Strategies to Improve Rural Service Delivery

image of Strategies to Improve Rural Service Delivery

The service sector, in aggregate, now dominates total employment and value-added in OECD countries, accounting for more than 70% of these two measures, and continues to increase in importance. While services may play a slightly smaller role in rural regions than in urban areas, they are the dominant component of the rural economy. It is clear that a vibrant service sector is both vital for a prosperous local economy and crucial for meeting the needs of rural citizens. 

This book provides an overview of the underlying problems in delivering services to rural regions.  It contains a conceptual structure for thinking about rural service delivery problems and a strategy for thinking about the role of government in service delivery, as well as a discussion of the role that innovation and public management tools like co-design and co-delivery can play in designing better service delivery approaches.  Also included are examples of different, successful policy strategies drawn from OECD countries.


Also available

The New Rural Paradigm: Policies and Governance (2006)

OECD Rural Policy Reviews: Germany (2007)

OECD Rural Policy Reviews: Mexico (2007)

OECD Rural Policy Reviews: Finland (2008)

OECD Rural Policy Reviews: The Netherlands (2008)

OECD Rural Policy Reviews: China (2009)

OECD Rural Policy Reviews: Italy (2009)

OECD Rural Policy Reviews: Spain (2009)  

OECD Rural Policy Reviews: Québec, Canada (forthcoming)




The Service Delivery Challenge in Rural Areas

This chapter provides an overview of the challenges in rural areas and outlines some broad policy approaches that are contributing to improving rural service delivery. It is arranged as follows: First, a context is set that includes all services, not just public services, and not just services that are provided by governments; and the point is made that while rural and urban citizens have common aspirations, the differences in their geography lead to different service delivery issues. Second, there is a discussion of the problems associated with delivering these services in rural regions. Third, a close look is taken at the evolving role of services in OECD countries and the opportunities for improved service provision. Finally, the chapter concludes by illustrating some new, and not so new, approaches visible in OECD countries that have the potential to improve service delivery in rural regions.


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