Book Chapter
Public Policy and Basic Needs Provision

Intervention and Achievement in Sri Lank

A substantial part of Sri Lanka's achievements in certain areas of basic needs provision such as health and education standards, has been due to the country's intrinsic and directed public policies. This chapter's econometric analysis, based on time series data, reconfirms that income growth alone would not have achieved that enviable basic needs record — the role of direct intervention has been significant. The expansion of health services has been more effective than food subsidies in mortality decline. There is a need to shift the focus from scrutinizing the effectiveness of intervention to looking at the best patterns and combinations of social welfare expenditure that can achieve the maximum impact on basic needs.