PREM Notes

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This note series is intended to summarize good practices and key policy findings on poverty reduction and economic management (PREM) topics.

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    Trends in Recent World Bank Support for Severance Pay
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-03) Mukherjee, Ranjana
    This note summarizes the operational perspective and design of severance packages supported by Bank loans and credits. The analysis focuses on severance-funding investment projects approved between fiscal 2000 and 2004, during which time revised expenditure eligibility guidelines were issued (in April 2004; see World Bank 2004). Adjustment projects that supported severance were not analyzed because project documents do not separate severance costs from others. The analysis also did not include investment projects that paid consultants to design organizational restructuring or severance packages but that did not fund actual payments to retrenched workers.
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    Recent Bank Support for Civil Service Reconstruction in Post-Conflict Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-10) Mukherjee, Ranjana
    Civil service reconstruction is important in post-conflict countries because conflict erodes institutions and civil service capacity. And because successful reconstruction-in all sectors -requires domestic capacity to implement projects, a weak civil service undermines overall reconstruction efforts. Moreover, donor assistance is crucial to a country's rebuilding, and coordinating such assistance requires a certain amount of civil service capacity. In addition, the Bank has found that country ownership is essential for successful projects. But country ownership can be jeopardized if international agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) dominate reconstruction efforts, overwhelming states already weakened by conflict. Civil service reconstruction offers an opportunity to start anew, with little of the resistance to civil service reform often encountered from politicians and civil servants. It allows good practices to be instilled from the outset-without having to undo bad ones.
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    Recent Trends in Lending for Civil Service Reform
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2002-07) Manning, Nick ; Mukherjee, Ranjana
    The note assesses how the volume, distribution, structure, and objectives of Bank lending for civil service reform have changed in recent years. Bank operations in civil service reform usually refers to interventions that affect the organization, performance, and working conditions of employees paid by government budgets, but excludes reforms that affect police, the armed forces, public health care workers, public school teachers, and employees of state enterprises. Assessments of such reform are relevant in that they can also help countries improve governance, thus fostering good policy making, effective service delivery, and accountable resource use. Findings based on an Operations Evaluation Department's review of such lending, indicates a growing number of standalone civil service reform projects between 1980 and 1997. However, between fiscal 1999 and 2001, only 4 of 62 civil service reform interventions were standalone, being the rest components of major lending operations. The note further reviews the distribution of new lending, and its structure, categorizing civil service reform objectives under three broad headings: correcting fiscal imbalances, adjusting civil servant's pay, and grading structures to improve accountability, and service delivery. Issues for further consideration are raised: what are the optimal combinations - investment lending vs. programmatic adjustment - of such financing, and under what circumstances? and, in identifying the structure of the overall, changing portfolio, what would the impact be?