Access to Basic Services for the Poor:The importance of good governance

This publication, a part of the Asia-Pacific MDG Study Series, elaborates on the need for good governance to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and eradicate extreme poverty. It argues that achieving the Goals is not simply about money. It is about removing physical, legal, financial, socio-cultural and political barriers to basic services for all, in particular for the poor and disadvantaged groups. This report presents a number of strategies for removing such barriers, including broadening the range of service providers to include the formal and informal private sector, civil society organizations and traditional institutions. Their involvement as service providers, however, requires a review and, where necessary, a revision of the framework that regulates the provision of basic services. Paramount, however, is an adherence to good governance and the principles of inclusiveness and equity. In this respect, the paper adopts a rights-based approach to development as the guiding principle. This approach reminds governments of the need to be inclusive and to ensure that all people have access to basic services and share in the benefits of development.