Civil service reform

Public service reform

The focus in this Pack is on action: on the public service reform intervention, conceived as an exercise in helping. The readings included in this pack have been chosen to be interesting and fresh rather than comprehensive; that is, to stimulate thinking rather than necessarily to ‘cover all the bases’ in public service reform as…» more

Function versus form in public sector reform

Brian Levy

This book chapter aims to broaden the options for public sector reform. It explores micro-level initiatives that aim to support the emergence of institutions capable of fulfilling governance expectations. One approach is to focus on comprehensive reforms along Weberian principles with trickle-down principles. The other is more incremental via targeted efforts and ...» more

Public Service Delivery: Role of Information and Communication Technology in Improving Governance and Development Impact

Subhash Bhatnagar

The focus of this paper is on improving governance through the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in delivering services to the poor, i.e., improving efficiency, accountability, and transparency, and reducing bribes in delivery of services.India and a few other developing nations are home to a very large number of experiments in the use of ICT for sustainable ...» more

Prioritising and sequencing public sector reform

While there is a great deal of literature that alludes to the importance on prioritising and sequencing reform, there is very little literature that defines, in detail, what order public sector reform should take place. The exception to this is within specific public sector reform areas, such as Public Financial Management (PFM), where there is significant literature that ...» more

Rewards for High Public Offices and the Quality of Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa

Theodore R. Valentine

Increasingly, setting the institutional arrangements for remunerating high public officeholders (HPOs) is seen as a central design issue for improving governance. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), recent efforts to review and revise national constitutions and/or introduce new government structures have brought this issue to the fore. Changes in these “grand institutions” provide ...» more

Summary report of the public sector governance reform evaluation

Mark Turner

This report is the summary of an evaluation of public sector governance reform (PSGR) and donor support in developing and transitional countries over the ten years 2001-2010. During this time the flow of donor funds to PSG initiatives has been substantial. For example, between 2003 and 2007, Government Administration projects accounted for almost US$10 billion of Official ...» more

Explaining positive deviance in public sector reforms in development

Matt Andrews

Public sector reforms are commonplace in developing countries. Much of the literature about these reforms reflects on their failures. This paper asks about the successes and investigates which of two competing theories best explain why some reforms exhibit such positive deviance.These theories are called 'solution and leader driven change' (SLDC) and 'problem driven iterative ...» more

Civil service reform

Improving a country's civil service can further development goals. Reforming the civil service is important in improving governance, service delivery, economic policy and public financial management. What do we know about what has – or hasn't – worked in civil service reform, and where? What lessons emerge from the literature? ...» more

Behavioural Economics and Public Sector Reform: An Accidental Experiment and Lessons from Cameroon

Gaël Raballand, Anand Rajaram

This paper explores how behavioural change (and thus institutional change) might be better motivated in the public sector. The study is based on an 'accidental experiment' – two projects in Cameroon, supported by the World Bank, of different scale, scope and design in the same governance environment. The paper argues for the value of using ideas from behavioural economics to ...» more

Ethnic minority public sector employment

This report identifies initiatives in developing countries which seek to attract, develop and retain indigenous or ethnic minority employees in the public sector workforce. This is supported with a brief overview of lessons learned from similar programmes in Australia, which are largely considered successful. The paper concentrates on civil service and central government ...» more

Models of Public Service Reform: A Problem-Solving Approach

Willy McCourt

This paper identifies six models of public service reform that have been practiced in developing countries over the past half-century. It critically reviews their implementation, discussing them as attempted solutions to problems that have arisen in the policy process in different countries. The models are: public administration; decentralisation; pay and employment reform; New ...» more

Education attainment in public administration around the world: Evidence from a new dataset

Rabah Arezki, Herbert Lui, Marc Quintyn,, Frederik Toscani

The paper provides a detailed description of a novel dataset on education attainment in public administrations covering the period 1981-2011 for 178 countries. The dataset uses information extracted from CVs for over 130,000 mid to senior level officials from mainly central banks and ministries of economy and finance. Key findings: The main finding is that there is little ...» more

Making public sector reforms work : political and economic contexts, incentives, and strategies

Simone Bunse, Verena Fritz

Supporting effective public sector reform is a major challenge that the World Bank and other agencies and stakeholders have been grappling with. It is increasingly recognized that political economy factors play a crucial role. However, beyond this broad proposition, specific questions arise: What country contexts are more/less propitious for public sector reforms and what ...» more

The World Bank’s Approach to Public Sector Management 2011-2020: “Better Results from Public Sector Institutions”

World Bank

‘Public sector management (PSM) reform is concerned with improving public sector results by changing the way governments work. It is a challenging reform area in which to offer assistance. Sustainable institutional change often requires that thousands of public agents alter their behaviour, and political incentives may be at odds with improving public sector performance. ‘What ...» more

Civil Service Reform: A Review

Sarah Repucci

Understanding of how best to promote civil service reform has been hindered by the complexity of the subject, disagreement on objectives, and lack of reflection on experiences and of dissemination of results. Based on a literature review, this paper suggests principles for the design of more effective CSR programmes. These principles include: adaptation to the local context, ...» more

Evaluation of Public Sector Governance Reforms 2001-2011: Literature Review

Zoë Scott

Why has Public Sector Governance Reform (PSGR) carried out in developing countries over the past decade not been effective? How can such interventions be improved? This literature review shows how much of the existing research emphasises underlying political economy and incentive problems, and the need for reforms to be demand-led rather than externally-driven. A fundamental ...» more

Sticking to the Numbers: Performance Monitoring in South Africa, 2009-2011

Jonathan Friedman

What can be learned from the South African government's introduction of a service delivery monitoring system? This study examines the efforts of the Ministry of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation established by Jacob Zuma in 2009. The study shows that the chief ministers succeeded in encouraging departments to set measurable performance targets, but as political support ...» more

Eight Questions About Brain Drain

John Gibson, David McKenzie

What does empirical evidence tell us about 'brain drain'? This paper concludes that new evidence should assuage some common concerns. Overall, brain drain rates are not skyrocketing. Africa is not the most affected region for brain drain; small island states are. Brain drain rates are highest from countries with small populations, those experiencing political instability, and ...» more

Rethinking civil service reform in Africa: ‘islands of effectiveness’ and organisational commitment

Richard C. Crook

After many decades of reform efforts and capacity-building, the delivery of public services in most sub-Saharan African states remains in crisis. Yet explanations of this failure which focus on failure of implementation, continued overstaffing, lack of political will or the inherent problems of ‘neo-patrimonialism’ are unconvincing. In fact the key problems of African public ...» more

Constructing, Deconstructing, and Reconstructing Career Civil Service Systems in Latin America

Merilee Grindle

How is capriciousness and private and party interest minimised in the administration of government? This paper suggests that the answer is 'slowly and gradually'. It examines efforts to introduce neutral, stable civil services in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Chile, noting that patronage persists after laws on career civil service reform have been passed. Implementation (and ...» more