Public Service Policy in Developing Countries

Public Service Policy in Developing Countries




Public Service Policy in Developing Countries

Generally, public service policy comprises the establishment of regulations, guidelines, and processes aimed at ensuring governance, specifically within the delivery of services to a nation’s civilians. Consequently, the government assumes an important role in the formulation of these laws presently. A nation’s public sector holds the position as one of the largest spenders and employers within virtually most developing states. In fact, based on this significance, the public sector establishes the policy context for the whole economy. In this respect, the efficiency as well as effectiveness of a state’s public sector is imperative to the success of developmental activities, even those that are supported by international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. As such, activities, for example, financial management, productive civil service, just tax collection and administrative policy, and operations that are clear and free from the implications of corruption all add to the effective supply of public services within any developing state. Within each activity as well as the role asserted by the government, it is important to note that the successful implementation of public service policy requires the involvement of all concerned stakeholders.

Globalization and the Global Economy

States that have been capable of undergoing integration within the global economy are inclined positively towards a more rapid growth as well as indicators of decreased poverty as illustrated by numerous countries located within the East Asia region. Moreover, as living standards increase, the progression of democracy and the management of economic problems such as labor standards and environment conditions have become possible. However, the trend witnessed presently as an outcome of the interaction between public service policy and the aspect of globalization was absent from the 1970s towards the end of the 1980s. During this period, several states based in Africa and South America that looked for internally oriented policies faced a decline or stagnation within their respective economies. Aside from this, increases in rates of poverty and inflation were evident on a daily basis. Numerous instances such as those experienced in Africa exhibited unfavorable external developments, which solely intensified the problems at hand.

Nevertheless, the modifications in public sector policy have evoked positive transformations on developing states, especially in respect to their economies. Simply, states that have adopted the changes made in the respective guidelines and regulations have experienced growth in incomes (Hupe & Hill, 2012). As an outcome of this, it is imperative to encourage consistency of this trend. Moreover, endorsing the process enables the promotion of efforts aimed at reducing poverty and creates avenues for growth and development. Despite viewed as an ideological conjecture or a historical procedure, the element of globalization establishes a considerable interaction amid states as well as citizens. Accordingly, the process is comprised of convoluted interconnections among cultures, societies, organizations, and people globally. The element of globalization summarizes the world as an interconnected structure of markets or simply, a global economy. As such, international or global trade is deemed as the main source of economic growth. Based on this, the process should be facilitated via the liberalization of trade and the expulsion of non-tariff and tariff trade obstacles.

Additionally, developing states have to withdraw from enacting social provisions via the privatization of public service organizations. The responsibility of countries is being decreased to the creation of a favorable setting that supports private sector-oriented development (Osman, n. d). Evidence as much as experience illustrates that the public sector of any developing state needs to decrease the present cost-burden that it imposes on the economy. Following this, the segment needs to roll back and avert from the crowding out of the private sector (Sader, 2005). During the last thirty years, attacks on the conventional archetype of public administration have caused a ripple effect of reforms. The developed economies were responsible for the developing the respective reform policies due to the pressure mounted on political leaders for the aim of repressing rates of expenditure and public taxation while sustaining considerable degrees of social welfare as well as other services offered to the public.

A strong trait of the reform policies constituted the conviction that states were overcommitted and large. In addition to this, the global market provided strong mechanisms for the accomplishment of the effective delivery of commodities and services. As the movement for reformation disseminated via the process of globalization, reformers encountered conflict in relation to deciding on whether or not to ignore the rival notions of public administration within the state (Sader, 2005). Irrespective of this, it is impossible to deny the implications that the aspect of globalization and the global economy impose on the management of public resources in developing states. As a major influential aspect, the element of globalization is responsible for the interconnection that exists between developed and developing markets within the global economy. Based on this reasoning, it influences the processes established in ensuring reformed public sector policies that actually assess and gratify priorities rather than wallow in corruption and the misuse of expenditure by government.

Governance and Public Service Delivery

Due to the implications of globalization on public sector reform, the respective dimension has further brought to attention some of the challenges that affect governance within the public sector on a global level. With the world finally emergent as an interconnected community or a global village, the problems that are encountered within developed states may also affect developing countries considerably. For example, over the past decade, the economic, financial, fuel, and food crises illustrated essential shortcomings as well as inconsistencies between disparate regimes and global frameworks. Challenges such as the shift in wealth, increasing inequalities, augmented rates of unemployment, migration as well as other demographic alterations, scarcity within natural resources, and degradation of the environment impose pressure on public policy especially concerning reconciliation of local aims with wider global objectives. Increased populations may amplify the use of land as well as consumption whereas modifications in the age framework and wealth may impose an effect on dietary and consumption habits (Sader, 2005).

Nonetheless, in respect to public service policy, the aspect of governance lies in the implications imposed on the delivery of public service by issues within the respective stakeholder element. In addition, the dimension of governance addresses the responsibilities that global partners can assume in affecting the policies of other states (Helmsing, 2003). Undeniably, the assumption that national governments constitute key actors within the formulation of public policy and that they pose the capability to affect the economy and community via their actions currently seems doubtful. A part of the stress on governments has arisen from the increased significance of the global environment as well as the diminished capacity of such institutions to insulate their respective economies and communities from international pressures. In fact, these pressures, which are imposed on national governments, originated from global capital markets.

The most imperative aspect of governance lies in the assertion concerning the domination of public policy by networks of actors. Apparently, this collective of actors pose control on public policy. Interestingly, official policy-making organizations or institutions within government are perceived as insignificantly affective in these matters. Hence, in respect to this notion, state agencies might impose imprimatur on policy (Batley, McCourt, & Mcloughlin, 2012). Regardless of this, real action takes place in the private sector. Moreover, in extreme adaptations of the claim, if governments try to assert control over public policy, the networks possess enough resiliency and ability for self-management to elude the power of government. Arguments have long spurned over the alleged impact that the private sector poses on public policy via organizations with different levels of formality. If this were the case, then it would be possible to assert that the state is delegitimized. Moreover, the clumsy nature of state actors, their bureaucracy, and path dependency may be attributable to the current predicament (Sader, 2005).

The focus on governance as a key aspect in understanding implications posed on public service delivery further shifts towards leadership frameworks that specifically relate to the social, political, and economic organizations within the communal and international level. In fact, within both levels, the issue of governance retains considerable significance especially in areas whereby cooperation and coordination is developed weakly (Batley, McCourt, & Mcloughlin, 2012). In other areas, unregulated competition may be evident leading to an array of concerns and crises that compromise and threaten long-term feasibility and development. Moreover, in a globalized setting, such areas are more susceptible due to the competitive nature of markets based within the global economy as well as competitive advantages that arise from the superiority of markets equipped with more effective forms of governance that facilitate cooperation and coordination. Simply, economic development within an area relies considerably on organizational structures as much as the governance structure in place and the capability of the respective system to guarantee coordination and cooperation.

Decentralization and Governance

The focus on governance in respect to the values of cooperation and coordination disposes attention towards the process of decentralization. In general, decentralization refers to the redistribution or dispersion of tasks or functions, authorities, persons, or objects from a central power or location. In respect to governance, the aspect involves the reassignment of authority or duty for public-oriented functions from a state’s central government towards quasi-autonomous or subordinate government organizations or the private sector (Cheema & Rondinelli, 1983). As asserted, the notion of governance has been affected by the lack of the central or national government’s commitment towards effectiveness pertaining to the public sector. Accordingly, the private sector has become capable of controlling the resources of a state at the behest of the government further diminishing efficient provision of public service to the citizens. Aside from this, the lack of cooperation and coordination within the regions of governance has only necessitated less effectiveness in public service delivery.

It should be noted that integral aspects assume an imperative role in the economic progression of a region. In respect to the failures of the private sector investment, it is understandable that attaining the correct prices rarely counts. Without the provisions of a proper institutional setting, it is impossible to decrease the expenditure of carrying out business. Hence, in situations whereby the costs are extensive, a large number of people will deem it useless to engage in the conception or extension of a business. The regulation following the rights to property and the law is essential towards the operations of a respective economy. In addition to this, proper local institutions are required in order to resize the market. These may comprise norms, standards, and activities that are designated to specific commodities, sectors, or vocations. Such institutions adjust, disseminate information, decrease any uncertainties that may pose an economic threat, and generally add to decreased expenses in transaction (Karlsson, 2003).

The emergence of markets is not particularly random. Prospects in the realm of investment do not merely materialize out of nothing. Aside from this, market information may be difficult to receive and the contributing risks may be excessive. Investment under the actions of a single economic actor is reliant on concurrent and parallel investments offered by other participants. Apart from these structural modifications, aspects deemed as the novel ‘geo-economy’ also comprise part of these adjustments. The first aspect involves the technologies within communication and transport that succeeded in the reduction of geographical space or distance. Due to the implications of these technologies, local regions have been subject to considerable competitive disadvantage from more sophisticated markets. This is due to the ability of such aspects to transport inputs and goods all over the globe. The second dimension involves the managerial and technological alterations within production. Such adjustments have been instrumental in the transformation of firms into production networks (Parrilli, Nadvi, & Yeung, 2012). The last factor, which is globalization, augments mobility among people, capital, and organizations further encouraging the growth of competition in markets.

In this respect, it is difficult to avoid the changes that presently accompany prerequisites for local economic development. Foremost, numerous states have undergone a series of economic repressions, especially within the last decade. In conjunction with instances of political instability and structural modifications, the attainment of a stable economic growth has been hindered. As such, the general context for local economic development has been despondent. Consequently, central or national governments have been incapable of fulfilling their roles as the main actors of proper economic development within their respective regions. The lack of cooperation and coordination has made central governments unresponsive and powerless in controlling the economy to the states’ own advantage. Additionally, collaborative organizations such as local institutions have succeeded in little-known efforts due to the considerable nature of challenges they face as an outcome of their structural shortcomings. Lastly, factors of the ‘geo-economy’ have contributed to the restriction of positive local economic development among developing states. With factors such as the shrinking space impact of communication and transport technologies, production changes, and the force of globalization, development has become increasingly difficult especially for markets based in developing countries.

Corruption in Public Service Delivery

Despite such factors, it is imperative to remember that the misuse or misappropriation of government resources also contributes to the deplorable conditions that surround local economic development in developing states. On one hand, the occurrence of corruption tends to be viewed as a modern struggle to gain resources, which are scarce within the community. The fierce scramble for assets placed within the community as an outcome of nature and the government’s involvement has yielded activities related to corruption (Khan, 2001). As such, for an individual to cater to his or her needs satisfactorily, gaining certain resources illegally would be largely beneficial in ensuring this. Additionally, aspects such as entrepreneurship and social capital are interrelated aspects in an understanding of the threats that affect local economic development in developing countries apart from structural adjustment, geo-economy factors, and the impacts of globalization (Durant, 2014).

Regardless of this, the issue of corruption cannot be viewed in such mere terms. The assertion of governance into the argument plays a role in cementing further understanding into the process of corruption. Indeed, the present manner of governance is not particularly concerned with the integration of competition within the government. In fact, it is more focused on the inculcation of private and public resources than with competitive facets within the public sector. Despite this, governance represents an alternative approach towards the production and delivery of services and as such, welcomes rivalry among private and public initiatives. In this regard, the facet of corruption may not necessarily arise due to the occurrence of competition between initiatives implemented by the private and public sector. Nevertheless, markets constitute institutions that limit the consumers’ array of alternatives. The creation of internal market segments adjusts intra-organizational mannerism into a set of new practices, which can create novel prospects of resource and waste. As such, it may be possible to eradicate other problems.

Some of the internal markets may induce firms to over-provide services because demand is not defined by the client instead by the supplier. However, one of the main issues that occur in the event that competitive aspects are inaugurated within the realm of public service involves the conflict associated with the objective of public service enterprises or institutions. Simply, public sector firms were not established for the aim of competition rather, they were instituted in order to guarantee equality and legality. Even though structural institutional modifications such as decision making on functioning issues down in the organization are presently common, the issues correlated to the change in organizational culture tend to be considerably challenging in contrast to structural modifications. The respective analogy applies to the occurrence of corruption in the public sector. Since the design of public service represses the need for competition, which also introduces other aspects such as mobility, members within the government institution may engage in unethical acts in an effort to endorse competition in view of personal gain rather than growth of the community as a whole via facilitated local economic development (Schacter, 2000).

Employment of Entrepreneurship and Social Capital in Developing States

The first step in assessing public service policy in developing states involves understanding the implications of globalization on the respective process. Over the recent years, the word ‘globalization’ has gained significant emotive force. Some see it as a procedure advantageous as an imperative aspect in the development of the global economy in the future. On the other hand, others perceive it in a fearful and hostile manner with the conviction that it augments inequality among nations, risks employment as well as living standards, and oppresses any actions aimed at enabling social mobility. Nonetheless, globalization supplies extensive opportunities for the global economy as a major stakeholder to public sector policy. Accordingly, the process enables worldwide development. In spite of this, the progression is uneven. Some states are becoming internalized within the global economy at a faster rate than others (Corbo & Schmidt-Hebbel, 1991).

However, on a specific note, the focus on decentralization lies on its relations towards local economic development. The setting of this form of development has shifted drastically within developing countries, especially among those based in Africa. Two particular influences have been responsible for this alteration. This comprises structural adjustment and the liberalization of markets. As asserted before, the common assumption of governance that the central government is the main actor in terms of activities pertaining to governance is presently disputed. Apparently, the central government has stopped being the chief actor. The business setting has changed from a heavily regulated setting under the authority of the central government as well as public institutions to a setting that possesses insufficient regulations and lacking market-facilitating structures. In fact, one illustration of the implications of structural adjustment is evidenced by the lack of fruition in the response towards investment within the private sector in several African states despite positive reinforcement from the Bretton Woods outfit (Helmsing, 2003).


The focus on local economic development also involves concentration on the aspect of entrepreneurship (Karlsson, 2012). Indeed, the disparities in regions on basis of economic growth are exhibited by the market differences that are evident in developing and developed economies. As an outcome of aspects such as geo-economy factors, the decrease in geographical space due to communication and transport technologies, and globalization, the level of competition between markets based in local economies and those innate within developed economies has been substantially irrational. With such forces at work, local producers have been at a disadvantage of asserting economic improvements due to the ability of international producers to access resources and implement them within their more sophisticated regions. Because of this reduction in resources, the facilitation of entrepreneurship as a means towards positive local economic development is considerably hard to accomplish.


To this end, the focus on public service policy is imperative based on its connection to local or regional economic development. Through the provision of products, services, and opportunities to the citizens of a state, the public sector has enabled the growth of economies especially for those based in developed countries. However, the same situation does not apply for African countries in general. Due to the dismal performance of central governments in several African states, the level of economic development within the region has been either stagnant or dismal. In addition to this concern, the implications of the considerable economic downturn within the last decade have contributed significantly to the present state of numerous African countries. With the issue being fairly understood, then it is imperative for national governments based within the region to focus on novel approaches in the public sector that will ensure the supply of economically and socially empowering services to the community.











































Batley, R., McCourt, W., & Mcloughlin, C. (2012). The politics and governance of public services in developing countries. Public Management Review, 14 (2), 131-144.

Cheema, G., & Rondinelli, D. (1983). Decentralization and development. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.

Corbo, V., & Schmidt-Hebbel, K. (1991).Public policies and saving in developing countries.Journal of Development Economics, 36(1), 89-115. Retrieved from

Durant, R. F. (2014). Why public service matters: Public managers, public policy, and democracy. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Helmsing, Bert A. H. J. (2003). Local economic development: New generations of actors, policies, and instruments for Africa. Public Administration and Development, 23(1), 67-76. Retrieved from

Hupe, P. L., & Hill, M. J. (2012). Public policy. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.

Karlsson, C. (2012). Entrepreneurship, social capital, governance and regional economic development.(2012). CSIR, 6.CSIR, 6.

Khan, M. H. (2001). Rural poverty in developing countries: Implications for public policy. Washington, D. C.: International Monetary Fund.

Osman, F. (n. d.). Public policy making: Theories and their implications in developing countries. Retrieved from

Parrilli, M., Nadvi, K., & Yeung, H. (2012). Local and regional development in global value chains, production networks, and innovation networks: A comparative review and the challenges for future research. European Planning Studies, 21(7), 967-988.

Sader, F. (2005). Privatizing public enterprises and foreign investment in developing countries, 1988-93. Washington, D. C.: World Bank.

Schacter, M. (2000). Public sector reform in developing countries issues, lessons and future directions. Retrieved from

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