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Über dieses Buch

This book analyzes contemporary issues in governance, policy management, and policy performance both at the central and local levels in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The focus is on some central social issues such as empowerment, the inclusion of minorities, institutional trust, policy implementation, and local service delivery. Although these three countries have recently opted for democratic governance, the journey to establish and consolidate democracy as well as enhance governance capacity have been painful and filled with challenges. The chapters in this volume are country specific studies based on empirical data both quantitative and qualitative collected for several years and presented in readable prose. This does not, however, rule out the general applicability of the findings to other contexts within and beyond the borders of these countries. Despite huge differences in South Asia, the policy and governance issues and challenges that are explored, highlighted, and analyzed also have commonalities with other South Asian countries.



Chapter 1. Understanding Governance in Three South Asian Countries

The term governance, after its emergence in the 1980s, has led to different conceptions, connotations, and contested understandings. Its wide and diverse uses make it seem all inclusive as well as vague. This chapter recaps some of the popular concepts of governance in political and administrative sciences. These are governance as good governance, governance as policy implementation, governance as institutional trust, governance as quality of government, governance as network, and governance as institutions. Some of these concepts have been used by the authors of this volume, at the macro-level, to analyze the implementation of national policies, as well as at the micro-level, to understand and conceptualize the meaning of governance in local service delivery in three South Asian countries—Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The context of South Asia in general and these three countries in particular reflects a type of hybrid governance that combines not only the above-mentioned concepts of governance but also the paternalistic culture of South Asia, which can lead to informal but also trusting relations between institutions and society. The final part of the chapter introduces the individual authors’ contributions to the book.
Ishtiaq Jamil, Tek Nath Dhakal, Sk Tawfique M Haque, Laxmi Kanta Paudel, Hasan Muhammad Baniamin

Chapter 2. Lower Institutional Performance but Higher Institutional (Dis)Trust in South Asia: A Piece of Puzzle

Citizens’ trust in public institutions is thought to indicate how public organizations are managed and how far they are successful. However, various survey responses (e.g., the World Values Survey, Afro-barometer, Asia-barometer, and the Governance and Trust Survey) show that there can be relatively high institutional trust despite relatively low performance and poor governance. Data from the Governance and Trust Survey 2 (GOT 2) indicate that some South Asian counties show a higher level of institutional trust compared to many developed countries characterized by a higher quality of governance and better-performing public institutions. Why the inconsistency? This chapter analyzes this trend in three South Asian countries. Based on GoT survey data and empirical studies—mainly Baniamin (2019a) and Baniamin et al. (2020)—the chapter tries to explain the inconsistent trend of inflated institutional trust in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Analyses of the data and the published studies indicate that an authoritarian cultural orientation among people in these three countries may contribute to their inflated trust in government institutions, despite the institutions’ poor performance and weak governance on the whole.
Hasan Muhammad Baniamin

Chapter 3. Women’s Micro-Entrepreneurship: Can It Lead to Sustainable Empowerment in Nepal?

Women’s participation in the economy of Nepal has been at the forefront of the country’s policies since the 1980s, especially with a view toward development, poverty reduction, and women’s empowerment. Various development agencies have either adopted income-generating programs or micro-enterprise development schemes. Income-generating programs allow women who have no prior experience with a cash economy to work as employees or to produce goods at home for the domestic market. Micro-enterprise development schemes give women knowledge and skills that can result in sustainable self-employment. Both these schemes are used to empower women, but the Government of Nepal favors micro-enterprise development as an approach to raising women’s status. The main objective of the research on which this chapter is based is to understand the sustainability of women’s empowerment through studying women’s micro-entrepreneurship in Kathmandu Valley. The study uses Rowland’s (1995) four structures of power as a conceptual guide to understand the extent of the women’s empowerment. The study has a sequential design that uses quantitative data followed by qualitative data to generate respondents’ perceptions, feelings, and experiences. Data were gathered through interviews with 83 female micro-entrepreneurs and through participant observation. The findings indicate that micro-entrepreneurship has contributed to some extent to women’s empowerment, but that challenges remain, not least due to how women perceive themselves. In addition to the problem of low self-esteem, weak empowerment was observed in the form of domination through cultural norms and values, and in particular, through women being constrained to follow patriarchal values, to obey men, and to focus on traditional gender-based work. The sustainability of empowerment requires that women become agents of change in their own lives; if not, there will be no improvement.
Sarbani Kattel

Chapter 4. Governance of Agricultural Service Delivery at the Grassroots Level in Nepal

Service delivery at the grassroots level is a basic function of the state. When the supply side becomes responsive and the demand-side stakeholders become active, service delivery becomes effective. Nepal, being an agricultural country, has been providing agricultural extension services to beneficiaries and has established institutional arrangements at the grassroots level in different regions. This chapter discusses to what extent the institutions created for the delivery of agricultural extension services are effective in fulfilling their given objectives, and to what extent those who are meant to benefit from these services actually do experience any benefit. The areas of Betrabati, Naubise, and Prasauni, which are in three different geographical zones, were selected purposively to generate primary information. This study applies a sequential explanatory research design that uses quantitative data, followed by qualitative interviews for explaining respondents’ perceptions, feelings, attitudes, and experiences. The findings reveal that proper institutional capacity, people’s participation, and organizational coordination are critical variables for effective service delivery and are more significant than the delegation of authority.
Laxmi Kanta Paudel

Chapter 5. Policy Advocacy for Foreign Direct Investment: A Study of the Board of Investment of Bangladesh

This chapter explores the policy advocacy of the Board of Investment (BOI) of Bangladesh, the country’s oldest and most important investment promotion agency working in the field of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The research analyzes and measures the BOI’s performance in policy advocacy using the directives of Bangladesh’s Industrial Policy of 2010 as the benchmark. The study data were gathered using a qualitative method of social research in combination with a case-study approach. The findings show that the BOI has drifted away from the potential output of policy advocacy for FDI because it is unable to follow the FDI guidelines for doing policy advocacy in areas such as high-tech, innovative industries, foreign expert hiring, and other related areas. The findings are explained by relating the BOI’s advocacy output with its unsophisticated advocacy process.
Tabassum Zaman

Chapter 6. An Analysis of the Role of Street-Level Bureaucrats in Implementing the National Labor Migration Policy in Sri Lanka

Policy studies mainly deal with the steps involved in putting policies into action. Policymakers set the goals of a policy and expect street-level bureaucrats to implement the policy. In this linear process, the implementation stage has particular importance, and bureaucrats are its key players. This chapter therefore explores the ways in which street-level bureaucrats fulfill their role in implementing the National Labor Migration Policy in the Sri Lankan context. The research takes the form of a case study involving qualitative interviews with, among others, street-level bureaucrats in Sri Lanka’s Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), as they are the main stakeholders in implementing the labor migration policy. The findings show that the way in which they do their job has a significant impact on whether policy goals are achieved. SLBFE bureaucrats are expected to play a big role in implementing the policy and in ensuring the protection of migrant workers. However, it was discovered that their negative attitude to the target group, lacking motivation, lacking knowledge about the policy and its goals, and their mishandling of resources are factors that affect their role.
K. D. Dushmanthi Silva

Chapter 7. The Nexus Between Citizenship Rights, Quality of Government, and Public Services: Evidence from Sri Lanka

This chapter explores in what ways legal citizenship and the quality of government enable ethnic minorities to access public services in Sri Lanka. Based on a qualitative study of Sri Lanka’s plantation community, it is argued that the persistent marginalization and deprivation experienced by the ethnic minorities stem from long-standing structural discrimination, of which the deprivation of full citizenship rights remains a central feature. Empirical evidence supports the view that formal citizenship alone is unlikely to end the exclusion and discrimination experienced by previously stateless people, especially when institutional and policy-based discrimination is entrenched in governance institutions and service provision. This chapter suggests that creating inclusive institutions, citizenship, a system of positive discrimination, ensuring fairness, impartiality, and upholding the principle of equality before the law in service provision are more likely to guarantee ethnic minorities’ social rights in ethnically stratified societies.
Ramesh Ramasamy

Chapter 8. The Citizen’s Charter in Nepal: An Effort to Achieve Quality of Governance at the Local Level

The citizen’s charter in Nepal is an innovative approach to upgrading the performance of local governance. Its implementation is expected to establish uniformity, standardization, predictability, and neutrality in public service provision, and to reduce nepotism and favoritism in the system. This chapter is based on a case study involving a quantitative method. The findings reveal that (i) there is greater clarity of information after the implementation of the citizen’s charter, (ii) that public access to officials, municipal human resource capabilities for service delivery, and overall service quality are improving, and that (iii) citizens’ participation and advocacy are insignificant in service delivery. Out of the independent variables—organizational, cultural, and political—the organizational variables had the most influence on the performance of the municipality, followed by the cultural variables. The political variables had the least influence. All things considered, the quality of governance, understood in terms of impartiality and transparency in delivering local services, was found to be gradually improving after the implementation of the citizen’s charter.
Sushmita Acharya

Chapter 9. Process-Based Performance Framework for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Policy Implementation in Bangladesh

Public-Private Partnership (PPP) is a tool for promoting cooperation between the government and the private sector, especially for managing and developing public infrastructure and providing public services. Sharing a common goal, information, and risks, and building trust, mutual relationships, and consensus are identified as the major processes for successfully implementing PPP initiatives. The study uses a qualitative approach to analyzing two PPP projects in Bangladesh, of which one was successful and the other not. Evidence from the study shows a positive relationship between the processes and performance in the selected cases. The findings also reveal that a successful partnership based on a long-term infrastructure contract requires process management strategies.
Najmus Sayadat

Chapter 10. Patient-Doctor Trust at Local Healthcare Centers in Rural Bangladesh

Patient-doctor trust depends on patients’ perception of the trustworthiness of doctors, patients’ propensity to trust, and doctors’ fulfillment of patients’ expectations. This chapter explores the components of trust and its development in rural healthcare institutions in Bangladesh, namely the Upazila Health Complexes (UHCs), with doctors as the focus of trust. Based on a study of six rural UHCs, it is found that the dynamics of trust between patients and doctors can be explained and assessed by using (Kim,.Administration & Society 37:611–635, 2005) dimensions of trustworthiness, that is, competence, credible commitment, benevolence, honesty, and fairness. The findings suggest that UHCs enjoy a high level of patients’ trust in all the dimensions of institutional trustworthiness. The non-clinical behavioral aspects of doctors are found to be more instrumental in the formation of patients’ initial trust in UHCs than is the clinical dimension of competence.
Md. Mahfuzul Haque


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