Verheijen, Tony

Europe and CIS Region, The World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
public sector management; governance; civil service law; public service delivery
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Europe and CIS Region, The World Bank
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Tony Verheijen has worked for the last 25 years on public management and institutional reforms in Europe and Central Asia, Africa, and South Asia, as a development practitioner and scholar. He contributed to the process of European Integration of Central and East European states in the 1990s and 2000s, by providing advice and support to the management of their EU accession process and to the internal transformation of their institutional systems. He also supported governments in East and Central Africa on decentralization and service delivery reforms, focusing, in particular, on post conflict and transition countries. Apart from his work as a development practitioner, Tony Verheijen has held various academic and teaching positions in the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium and Poland. He has published widely on public management, constitutionalism, decentralization and European Integration.

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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    Logged On : Smart Government Solutions from South Asia
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015) Bhatti, Zubair K. ; Zall Kusek, Jody ; Verheijen, Tony
    Logged On looks at mobile and smart phone technology through the lens of good government management. How will developing governments deliver goods and services that citizens care about? How will government in these countries leapfrog over traditional public management reforms to help reach out to and collaborate directly with the citizen? This book provides example after example where this has happened and how mobile technology has helped provide solutions to old problems. Our astounding revelation that mobile technology is helping to fight corruption in Pakistan, improve health delivery in Bangladesh, provide access to government by the ordinary citizen in India, and help monitor elections in Afghanistan. If this Is possible in some place in poor South Asian countries considered the most poor in the world, then how can these examples be spread to further in these counties or in other countries? Logged on provides a look back on conventional solutions that have mostly not worked and why mobile solutions are taking hold. The book offers a model called Smart Proactive Government based on a Feedback model being used in Punjab, Pakistan. The book also offers five solutions that are present in every successful mobile and smart phone example that the authors reviewed.
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    Administrative Capacity in the New EU Member States : The Limits of Innovation?
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2007) Verheijen, Tony
    This study considers key aspects of administrative performance in three areas related to policy, people, and systems. First, in the field of policy, the study addresses issues of performance management, strategic planning and policy coordination and formulation. Second, as regards people, the study reviews human resource management practices such as recruitment and career management, incentive systems and politico-administrative relations with the aim of assessing the extent to which public administrations in the EU8 can attract and retain high quality staff in the context of rapidly changing labor markets. Finally, in relation to systems, the study looks into one specific aspect of public service delivery, namely the extent to which states have introduced e-Governance systems and used these effectively to enhance the business environment. A benchmarking exercise was conducted in each of the key aspects studied. A specific aim of the study was to identify examples of good practice within the region which might be replicable in other EU8 countries. This study reviews the direction of administrative development in the first two years of EU membership in the EU8 and includes a review of general trends in administrative development as well as a benchmarking exercise for a sample of states on selected criteria that illustrate capacity for public management innovations. The study will draw conclusions on ways to address the identified issues and problems in the development of the public management systems of the EU8, with a focus on systems and instruments that would help address the three challenges set out above.
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    Through the Looking Glass: Lessons from the World Bank Afghanistan Portfolio for FCV Engagement
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022) Verheijen, Antonius ; Ahmadzai, Atiqullah ; Hogg, Richard
    This paper aims to provide a gateway to the lessons learned from 7 critical years of program implementation (out of the 20 years of World Bank engagement since 2001) leading up to the political events of August 15, 2021. This will both support ongoing efforts to safeguard some gains of the long-term engagement by development partners and inform potential future interventions when the enabling environment would allow for a more comprehensive program. At the end of this report, we outline five initial takeaways (scope, adjustability, impact of analytics on design, sustainability, early thinking about transitioning between off and on-budget) that the World Bank and partners are testing in Afghanistan in the initial 12-14 months’ engagement post August 15, 2021. Following the political events of August 15, 2021, in Afghanistan, the World Bank paused all disbursements in its portfolio of 29 projects and over the next nine months repurposed this funding in Afghanistan. Reviewing the lessons from the paused portfolio was critical to the decision to make funds available again. By end-August 2022, the World Bank had completed 23 full Implementation Completion and Results Reports (ICRs) for its projects, in addition to five Non-Completion Notes (NCOs) for projects that had not become effective or disbursed. Currently, one regional project in the pre-August 2021 Afghanistan portfolio remains active. Pausing the disbursements under these projects meant that all activities halted as of August 15, 2021. The recently published country portfolio review of the UK Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI 2022) covers the same period (2014-21) as in this lessons learned document and draws three main conclusions: (a) comprehensive support should only be provided in the context of a viable and inclusive political settlement (and this was not the case in Afghanistan), (b) support should not finance paramilitary operations by police and security agencies (which the UK support did), and (c) spending levels should have been adjusted based on more thorough scenario planning. The authors will come back later in this paper to issues (a) and (c), as the same lessons also came up in the ICR: the limitations on the ability of government to deliver major programs under a political settlement that was not inclusive (and effectively meant the country remained in conflict) and the limited adjustability in programs are elements that deserve more reflection when engaging in similar situations and contexts in the future and should have a bearing in particular on the breadth and depth of support.
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    Managing and Monitoring Grand Design Public Administration Reforms
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 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.