Improving Lives Through Better Government: Promoting Effective, Efficient, and Open Governments in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Nov 2014
Improving the effectiveness, efficiency, and openness of governments is essential to meet the key challenges that countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region face to improve service delivery to citizens. This Technical Note is meant to guide the work of the IDB's Institutional Capacity of theState Division in this area. In the literature, institutional quality and implementation capacity emerge as the key variables that underpin good government. Measurement is a central issue, as institutional quality cannot be assessed or improved without reliable indicators. While many challenges remain, the region is already adopting innovative approaches to public management, focusing particularly on the capacity of governments to manage information. In response to existing challenges and progresses, the IDB identifies three main strategic areas of action: (i) improving government effectiveness by strengthening the evidence base for policy making and enhancing the capacity of central agencies; (ii) enhancing efficiency in policy implementation by leveraging the adoption of innovative e-solutions and supporting civil service reforms; and (iii) fostering accountability and open government by strengthening accountability institutions, both internal and external, and promoting the adoption of targeted transparency policies.