GET Note

18 items available

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The GET Note -- Recently Asked Questions Series captures the knowledge and advice from individual engagements of the World Bank’s Global Expert Team (GET) on Public Sector Performance.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 13
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Managing and Monitoring Grand Design Public Administration Reforms

2013-08, Verheijen, Tony

A grand design attempt at public administration reform can be thought of as any centrally designed, multiple agency reform program or process designed to modernize or improve the performance of administrative structures at the center of Government, usually with a focus on addressing persistent underlying inefficiencies. International practice shows that reforming selected central institutions (especially those that hold the purse strings) is a different matter altogether from addressing performance issues in large ministries with a service delivery mandate. Therefore, it is of critical importance to ‘unpack’ these particular reforms and uncover the persistent issues that arise in countries attempting to pursue such reforms. The four grand design cases highlighted here were selected for their comparability in terms of size and economy, and as examples of reforms from different regions. The cases presented here are Brazil, Nigeria, Russia and Tanzania. Each of these cases has specific characteristics, based on a unique country or reform context, but they share the features of a broad, across-the-board reform approach (in three of the four cases with a clear sub-national dimension that is distinct from the national one). This note focuses on the three critical design aspects of such reforms: a) reform coherence, b) effective anchorage and, c) blending technocratic solutions with substantive service delivery improvements.

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Public Service Delivery in the Era of Digital Governance: Case Studies from Indonesia

2013-05, Karippacheril, Tina George

In an era of digital governance, information technology, internet, mobile devices, and social media have transformed the organization, management, and delivery of public services. Developing country governments around the world are gradually replacing paper-based processing and delivery with next-generation technologies to serve citizens. In Indonesia, a host of citizen-led approaches have emerged ahead of government process transformation efforts. This global expert team (GET) note examines case studies of digital-era governance (DEG), a concept put forward by Dunleavy, further developed by means of examples from Indonesia focusing on demand-side approaches to stimulate improvements in public sector performance.

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Entry-Level Civil Service Leadership Development Programs: Survey of Selected International Experience

2012-11, Roseth, Benjamin, Dahal, Sudyumna

This note presents an overview of several entry-level civil service leadership development programs (ELDP), defined here as a government program – separate from mainstream civil service recruitment and development mechanisms – that seeks to recruit young professionals, select the best candidates based on merit, develop their skills to meet the business needs of government ministries and programs while preparing them for leadership in the civil service. It draws on experiences from the Unites States, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Liberia. All of the programs analyzed cover the national or federal level of government. The remainder of the note is organized into five sections: (i) Background, which places ELDPs in the broader context of civil service reform; (ii) Advent of ELDPs, which describes the challenges ELDPs were designed to address; (iii) Analysis of Programs, which describes the general characteristics typical to ELDPs; (iv) Country cases, which highlights salient characteristics of each of the four ELDPs analyzed; and (v) Initial thoughts on introducing such programs.

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Kazakhstan : Note on Senior Civil Service Pay

2011-03, World Bank

This report examines the pay-setting arrangements for senior civil servants in three settings: the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Singapore. It concludes that: a robust analytic approach for pay setting seems to be sufficient to maintain some general sense of legitimacy in the process, but is not the dominant driver of pay levels; external consultancies are employed significantly to obtain data on salaries for comparable positions in the private sector; the hay method is used in many settings and the World Bank analytic approach is not dissimilar to that used in many governments; however, governments are different to the World Bank in some critical ways. Like the Bank, they are driven by the need to establish a system which is seen to be legitimate both to staff and to the funders; thus, while the institutional arrangements for managing and overseeing the pay-setting process are, also, very much concerned with ensuring legitimacy for the resultant pay settlement, and so involve some significant delegation to signal that the recommendations are somewhat independent, the final decision for pay is ultimately made by government on political as well as fiscal and economic grounds; and the numbers of political advisors outside of the formal schemes is modest and does not seem to have a strong influence on the pay-setting process for senior staff in the settings studied.

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Strengthening Cabinet Office Procedures

2013-06, Goldsworthy, Diana

Located at the hub of Government’s decision-making system, center-of-government offices are crucial to a government’s capacity to define and implement their policies and programs. The work of coordination can be complex and demanding, especially where conflicting political imperatives are involved; and where capacity in the center-of-government office is lacking. For both reasons, standard procedures are essential to create a reliable, non-controversial framework within which to deal with competing priorities and demands. The procedures may be basic and simple in the first instance, gradually becoming more sophisticated over time as capacity increases. This note describes some of the basic procedures being developed and introduced in the Prime Minister’s Office of the Kingdom of Tonga, which serves both the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. Although the procedures are tailor-made for Tonga, they are based on generic models that can be observed in many differing administrations.

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Common Practices in Setting Expenditure Ceilings within National Budgets

2013-01, Dorotinsky, William

Developing a national budget has always entailed a complex set of negotiations between national Government priorities, line ministry priorities, and a national funding envelope. This note explains how to introduce a medium term horizon into a government’s budgeting process, including the key steps involved. It provides guidance on setting aggregate and line ministry ceilings, reviewing experiences from countries with extensive experience of ceilings (for example, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Brazil, Australia, and Canada, among others), as well as those that have more recently adopted them. There is no one right way to set expenditure ceilings. Countries tailor expenditure ceilings to meet their specific needs, budget challenges, and capacity constraints. This note presents an iterative approach - starting from annual ceilings and gradually moving toward a medium-term expenditure framework - allowing for procedural, institutional, and organizational learning and adaptation along the way.

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Public Sector Human Resource Practices to Drive Performance

2012-10, Manning, Nick, Hasnain, Zahid

Many Governments wrestle with the issue of designing an appropriate set of human resource practices to motivate public servants to perform. Identifying the right set of practices for the public sector is a source of some controversy, and passions run high particularly in relation to the use of monetary incentives, often referred to as performance-related pay or performance based pay. This GET note reviews recent research on a range of practices Governments utilize to drive employee performance, which rest on the assumptions that public servants are motivated in two ways: (i) ‘intrinsically’ (i.e. internal factors motivated by ‘the right thing to do’), and (ii) ‘extrinsically’ (i.e., external validation from rewards offered by others). Generally, a Human Resource Management (HRM) system designed to motivate employee performance will utilize practices in two broad categories related to: (i) ‘external incentives’ (e.g., financial incentives), and (ii) ‘opportunities to perform’ focusing on ‘intrinsic’ factors (i.e. self-directed work). Within ‘external incentives,’ a financial incentive may either act over the long term (e.g., deferred compensation) or in the short term (e.g., performance-related pay). This note applies this conceptual framework to more clearly understand the range of practices Governments are using to improve staff performance, as well as the pre-conditions for their success. Given the recent attention on performance-related pay, we take a deeper look at the evidence underlying the shorter term performance-related pay, reviewing evidence from both OECD and middle income countries. Annex one provides a brief overview on the theories of motivation for those interested in the theoretical underpinnings of the work, and annex two presents’ experiences of performance pay in practice. This Note draws heavily from performance-related pay in the public sector: A review of theory and evidence (Hasnain and others 2012), a recent review of the literature in fields including political science, public administration, business management, and psychology.

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Targeting Results, Diagnosing the Means: Innovative Approaches for Improving Public Sector Delivery

2013-05, Manning, Nick

This note sets out approaches to reform which start with identifying the shortcomings in results and which then look for pragmatic solutions that fit the particular context: no best practice, fewer universal recommendations for institutional design. The relative merits of this type of approach have not been empirically tested, but they are nonetheless intuitively reasonable and offer an alternative to other models of institutional reform which have not had great success. This note argues that these results-based approaches are a welcome breath of fresh air in a difficult domain. They are clearly in tune with the current results focus of the international development community and they address many of the challenges recognized by practitioners in previous approaches. However the authors still have remarkably little hard evidence on which to base a robust assessment of the effectiveness of this type of intervention.

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Does the Public Sector HRM System Strengthen Staff Performance?

2012-12, Manning, Nick, Degnarain, Nishan

An important objective of any Human Resource Management (HRM) system in Government is to motivate staff to perform well. This GET note looks at several HRM levers that Governments have at their disposal to influence staff performance. In particular, some of the most common levers in the public sector include: effective recruitment and retention of staff; strong staff engagement in the organization’s mission; well-designed incentives for staff to perform as well as ‘opportunities to perform’; tailored training and capacity building; and high quality performance dialogues with staff and effective follow up. In designing a HRM system that utilizes these levers effectively, this GET Note shows that it is more important to diagnose the root cause and understand the major issues of poor performance, before proposing reform actions. This paper proposes three important design questions for managers of HRM systems to assess whether they have a well-designed HRM system. 1) Does the HRM system provide both ‘external incentives’ and ‘opportunities to perform’? Does the HRM system provide the right balance between short and long term incentives? And are the broader, supporting aspects of the HRM system working effectively? The note concludes by highlighting that even where the HRM system is well designed, careful consideration must be given to two further aspects: a) how to implement reforms to improve the design of the HRM system, and b) how to ensure that a well-designed HRM system is operating effectively.

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Managing a Sustainable Results Based Management (RBM) System

2011-03, World Bank

This note presents a framework for thinking about public sector results based management (RBM) systems, with a particular focus on the issues line agencies face in complying with mandates and directives from central agencies on monitoring and evaluating performance. It also provides five lessons learned from RBM systems of relevance for countries pursuing results based management reforms. Taking a system's view of results based management reveals a number of different approaches and techniques used across the public sector to improve results.