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WHY REFORM FAILS – AND HOW TO MAKE IT WORK Commitment to public administration reform in Swaziland and Morocco.

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Presentation on theme: "WHY REFORM FAILS – AND HOW TO MAKE IT WORK Commitment to public administration reform in Swaziland and Morocco."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHY REFORM FAILS – AND HOW TO MAKE IT WORK Commitment to public administration reform in Swaziland and Morocco

2 Overview of presentation The ‘traditional’ model of reform: a (World Bank) critique Commitment as a response to reform failure: developing a model Applying the model in Swaziland and Morocco: the primacy of politics Building commitment in Swaziland and Morocco: idiosyncratic actions Implications for Public Administration Reform

3 The ‘traditional’ model of reform Problem? Bad administration Cause? Ignorance and incapacity Cure? Injection of knowledge (aka new PA model), with donor support as the ‘syringe’ Success stories? South Africa, central Europe(?)

4 The problem with the ‘traditional’ model: World Bank analysis (Presenting) problem? Bad administration Cause? Ignorance and incapacity Cure? Injection of knowledge (aka new PA model), with donor support as the ‘syringe’ Outcome? * Weak, late implementation (40% of WB CSR projects) * reinventing of the reform wheel Explanation?‘Political will’ Remedy?‘Selectivity’

5 The problem with the Bank analysis What is ‘political will’, and why is it so often missing? How will ‘jam tomorrow’ (selectivity) work if ‘jam by lunchtime’ (conditionality) failed? Risks disempowering aid agencies in relation to very poor countries

6 Importance of commitment (aka ‘political will’ Ubiquitous Associated with development project outcomes (including PAR) Entered the mainstream policy discourse Led to calls for ‘selectivity’ in aid allocation

7 Groping towards a solution: a model of commitment ANTECEDENTS ELEMENTS OUTCOME Political capacity- voluntary  strong political base- explicit  leadership  - challenging  Implementation Administrative capacity- public  united reform team- irrevocable  overall capacity

8 Civil service reform in Swaziland What will generate commitment?

9 Swaziland (not Switzerland!) Landlocked, bordered by South Africa and Mozambique Fast-growing population of 900, th out of 174 countries on UN Human Development Index (in 2000) Lower middle-income country: stagnant GDP of $1400 A monoethnic monarchy Low donor and debt dependency

10 The failure of reform Swaziland the ‘graveyard of reform’: many reports, little implementation

11 Other explanations of failure Money? – reform is cheap, indebtedness is low Implementation? – hasn’t arisen Weak capacity? – yes, but interacts with political factors

12 Extent of commitment Strong executive (ostensibly) voluntary public x consensus x explicit and challenging programme x irrevocable action

13 Understanding commitment ‘Dualism’ in government – so ‘strong executive’ is split Traditional side is pre-eminent Patron-client relations in land tenure and in civil service staffing Consequent resistance to staffing reform, with its implicit shift from ascriptive to achievement criteria (from ‘who you know’ to ‘what you know’!) Reform proposals serve to deflect criticism from the reform lobby

14 Prospects for reform in Swaziland Status quo will continue: more stillborn proposals Indigenous political pressure will prompt fundamental political change Incremental approach: staffing reform feasible because it is not a fundamental threat Restoring the independence of CSB would represent ‘irrevocable action’

15 Civil service reform in Morocco What will generate commitment?

16 Outline of reform Multiparty democracy as per 1996 constitution Reform team established in Civil Service Ministry Good management charter UNDP support as lead donor (yes!)

17 Outcome of reform (as of 2002) Awareness-raising and exhortation Initiatives taken by individual ministries (e.g. performance appraisal) Charter had low profile Most ministries unaffected by reform UNDP evaluation: –the programme ‘seems a little timid to us … concrete results remain some way off’ – termination of support

18 Commitment in Morocco Political base: divided (see below) Admin capacity: a curate’s egg (good in parts) voluntary public  explicit  challenging  irrevocable

19 Understanding commitment Awareness-raising has been necessary Structural mistake of putting reform in legalistic CS ministry ‘Dualism’ in government: Palace and officials committed, but nobody wants to jump first ‘Timidity’ derives from ingrained preference for: holding the ring; keeping options open; not putting heads above parapets … … which derives from national disposition to seek consensus (good!) and passiveness (attentisme – bad!)

20 Prospects for reform in Morocco Reframe the problem in political, not public administration terms Draft keynote speech for king, setting up South Africa/UK style ‘royal commission’ Place commission Secretariat in PM’s office Continue awareness-raising and promoting ministry initiatives

21 Case study implications A definition of commitment helps to ‘read the signals’ of – and to predict! – government commitment to reform Identifying commitment requires political analysis Where commitment is absent, building commitment must take priority over ‘traditional PAR activities

22 Summary of presentation The ‘traditional’ model of reform: a (World Bank) critique Commitment as a response to reform failure: developing a model Applying the model in Swaziland and Morocco: the primacy of politics Building commitment in Swaziland and Morocco: idiosyncratic actions Implications for Public Administration Reform


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