Poverty reduction in South Asia is a precondition for sustaining any form of reforms in governance. The new public management reforms which started in South Asia from Sri Lanka taking the initiative in 1977–78 have been a decisive break from the previously practised State driven protectionist system. Investment in the region has been rising and even per capita income has shown some increase, yet the state has not been able to lead these reforms appropriately and efficiently. Thus poverty has not been reduced, ordinary people continue to languish under government programmes and the socially excluded remain outside the mainstream decision making bodies. Governance in South Asia faces the single most important challenge of poverty reduction which continues to blunt and disfigure capacity, self esteem and service delivery system to the poor. This book attempts to bring out microlevel studies from many regions in South Asia to address issues of entrepreneurship, knowledge and professionalism.
As an initiator of the idea on developing a critique to the straightjacketed ‘best practice’ research, this book questions the standard practice in evaluating administrative reforms as not being the true base for knowledge. Administrators need to balance capacity and control in every implementation programme. Confining to the knowledge of ‘best practices’ may conceal enormous amount of information from the ‘less than best’ practices which may be necessary to sustain good initiatives of public managers.
This book highlights areas of active networking, partnerships and collaborations amongst state and non-state bodies, NGOs and specialist Science and Technical Organizations. The true nature of governance is explained and demonstrated through the processes which otherwise pass off undetected in macro-understanding of governance.