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Survey Tools

This page describes work completed in 2004.


Quantitative Service Delivery Surveys (QSDS) and Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS) may be used together as diagnostic tools for assessing service delivery.

Many countries have large and ambitious public spending programs intended to address issues of efficiency and equity. These surveys help with assessing the implementation capacity of governments and the analysis of public expenditures and provide primary data on service providers for empirical research.

Empirical evidence is severely lacking on questions of incentives and “moral hazard” despite a plethora of appealing theoretical arguments. Well-designed and executed surveys may thus provide the necessary data to undertake such empirical analysis.

Quantitative Service Delivery Surveys are designed to assess health and education services in country-specific contexts in a way that facilitates cross-country comparisons. They can be used to investigate the incentives that providers face (including institutional, administrative, and other factors influencing overall performance), as well as the relationship of accountability between policymakers and provider organizations, including frontline service providers. They can also investigate “client power” to provide a baseline for examining the impact of policy and institutional reforms over time. 

The pilot study has focused initially on Africa where the need for improvement in health care delivery is probably the most critical, but these techniques are being used in other country studies in health and education (see country studies below).  
The micro-level survey approach used the Quantitative Service Delivery Survey (QSDS) to collect data from primary health care providers in five African countries (Chad, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Uganda). The data collected generated systematic empirical evidence on frontline health care delivery providers, with the objective of contributing to health and public sector reforms to improve these services. Research questions relate to incentives, provider behavior, cost-efficiency, and quality of service from different types of providers, including public, not-for-profit, and for-profit providers.






Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys 

Good public expenditure management requires attention to the level of aggregate spending, allocation of public funds, and actual service delivery. While there is considerable emphasis on the first two aspects in developing country budget preparation and the Bank’s Public Expenditure Reviews, the third one tends to receive less attention. This is partly due to lack of relevant data. As information on actual public spending is seldom available in many developing countries, the Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) was designed to provide the missing information from different tiers of government and frontline service facilities using the sample survey approach.

Surveys in Uganda (education) and Peru (health and education) quantified the problems of asymmetric information in public spending manifested in the leakage of public funds.

The experience as of 2003 with PETS is laid out inPublic expenditure tracking surveys in education: Peru, Uganda and Zambia, by Ritva Reinikka & Nathanael Smith. Ethics and corruption in education.
Paris: Institute for Educational Planning, 2004. Adobe Acrobat PDF [1606 KB].

Related Resources

(Please use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF PDF files)

  • PETS-QSDS in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Stocktaking Study, Bernard Gauthier, Sept 2006. Adobe Acrobat PDF [751 KB]
  • Public expenditure tracking surveys in education: Peru, Uganda and Zambia 
    by Ritva Reinikka & Nathanael Smith, Ethics and corruption in education.
    Paris: Institute for Educational Planning, 2004. Adobe Acrobat PDF [1606 KB].
     Public expenditure tracking surveys, or PETS, now implemented in a number of countries including Cambodia, Ghana, Peru, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia have proven to be key instruments in determining how much of education resources originally allocated actually reach the schools.
  • Survey Tools for Assessing Performance in Service Delivery,  J. Dehn, R. Reinikka, and J. Svensson, in Luiz A. Pereira da Silva and François Bourguignon, eds., The Impact of Economic Policies on Poverty and Income Distribution: Evaluation Techniques and Tools. World Bank and Oxford University Press, 2003. Online toolkit |Order book
  • Recovery in Service Delivery: Evidence from Schools and Health Centers , Ritva Reinikka, Chapter 11 in R. Reinikka and P. Collier, eds. 2001. Uganda's Recovery: The Role of Farms, Firms, and Government. Washington, D.C.: World BankAdobe Acrobat PDF [113 KB]



  • Improving Efficiency of Public Spending: Tools for Assessing Service Delivery Performance,  Ritva Reinikka, March 2006 (PowerPoint)
  • Assessing Frontline Service Delivery in Education: Uganda, Tanzania, Honduras, Ghana, Ritva Reinikka. Public spending studies in Uganda, Tanzania, and Ghana quantified problems of "asymmetric information" and confirmed that leakage of non-wage public funds seriously obstructs service delivery, 2002. (PowerPoint


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