The provision of public goods in Niger involves in almost all cases complex forms of co-production with several actors contributing within a variety of different delivery configurations. Whether goods are actually provided, and whether the key bottlenecks in provision are able to be overcome, depends on the precise terms on which this collaboration occurs. This paper explores these issues drawing on fieldwork carried out in three urban sites in 2009 and on the authors’ previous research. Focusing on public goods’ provision in four particular fields (safe motherhood, security, markets, and water and sanitation), it suggests the importance of formal or informal coordination mechanisms; the important role of ‘local reformers’, especially in exploiting the windows of opportunity created by donor initiatives; the variety of kinds of ‘informal privatisation’ and de facto cofunding of public services, and the ability of corporate bodies arising from the private sector to take effective charge of some types of public goods’ provision.
London, UK, Africa Power and Politics Programme (APPP), 37 pp. Available in English and French.