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Briefing paper

BP92: What can the Afrobarometer tell us about service delivery in Africa?

Afrobarometer Briefing Paper No. 92
1 Oct 2010
Download (English)

While the delivery of services of such as security, education, water and sanitation and telecommunication are seen in most places around the world as essential responsibilities of the state, the typical African – especially in rural areas – is unlikely to enjoy many of these amenities.  Moreover, given the expense of regular, large scale household surveys, the typical policy-maker looking for evidence with which to guide the extension or provision of these services may be equally hard pressed.  To the extent that policy makers and planners charged with the delivery of government services base their decisions on evidence, the Afrobarometer can offer a range of useful data with which to understand not only the basic parameters of service delivery (at least with respect to service infrastructure), but also the larger political “atmospherics” of what people need and want with regard to service delivery and whether they are satisfied with what they get. This paper will provide a brief outline of 5 clusters of questions asked by the current or previous Afrobarometer surveys that relate in some way to service delivery (also providing the exact question number where the item may be located in the Afrobarometer questionnaire), and summarize the main findings of each.  It will then conclude with a brief review of available evidence of the social-economic and political consequences of service delivery.