Competitive outsourcing to private contractors can improve public service delivery

BY JORDAN KYLE

Delivering public services effectively is essential for development. Yet governments often have good policies in place—promising to provide universal primary school, health care, and social assistance for the poor—but fall short on implementation, especially for the most vulnerable. Overcoming “last-mile” problems in public service delivery—such as absenteeism among front-line service providers and rent-seeking—is one of the most intractable development challenges.

Photo credit: Jordan Kyle/IFPRI