Health and social services

Public sector reforms in Asia

Contains: PSI’s position on public sector reforms (New Public Management; Privatisation, PPP, PFIs; Outsourcing or contracting out; Cost-cutting budget constraints; Performance pay and performance management); Other modes of PSR (Decentralization; Separation of Policymaking and Service Delivery; Emergence of e-government; Job losses, austerity measures due to global economic crisis); World Bank review of PSR; Reasserting the public in public services;  ADB-supported PSR in power, water, health, education sectors; Union actions in PSR

IFC: using development funds for profit

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is a part of the World Bank Group which invests money in projects involving private companies. It openly promotes privatisation in many sectors. Recent activity invcludes:

Politics of service delivery reform

What drives public service reform, and who resists it? This article, published in Development and Change, identifies the leaders, supporters and resisters of public service reform, drawing principally on research from Ghana, Zimbabwe, India and Sri Lanka. It finds that reform was often constrained by a lack of political commitment and by the interests embedded in existing organisational arrangements. Some reforms in the social sectors could be introduced quickly and without real political support, as long as there was little organised political resistance.

ADB projects in Pacific

Ongoing / proposed projects in energy/power, water, education, health, financial, other sectors in Pacific in Cook Islands, Micronesia, Giji, Palau, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu (as of July 2009)
Cook Islands:

ADB projects in Mongolia

Ongoing / proposed ADB projects in education, health, financial, road and other sectors in Mongolia (as of July 2009):

ADB projects in Philippines

Ongoing/proposed ADB projects in power, water, health, education & other sectors (as of July 2009).

  • Power Sector Development Program (PSDP)
  • Rural Electric Cooperatives
  • Visayas Base Load Power
  • Philippine Energy Efficiency Project
  • Acquisition and Rehabilitation of Masinloc Coal Fired Thermal Power Plant
  • Pasuquin East Wind Farm Development Project
  • Electricity Market & Transmission Development


ADB projects in Indonesia

Ongoing/proposed ADB projects in energy/power, water, health, education, financial & other sectors (as of July 2009).

  • Guarantee for Java Island Transmission
  • Tangguh LNG Project
  • Renewable Energy Development
  • Power Transmission Improvement Sector


Profile of Aguas de Barcelona

PSIRU profile of Aguas de Barcelona October 2009

Publicly funded NGOs in California pay chief executives over $500,000 per year

The state of California pays 'non-profit' organisations to run some public services instead of directly employing public servants to do the work. A report by a union-funded research body in October 2009 showed how some of these NGOs are using their income to pay their chief executives over $300,000 per year - more than the salary of the superintendent of schools who is responsible for the public education service in the whole of Los Angeles.

The NGOs include:

Public-Public Partnerships in Health and Essential Services

This review paper was commissioned jointly by the Southern African Regional Network on Equity in Health (EQUINET) and the Municipal Services Project (MSP) to gather information to act as a baseline (concept paper) for additional research by the MSP and EQUINET. It aims to provide information on the state of research on ‘public-public partnerships’ (PuPs), an analysis of the conceptual and logistical framework of PuPs that have been implemented, and a discussion of the lessons to be learned from PuPs in southern Africa and elsewhere.

ADB-TA: Governance in Pensions Industry

The overall goal of the TA is to support capacity building in the pensions industries of DMCs. The focus of the TA is the development of best governance and sustainable investment practices in the pensions industry of DMCs, with the goal of optimizing investment performance and standards of fiduciary responsibility. The TA is structured to cover five DMCs that face some of the greatest challenges in the region: PRC and India by virtue of the size of their elderly populations; and Indonesia, Philippines, and Viet Nam—representing DMCs that have made very little progress to date toward reform of their pensions systems.In all these countries, pensions policy is at an early stage of development and there is a lack of sophistication among practitioners. Pension fund regulators, trustees, and officers in these countries would greatly benefit from information about developments in the global pensions industry, including sustainable investment practices and governance standards, which may have an impact on their ability to meet fiduciary responsibilities and maximize long-term income generation.

ADB study to probe impact of (private) health spending on Asia’s poor

ADB will carry out a new study into how private spending on maternal, newborn and child health care is hurting the poor in the Asia and the Pacific region, funded by an ADB TA grant and AusAID. The study aims to answer key questions like how many households are making health care payments that reach or exceed 40% of their total household spending capacity in a year, and what would it cost governments to prevent households from being pushed into extreme poverty by health spending. Representatives of developing member countries and research institutions, academics, and members of the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Network for Asia and the Pacific will attend a workshop in late 2009 to review the findings.

political economy of school meals

When food prices go up, what happens to school meals? Who carries the cost of food price inflation?

School meals exist because of a political decision that it is in the public interest to provide them.

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