The 20/20 initiative was born out of a moral and economic imperative to help the vulnerable and most disadvantaged members of human society to overcome poverty by ensuring access to basic social services. In 1995, the UN hosted a summit on Social Development. Out of the summit came the 20/20 Initiative, which encourages governments to allocate 20 per cent of their expenditure to basic social services, such as health and education. Donors were encouraged to match government commitments. This report was the country study towards realizing the 20/20 goal on government expenditure.
The study reveals that Sri Lanka has been, and still is, far ahead of many other developing countries in attaining both equity and cost efficiency in the delivery of basic social services, particularly in health and education.
The report outlines key issues ranging from per capita expenditure on basic social services, to who benefits from these services. The scope to reallocate resources within and between sectors, ensuring that unit cost remains low and quality consistent is also highlighted.