Bringing citizen voice and client focus into service delivery

Goetz, Anne Marie|Gaventa, John
Publication year: 

This is a study of efforts to improve the responsiveness of public services providers to the needs of service users, particularly the poorest service users. This paper examines over sixty case studies of both public-sector reforms to foster stronger client focus in service delivery; and civil-society initiatives to demand improved services. The work was concerned to identify means of amplifying citizen 'voice' such that engagement with the state moves beyond consultative processes to more direct forms of influence over policy and spending decisions. The case studies upon which the research is based are drawn from around the world, from developing and developed countries such as the UK, USA, India, Brazil, Ghana, Philippines and Tanzania. They are organised into 14 different types of 'voice' or 'responsiveness' mechanisms, and are available on: The study concludes with policy-relevent findings on ways of enhancing citizen-voice in decision-making, planning, and monitoring of public services. Individual case studies are available in full-text at

Source publication information
IDS working paper no. 138
65 p.
Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9RE, UK
Publisher reference: 
Institute of Development Studies