Publication: Deepening Public Service Unit Reform to Improve Service Delivery

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World Bank
The "Public Service Unit" (PSU), or shiye danwei, is one of the four categories of public sector institutions in China. The country has more than one million public service units (PSUs), or shiye danwei, with a labor force of around 30 million. Most PSUs were created as public service providers. Non-state involvement in service delivery remains limited in China today. PSU performance is therefore crucial for improving service delivery in the public sector to a level commensurate with China's stated goals of a "well-off"(xiaokang) society, and "people-centered" development. The study, designed to develop an overall strategy for PSU reform in China, draws on systematic analysis of the current situation, and critical assessments of international experience with public services reform. Realizing the diversity and complexity of the PSU sector, and the critical importance of sector - and region - specific constraints, the study concentrates on a range of important cross-cutting themes based on case studies of three key sectors: education, health, and agriculture extension services. It is intended to contribute to the development of a PSU reform strategy by: a) providing an alternative thinking that may help policymakers consider the various issues involved in the development of PSU reform strategy; and, b) recommending key guiding principles and direction of reform actions. Constrained by the complexity of the issue and availability of data, the study does not address practical implementation issues, except for a few. Further work is needed to translate the recommended overall strategy into doable action plans tailored to the specific circumstances of sectors and regions. Chapter 1 provides an introductory account of what PSUs are, how they operate, how they have been reformed in the past two decades, as well as a diagnostic analysis of current problems within the existing system. Relevant international experience with public service delivery and reform is reviewed in Chapter 2, while key recommendations with regard to an overall reform strategy are presented in Chapter 3.
World Bank. 2005. Deepening Public Service Unit Reform to Improve Service Delivery. © Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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