Citizens insist on quality of services not just quantity

Public services

Findings from the latest Afrobarometer survey of 34 African countries suggest that the provision of service infrastructure, though necessary for service delivery, does little to shape ordinary people’s views about government policy performance in specific sectors.

The findings, published today (11 December, 2013) in the report "What People Want from Government: Service Performance Ratings in 34 Countries" indicate that citizens actually base their assessment of government service provision on quality of service as well as ease of access to services. Hence the mere presence of a primary school or a health clinic in the vicinity is insufficient to ensure popular satisfaction with government service delivery.

Over 50 percent of citizens rate governments poorly on provision of basic services such as clean water and sanitation as well as delivery of reliable power supply, although popular assessments of government performance in education and basic health service delivery are significantly better.
These findings are significant in the light of recent trends where many African governments focus on expanding essential infrastructure in their bid to accelerate development.