Bangladesh Urban service delivery


Delivering essential services efficiently to meet the needs of households and businesses is a major challenge throughout the developing world, including Bangladesh. Access to a minimum package of essential services such as health, education, power, water supply, and sanitation, is critical for reducing poverty and improving welfare. Cross-country evidence suggests that investments in improving the delivery of services (whether infrastructure related, social or regulatory) can have high payoffs in terms of raising productivity and accelerating the pace of economic growth. These services are particularly beneficial to the poor who, for example, are often unable to access clean drinking water and are subjected to unsanitary surroundings, with adverse consequences for their health and employment opportunities.
 Although Bangladesh is predominantly rural, a defining trend for its economy and society is its rapidly growing urban population. During 1961-1991, while the country's population doubled from 55 million to 111 million, the urban population grew almost 9 times, from 2.6 million to 22 million. Currently, the urban population makes up approximately 20 percent of the country's population of 130 million. Urbanization is increasing by 5 to 6 percent annually, and it is expected that more than 50 percent of the population in Bangladesh will live in urban areas by the year 2025. The growing urban population has increased the burden on service delivery in cities, whose resource and management capacities are already over-extended. A key challenge for government, therefore, is how to cope with growing urbanization and develop service delivery systems that meet public policy goals and provide value for money to the citizens.
This report's principal objective is to provide policy makers with information on the state of service delivery in urban Bangladesh from the point of view of the recipients, on the basis of a household survey, and establish a baseline against which future progress can be measured. The report is anchored on the premise that user feedback provides a valuable tool for improving transparency and public accountability. When users of services provide a quantitative and qualitative assessment of service delivery, based on first-hand interactions with the agencies providing these services, it is possible to rank the agencies by the quality of their performance. This 'score card can then be used to evaluate progress for a variety of problems with the planning, management and accountability of service delivery.

Date and language
May 2002

Corporate Author

Physical Location: 
FPMU Documentation Center
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