The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Singapore government have partnered to set up a centre that will help developing countries strengthen their public services.
The aim is to drive sustainable socio-economic development.
The Global Centre for Public Service Excellence will be based in Singapore by the end of this year.
It is intended to be a leading research hub that draws upon the best quality material emanating from think-tanks and universities and from on-going policy practice in Singapore and other countries.
The initiative was announced at the World Cities Summit in Singapore on Monday.
Experts said two critical areas that developing countries need help with are the provision of clean water and sanitation.
According to the UN, as of 2010, 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water and more than 2.6 billion don’t have basic sanitation.
Helen Clark, administrator of UNDP and former prime minister of New Zealand, said: “Unfortunately sanitation has had a very low priority in so many places and it’s appalling to think that a significant proportion of human kind still faces open defecation and no access to a proper toilet at all.
“Singapore has so much to share of its own experience since independence of strong non-corrupt effective governance and so we are partnering to put in place here a centre which will be able to do research on this, bring people together, have convening power and really promote best practice in governance.”
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said: “The quality of the environment is a source of enduring competitive advantage. Money, ideas, people are mobile. Whether or not you can have a blue sky, clean safe drinking water is something which you can’t create overnight and something which once achieved, gives you an edge.”