This paper finds strong evidence for the view that some level of state capacity and rule of law is important for effective service provision. Even when outsourcing services, it is preferable for government to retain some capability, if only to effectively oversee partners’ activities. Another key finding is that the perceived legitimacy of non-state service providers partially determines their success.
The paper also highlights gaps in the evidence, for future research. Many of these gaps relate to the need to better understand the politics of partnerships from the point of view of both partners. Much of the literature on service provision considers the provision separately from the provider, or considers one actor as having primary agency while another responds.
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