Using surveys for public sector reform

Author(s) : Reinikka, Ritva

Organization : World Bank

Imprint : Washington, World Bank, 1999

Collation :

4 p.

Series : PREM notes, 23

Data that can be used to inform policy decisions are typically scarce in low-income countries, where standard policy prescriptions are less likely to apply. But if strategically designed, a survey can help induce policy change by pointing directly to the main bottlenecks, making it easier for policy-makers to find solutions. The note summarises two cases in Uganda where diagnostic surveys proved particularly useful, the first one involving public spending on health and education. Thus, after the survey findings were released in 1996, a number of decisions were taken by the government to increase transparency and accountability, e.g.: monthly transfers of public funds are now reported in the main newspapers and broadcast on the radio; transfers to primary education are displayed on public notice boards in each school and district centre; school-based procurement has replaced the central supply of construction and other materials. This experience demonstrates that data can be a powerful tool of change.

  • Access to information, Press, Accountability, Anti-corruption strategies, Legal framework, Construction and equipment of schools / universities, Corruption, Diagnostic tools / surveys, Economic and social development, Educational management, Central administration, Finance, Health, Procurement, Public sector, Transparency, Primary education
  • Africa