Chair)
  2. William Lyakurwa
  3. Mwangi Kimenyi (Project Coordinator)
  4. Ritva Reinikka (Project co-Coordinator)
  5. Paul Collier
  6. Akpan Ekpo
  7. Adedoyin Soyibo
  8. Desire Vencatachellum


To offer intellectual guidance to the project, ten framework papers were commissioned in July 2006 which includes:

  1. Accountability in the Provision of Social Services: A Framework for African Research by Paul Collier
  2. Methodological Approaches to the Study of Institutions and Service Delivery including PETS, QSDS and CRCS by Bernard Gauthier & Ritva Reinnika.
  3. Political Institutions and Public Service Delivery: A survey of the literature by Leonard Wantchekon & Sarah Weltman
  4. Tools and Techniques for Evaluating Service Delivery by Mwangi S. Kimenyi and Subhash Ray.
  5. Client Power, Citizen Participation, Institutions and Services Delivery: Theory and Evidence with Special Emphasis on Africa by Sylvain Dessy
  6. Provider Competition, Marketization and the Quality of Public Service Provision by  Mwangi Kimenyi and William F. Shughart II
  7. Foreign Aid, Accountability and Service Delivery in Africa by Sam Wangwe
  8. Services Delivery Reforms in Africa: A Review of the Initiatives and Outcomes by Desire Vencatachellum, Sylvain Dessy and Justine Nannyonjo
  9. Decentralization and Service Delivery Akpan Hogan Ekpo
  10. Tools and Techniques of Impact Assessment of Services by Jakob Svensson

These framework papers have been posted on the AERC website and have now been published (Kimenyi S.M. (Ed), 2012: Institutions and Service Delivery in Africa. African Economic Research Consortium). Subsequently a call for country case studies was issued and after review, the following 10 country case studies were commissioned:


  1. Institutions and Basic Healthcare Outcomes in Cameroon: An Analysis of Healthcare Demand and Supply by Dr. Aloysius Mom Njong, Kenneth AnchangYongabi and Joelle Tonda Ngantcha
  2. Institutional Arrangements and Hospital Efficiency in Cameroon: A Data Envelopment analysis  Zamo Akono Christian, Mondjeli Mwa Ndjokou and Song Ntamack Simon
  3. The State of the System of Accountability and Service Delivery in Ethiopia by Dr. Tsegarbirhan W. Giorgis and Dr. Sintayoh Fisseha
  4. Effect of Institutional Factors on the Quality of Care in the Ghanaian Health Care Sector by Dr. (Sr.) Eugenia Amporfu and Mr. Justice Nonvignon
  5. Institutions and Service Delivery – The Case of the Health Sector in Ghana by Dr. Isaac Osei-Akoto, Ama Pokua Fenny and Fela Tsikata.
  6. Institutions and Service Delivery: The Case of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in Kenya by Japheth Awiti, David Muthaka, John Mutua and Robert Nyaga.
  7. Institutional Arrangements and Impacts of Social Service Delivery in Mali’s Education and Health Sectors by   Abdrahmane Berthe  and Fidèle Dedehouanou
  8. Institution and Service Delivery in the Health Sector: Evidence from Nigeria by Dr. Omobowale A. Oni, Paul Martin Donsop Nguezet and Oluwaseun Ifeoluwapo Amao
  9. Towards Effective Service Delivery of Nigeria’s Primary Education System: The Role of Public-Private Partnership  by George, Tayo (Mrs), Wumi Kolawole Olayiwola, Adeolu M Adewole and Evans S.C Osabuohien
  10. Decentralization, Local Government Capacity and Efficiency in Health Service Delivery in Uganda by Justine Nannyonjo, Charles Abuka,  and Nicholas Okot

A Final Reports Review Workshop was held 9-10th July 2011. Selected papers from the project will be published as a special issue of the Journal of African Development with Prof. Kimenyi as the guest editor. Four papers from the project were presented at the 68th Congress of the International Institute of Public Finance (IIPF), Dresden Germany August 16-19, 2012.  Grants for national policy workshops have been issued to all the research teams in the project for disseminating the project findings to National stakeholders.  



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