Edited by Anwar Shah
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Accountability of government to citizens—the idea that the
public sector must answer to the people for its performance—is
the foundation for good governance. Under good governance, public
expenditures are allocated to maximize welfare, revenues are collected
efficiently, and the public at large has access to a number of public
services including water and sanitation, infrastructure, education and
health. Unfortunately in many developing countries, the people suffer
the results of dysfunctional governance systems that fail to provide
even minimal levels of vital public services. This happens because of
an acute deficiency in government accountability, such that public
servants lack the incentives to show results or manage government
resources more efficiently. The key message of the New Institutional
Economics is that incentives matter. In the public sphere, incentives
for public servants and policymakers are derived from the
countries' accountability frameworks—the rewards, sanctions,
and measurement of performance—that shape public sector
Fiscal Management applies this fundamental insight to
fiscal/budgetary analysis and public service delivery, giving the
reader tools and real world examples from around the globe of
institutional arrangements to help citizens hold government accountable
for their performance.
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