Tag Archives: Reform

Reforming Pakistan Civil Service

Islamabad/Brussels, 16 February 2010: If Pakistan’s deteriorating civil service is not urgently repaired, public disillusionment and resentment could be used by the military to justify another spell of authoritarian rule.

Reforming Pakistan’s Civil Service,* the latest report from the International Crisis Group, analyses the structure and functioning of Pakistan’s civil bureaucracy. It identifies critical flaws as well as measures to make it more accountable and able to provide essential public services. Military rule has left behind a demoralised and inefficient bureaucracy that was used to ensure regime survival. Low salaries, insecure tenure, obsolete accountability mechanisms and political interference have spawned widespread corruption and impunity. If the flaws of an unreformed bureaucracy are not urgently addressed, the government risks losing public support. Continue reading


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Filed under capacity development, Pakistan

First, Reform the I.M.F.

Published: April 24, 2009

The International Monetary Fund turns 65 this year. Until the current economic crisis, it had reduced its workload drastically to a near-retirement level — its total loan portfolio plummeted by 92 percent in four years. But like many senior citizens, the Fund has kept working past retirement age — and is now expanding its responsibilities.

The I.M.F. has a track record that seems to have been almost completely ignored in discussions of a proposed $750 billion increase in its resources. Nearly 12 years ago, a financial crisis hit Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. The word “contagion” became part of the financial reporting lexicon as the crisis spread to Russia, Brazil, Argentina and other countries. Continue reading

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Filed under Development

Reforming Governance Systems under Real-World Conditions

This is a policy brief worth reading. Full text here

Although necessary and often first rate, technocratic solutions alone have been ineffective in delivering real change or lasting results in governance reforms. This is primarily because reform programs are delivered not in controlled environments, but under complex, diverse, sociopolitical, and economic conditions. Real-world conditions.

In political societies ownership of reform programs by the entire country cannot be assumed, public opinion will not necessarily be benign, and coalitions of support may be scarce or nonexistent, even when intended reforms really will benefit those who need them most…

The publication mentions six key challenges for governance practitoners:

Six Key Challenges for Governance Reformers

Uncovering the challenges inherent in building support for governance reform through political analysis;
Securing political will and the best methods for reaching out to political leaders, policy makers and legislators;
Gaining support of public sector middle managers, often the strongest opponents of change;
Building broad coalitions of pro-change influentials and dealing with powerful vested
Transforming indifferent or hostile public opinion into support for reform objectives;
Encouraging citizen demand for accountability to sustain governance reform.

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Filed under books, governance

Reforming Public Financial Management in Developing Countries

From Harvard Kennedy School Insight

Interview with Stephen Peterson

Lecturer in Public Policy
Faculty Chair of the Executive Program in Public Financial Management

Reforming Public Financial Management in Developing Countries:

“In public financial management reform in developing countries, I think what’s important to remember is that modest improvements can have significant effects. … A modest strategy of evolutionary improvement ensures that the systems work while the reform is in place and they can evolve, eventually, to fairly sophisticated reforms. But you don’t move to sophisticated reforms overnight.”

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Filed under International Aid