The aim of this research
programme is to investigate ways in which states can more effectively
provide services to poor and disadvantaged people through a range of productive
partnerships with other agencies.
The central questions
(i) Under what conditions are different kinds of partnerships between
the state and other actors successful in providing services to poor people?
(ii) What is the potential for the transfer of successful arrangements
to other sectors and contexts?
States in developing
countries are increasingly collaborating with other actors in the provision
of services. Whether driven by pressures to downsize and contract out
services to the private sector or to increase the influence of consumers,
the experience with such collaborations has been varied. However, there
is little comparative work across countries and sectors that assess the
This programme will
examine the lessons from such partnerships to see the factors that enable
success and to understand the implications of these arrangements for the
organisation of public agencies. Particular attention is paid to the usefulness
of the concept of 'co-production': the active involvement of citizen groups
in the process of producing public services.
include 'Co-production of Taxation in the Informal Sector' with
the Centre for Policy Research and Social Engineering, Ghana.
with a case study of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union, we
seek to understand the benefits and difficulties that follow from
involving 'private' associations in the collection of taxes from
the informal sector. How effective are these arrangements? How far
are the achievements and problems rooted in a specific political
context? Are there more general lessons? The findings from this
study contribute to a broader research project on co-production
arrangements for taxing the informal sector, including small-scale