Providing Basic Public Services at the Door Step of the People?

Research Report

Providing Basic Public Services at the Door Step of the People?

Estimating the Size of the Local Public Sector in Bangladesh
September 18, 2012


Bangladesh is widely considered to be one of the most centralized countries in the world. Yet in recent years, substantive reforms have taken place in support of a more decentralized public sector. Indeed, its Sixth Five Year Plan (SFYP) the national government has committed to bringing "basic public services to people's doorsteps." The government's stated policy ambition leads to a simple question: what share of public resources is currently used to fund public services "at the door step of the people"? In other words, what is the size of the local public sector in Bangladesh? Initial analysis suggests that the total size of local public sector expenditures in Bangladesh (expressed as a percentage of total public expenditures) is approximately 16.2 percent. Based on this information, the Government needs to decide whether the share of public spending that is currently being devoted to the local public sector is adequate to reach its policy objectives, or whether it should increase local public spending in the future.

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