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Stephen Commins

Stephen ComminsSteve says:

“The effective delivery of accessible, quality services contributes to the achievement of human rights.

"Yet, widespread evidence shows that services are failing poor people in a large number of countries.

"The failure of services is not just a technical problem, it is the result of the lack of accountability of public, private and non-profit organizations to poor people.”

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Stephen Commins is a director of Public World and a specialist in essential services delivery in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS) and in local government roles in disaster risk reduction.

He has very wide developing country experience with both international institutions and non-governmental organisations, and was team leader of our project with Britain's Department for International Development (DFID), completed in June 2013, to evaluate the use of pooled funds to support service delivery in FCAS.

Formerly Director of Policy and Planning for World Vision International (WVI) and then a Senior Human Development Specialist at the World Bank, Steve was a co-author of the Bank’s 2004 World Development Report, Making Services Work for Poor People, and coordinator of its Children and Youth Network.

As well as leading Public World's work on fragile states and development, Steve has been Secretary of the Health and Fragile States Network, which is coordinated through International Medical Corps. He contributed to the review of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) programme effectiveness, and conducted a study on decentralisation for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

Other recent projects have included a handbook for the community and local government interface on disaster risk reduction for the World Bank in Bangladesh; a study on fragile states strategies for Save the Children-UK; and advising PLAN-UK on their global report on girls’ wellbeing.

Steve took his PhD in urban and regional planning from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he now lectures. Recent publications include Community Participation in Service Delivery and Accountability: Advancing the Millennium Development Goals for a UN project on public sector reform; a UNESCAP paper on Basic Services Delivery in conflict-affected and fragile areas; and Service Delivery in LICUS contests: Balancing short-term provision with longer-term institutional goals, for the World Bank.

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