“Those That Fix the Lights”: The Practice of Public Sector Management in Developing Asia

Publication | December 2019

While countries in Developing Asia have had difficulties in instituting governance and public sector reforms, the scope for doing so has never been better.

This book looks at the state of governance in Developing Asia, i.e., the poorer countries in the region and those with inadequate creditworthiness and with risk of debt stress. It assesses the state of public sector management and the attempts at governance reforms in these countries. It further considers the space for these countries to initiate and sustain reforms in a few key areas of public policy, including (i) generating more resources domestically; (ii) reforming the state-owned enterprises so that primarily governments do not lose large amounts of resources in the form of subsidies; (iii) strengthening local governments so that services can be provided more effectively; and (iv) strengthening the agencies of government, so that public sector functions, such as service delivery, are better and more effectively delivered.

This publication has been copublished with ADB and Routledge. For orders, please contact Routledge.

"I highly recommend Dr. Gambhir Bhatta’s book ‘Those That Fix the Lights’: The Practice of Public Sector Management in Developing Asia to both policy makers and scholars. Gambhir elegantly argues how important institutions are for effectively delivering public goods and services. His proposals for institutional reform are persuasive, with fresh insights drawn from his rich professional experience." — KE Seetha Ram, Senior Consulting Specialist for Capacity Building and Training Projects, Asian Development Bank Institute


  • Part I: Overview
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Analytical constructs for the study
  • Part II: State of public sector management in Developing Asia
  • 3. Property rights and rules-based governance
  • 4. Quality of budgetary and financial management
  • 5. Efficiency of revenue mobilization
  • 6. Quality of public administration
  • 7. Public sector accountability and ethics
  • Part III: Selected agenda items for focus
  • 8. Mobilizing domestic resources
  • 9. Reforming state-owned enterprises
  • 10. Enhancing local governance and service delivery
  • Part IV: Focus on institutions
  • 11. Strengthening institutions
  • 12. Conclusions

Additional Details

  • Governance and public sector management
  • 978-0-36700-164-3 (Print)
  • 978-0-42940-064-3 (PDF)

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