Civil Service Reform and the World Bank
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Surveys the World Bank's experience in supporting developing country civil service reforms and begins to assess the progress made.
The World Bank recognizes the importance of the civil service to the general welfare of the 4.6 billion people in low and middle income countries. Between 1981 and 1991, civil service reform was a prominent feature of 90 World Bank lending operations. This paper surveys the Bank's experience in supporting this reform and assesses the progress made.
The lending operations concentrated on two separate dimensions:
(1) Shorter-term, emergency steps to reform public pay and employment policies, which center on measures to contain the cost and the size of the civil service
(2) longer-term civil service strengthening efforts directed toward ongoing, sustained management improvements.
After examining the record of these reforms, the authors conclude that the results have been mixed at best. They recommend greater emphasis on devising a coherent, far-reaching strategy for reform and on detailing the set of tactics by which these goals will be achieved.
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