Other Public Sector Study

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  • Publication
    The World Bank's Support for Subnational Governance in Large Federal Countries: Lessons Learned from Argentina, Brazil and Nigeria
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022) Stoykov, Petar Georgiev; Yilmaz, Serdar
    Limited local tax revenue and low public sector efficiency are two critical problems of public sector management and key constraints for the economic and social development of many subnational governments in large federal countries. To create fiscal space without compromising macroeconomic stability and fiscal sustainability, there is a need for reforms that lead to better use of public resources and improved expenditure efficiency through reforms in budgeting, procurement, and tax administration. This note presents lessons learned from the World Bank’s subnational governance projects in three large federal countries - Argentina, Brazil and Nigeria - between 2008-2017. These lessons learned can be useful in shaping the design of future subnational governance projects in other federal countries, particularly those projects seeking to improve service delivery, public expenditure systems and core governance institutions.
  • Publication
    The Evolving Role of the Planning Function: International Experience and Reform Options for India
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-11-01) World Bank
    This note presents the main trends in strategic planning across public sector administrations in seven countries: Australia, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, South Korea, and Colombia. It was prepared in response to the Indian Government's interest in understanding the emerging trends in the evolution of strategic planning in a range of countries and effectively adapting this function across public administration at the national and subnational levels.
  • Publication
    Delivering Together: Using Indonesia's Village Law to Optimize Frontline Service Delivery
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-08-19) World Bank
    Over the past twenty years, Indonesia has pursued an ambitious policy agenda for decentralization. Indonesia's subnational governments play a key role in providing frontline services. In 2014, Indonesia's Village Law ushered in a new chapter in the country's decentralization agenda. The law establishes a legal and financial foundation for villages to contribute to Indonesia's rural development. In 2020, village transfers accounted for around ten percent of all subnational transfers, playing an important role in Indonesia's Coronavirus (COVID-19) response strategy. Despite these positive results, several frontier issues in the overall decentralization agenda hinder villages' contributing potential to improving frontline service delivery. This report categorizes these structural challenges into four broad categories of regulatory challenges, coordination gaps, limited capacity building systems, and fragmentation in accountability systems. The report aims to show how overcoming these structural challenges can enable the government to institutionalize systems of accountability and participation into its wider service delivery framework.
  • Publication
    Using New Data to Support Tax Treaty Negotiation
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-07-12) World Bank
    This paper introduces the new Tax Treaties Explorer dataset, developed with support from the World Bank and the G-24, and illustrates its use for research by tax treaty negotiators, policy makers, and researchers. The new dataset provides a rich source of data to reexamine existing tax treaty policy, inform negotiation positions, and assess treaty networks. For the first time, it provides a tool to analyze trends in the content of tax treaties, across individual agreements, over time, and between countries. To illustrate the value of such an approach, we replicate a study by Barthel, Busse, and Neumayer (2009), which found a positive association between the presence of a tax treaty and the bilateral stock of FDI. We show that this effect is mainly driven by the withholding tax rates in the treaty rather than by other provisions affecting taxing rights such as permanent establishment. If the outcomes of this proof-of-concept replication are borne out in future research, this would suggest that negotiators can seek the maximum protection of source taxing rights in other parts of the treaty, knowing that this is unlikely to dilute investment-promoting impacts.
  • Publication
    Chatbots for Third-Party Monitoring: CivicTech Pilot in Madagascar
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06) Rakotomalala, Olivia; Peixoto, Tiago; Kumagai, Saki
    Growing evidence confirms that citizen engagement is key to improving the delivery and quality of public services, management of public finances, and to promoting social inclusion, resulting in tangible improvements in people’s lives. The advent and availability of new technologies provide new opportunities to reach citizens, aggregate their ‘voice’ and demand, help governments respond, and partner with citizens to find and implement solutions collectively. With the right approach, CivicTech enables citizens to overcome income, social, and geographical barriers to interact with governments and participate at the local or national level. The CivicTech pilot in Madagascar supported the development of a Facebook ChatBot (bot) to enable third-party monitoring of service delivery operations for the Madagascar Public Sector Performance Project (PAPSP, P150116). A similar approach could be replicated for Community Driven Development (CDD) projects and local government and decentralized service delivery projects to achieve a multi-channel structure for third-party monitoring (offline, mobile, and web). The note documents the CivicTech pilot experience in Madagascar and lessons learned.
  • Publication
    Freedom of Information Access: Key Challenges, Lessons Learned and Strategies for Effective Implementation
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06-01) World Bank
    Implementation of the right to information as established in a Freedom of Information Access (FOIA) Law provides a foundation for institutionalization of transparency and support for anti-corruption efforts. Passage of a FOIA law is only a first step toward accessibility of data and documents held by public agencies, however. Effective implementation of a FOIA requires that public agencies take additional steps to put laws into practice and overcome common implementation challenges that can render FOIA laws ineffective. This note, which builds on previous World Bank research on factors determining effective implementation of FOIA laws, reviews cases of introduction of FOIA laws around the world and summarizes the main challenges, lessons learned and key strategies emerging from these experiences. Its primary aim is to inform Italian public agencies charged with implementation of the FOIA law about steps they can take toward effective implementation. As such, it focuses on areas of activity typically within the purview of public agencies, as opposed to those typically in scope of policymakers or central agencies charged with implementation and/or legislative oversight of FOIA.
  • Publication
    Bangladesh: Political Economy of Right to Information
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-04-30) Ahsan, Syed Khaled; Hasan, Sadik; Imran, Nadee Naboneeta
    The Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2009, was a milestone in the legal history of Bangladesh to ensure people’s right to obtain information from the government offices and other organizations. This act covers most bodies owned, controlled, or substantially financed either directly or indirectly by the government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The act aims at giving citizens the right to hold the government accountable. In the 1990s, civil society advocated for the RTI Act as one of the best-fitted tools to establish good governance. The act was drafted by the government and civil society organizations (CSOs) together, following an analysis of a few other RTI Acts. A caretaker administration further cemented the path for the introduction of the RTI Act. The Council of Advisors of the caretaker administration approved the RTI Ordinance in September 2008, and it became formally recognized as a law from October 20, 2008. The democratically elected new government passed the RTI Act in March 2009, in the very first session of Parliament. The context of introducing a law for RTI in Bangladesh was different from that of India. The demand came from the grassroots level in India with a 40-day sit-in protest by a citizens’ rights body in 1996. In the case of Bangladesh, it came from Dhaka-based elites and lacked connection with the grassroots (Article 19 2015). The RTI Act, 2009, helps investigative journalism, but that is not the entire goal of this act. The goal is to empower citizens with information and make livelihoods easier for the ones who will otherwise have no means of getting answers from the state or other social actors.
  • Publication
    Digital Government Readiness Assessment Toolkit: Guidelines for Task Teams
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-04) World Bank
    The Digital Government Readiness Assessment (DGRA) Toolkit is a knowledge product developed as a global public good to help client countries leaders in digital agenda and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector assess their current status, as well as their aspirations in digital development of the country and transformation of the public sector by leveraging digital solutions.
  • Publication
    Bangladesh Right To Information Survey 2019
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020) World Bank
    The year 2019 marks the tenth year of the Right to Information (RTI) act enactment in Bangladesh. The Government of Bangladesh (GoB) has made good progress in implementing the RTI Act 2009 in the past decade. The RTI survey was conducted between January and March of 2019. The survey results reveal that the contribution of the RIT Act 2009 has overall been positive in the last decade. Especially, notable progress has taken place in making the supply side prepared in implementing the RTI Act. The survey will enable policymakers and RTI activists to identify and seal the pores and bring about the desired changes in perception, behavior, and actions of various stakeholders, including the citizens.
  • Publication
    Leveraging ICT Platforms to Foster Citizen Engagement For Enhanced Public Accountability: The Korean Experience
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-05-10) Bae, You-Jin; Choi, Seung Won; Kim, Min Jeong; Kim, Seongjun
    This learning note aims to document the experience of the Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea (BAI) and the online administrative appeals hub system of Korea’s Central Administrative Appeals Commission (CAAC) in leveraging ICT platforms for citizen engagement. The note both analyzes participatory practices and examines how the use of ICT platforms contributed to enhance public outreach by making citizen engagement in public accountability more cost-effective, scalable, transparent, and inclusive. The learning note targets accountability institutions (such as supreme audit institutions, anti corruption agencies,and so on), as well as representatives from civil society organizations and citizens around the world interested in knowing more about the experience of Korea, including the challenges and opportunities, in leveraging ICT tools to foster citizen engagement for enhanced public accountability.