Efficient and equitable public services

Informing and influencing public finance reforms for improved service delivery.
A doctor see patients in a clinic in Mukono, Uganda, 2003. Photo: Arne Hoel / World Bank CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Public financial management reforms have historically focussed on ministries of finance and controlling public expenditure. As the development finance landscape changes, countries are becoming increasingly reliant on domestically raised finances to deliver public services.

In response, governments and international partners are increasingly paying attention to how domestic finance systems influence the efficiency and equity of services delivered.

To better understand how public financial management affects the quality of service delivery, there has been a shift in focus of public financial management specialists beyond the corridors of the finance ministry – to sector ministries, local governments and sector specialists.

ODI seeks to bring together the different communities working on public finance and service delivery to support an improved understanding of what reforms are appropriate. We conduct high-quality applied research and provide practical advice to inform and influence policies, practices and public debate.

Our work includes analyses on the equity of fiscal transfers in Tanzania and Uganda, as well as of how public expenditure management can be made more gender responsive in low capacity countries.

We have also looked at how international support for investment in infrastructure can be improved in the future, and surveyed what we know about the links between public financial management and health service delivery.

Key aims:

  • Bringing together different communities and knowledge to improve understanding of appropriate public finance to support service delivery;
  • Supporting policy-makers in designing and implementing public finance policies and systems for more efficient and equitable public services;
  • Informing international debates and policies about how to effectively support public finance reforms for improved service delivery.