Local Governments and Poverty Alleviation: Deprivation and Disparities

This paper examines the role of local governments in poverty
alleviation. On the whole, there has been no systematic evaluation of
local government performance in service delivery or poverty
alleviation. Evidence of improved performance in the delivery of basic
services is largely anecdotal and questions are being raised about the
capacity to deliver agricultural extension, primary health and road
maintenance services. The responsiveness of the Philippines'
decentralization record to the poor and pro-poor social and economic
development is "highly contested".

This paper examines the role of local governments in poverty
alleviation. On the whole, there has been no systematic evaluation of
local government performance in service delivery or poverty
alleviation. Evidence of improved performance in the delivery of basic
services is largely anecdotal and questions are being raised about the
capacity to deliver agricultural extension, primary health and road
maintenance services. The responsiveness of the Philippines'
decentralization record to the poor and pro-poor social and economic
development is "highly contested".

As a background, the paper presents an extensive discussion on poverty
measures and proceeded to discuss resources available to local
governments and their expenditure patterns. The paper concluded that
the role of local governments in poverty alleviation is not clear and,
therefore, should be clarified to erase the impression that poverty
alleviation is a function of the national government alone.

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