Based on the fourth objective of DFID's integrated approach to building
peaceful states and societies which says that states need to respond to
public expectations in order to maintain legitimacy and stability, the
research programme developed the following hypothesis and six related
Hypothesis: States provide public services and in doing so increase
their legitimacy as well as national stability.
1. What are the incentives for states to provide inclusive public
services at scale?
2. What is the capacity of the state at national, sub-national and
local levels to implement national legislation, (or in its absence
international conventions) regarding public services?
3. How do the organisation and management of service delivery at
national, sub-national and local levels amongst state and non-state
providers contribute to or undermine state legitimacy?
4. How does the existence of local governance and accountability
structures in relation to public services contribute to state-building
5. How do upwards and downwards information flows impact on public
service policy delivery and expectations?
6. What kinds of donor modalities have the strongest impact on the
delivery of public services which contribute state-building and
This literature review aims to summarise the key literature on service
delivery and its links to state-building and peace-building in fragile
and conflict-affected states, looking specifically at information the
literature gives in relation to (i) different ways of accessing and
delivering services, and (ii) accountability mechanisms within service
delivery and how these impact perceptions of legitimacy and expectations
for services. It looks at both what the literature says relating to the
contribution of service delivery to state-building and peace-building
around the issues in the six research questions developed by the
programme, as well as the specific contributions of service delivery in
four sectors: education, health, water and sanitation.
Section 1 presents some definitions and concepts commonly used in the
literature, especially those explicitly adopted or sanctioned by DFID
and the OECD. Fundamental debates about these concepts and definitions
are described in section 2. In section 3 the literature review focuses
more tightly on the six RQs related to service delivery and its
potential or actual links to state-building and peace-building. Sections
4 to 7 look at the sector-specific literature for each of the four
sectors (education, health, sanitation and water), with section 8
drawing together common themes as well as differences across the four
Ndaruhutse, S.; Mansoor Ali; Chandran, R.; Cleaver, F.; Dolan, J.; Sondorp, E.; Vaux, T. State-building, peace-building and service delivery in fragile and conflict-affected states: literature review. Final report. CfBT Education Trust, Reading, UK (2011) 62 pp.
State-building, peace-building and service delivery in fragile and conflict-affected states: literature review. Final report.