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Directorate for Public Governance

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Testing the evidence, how good are public sector responsiveness measures and how to improve them?

This paper analyses two common uses of the responsiveness concept in the public management and political science literature: external political efficacy and satisfaction with health and education services. The decline of people sense of influence in public affairs and perceptions about the quality of public services are two key concerns affecting policymaking. The fact that responsiveness measures are increasingly being collected in non-official and official household surveys and the range of covariates available make it possible to test their statistical accuracy. Accuracy encompasses both reliability (i.e. if the measure produces consistent information over time) and validity (i.e. if the measure reflects the underlying concept being measured). This paper finds good evidence on the accuracy of political efficacy measures. Although no sufficiently strong evidence on the accuracy of satisfaction with health metrics is stronger than for education services signaling the relevance of other aspects such as direct exposure to the service and its intensity, as well as the different attributes shaping satisfaction levels. Findings from this paper support some of the conclusions in the Responsiveness chapter of the UN Citi Praia Handbook on Governance Statistics.

Published on May 12, 2020

In series:OECD Working Papers on Public Governanceview more titles