Managing public services

Managing the public sector
Improving governmental managerial instruments
Success in improving the performance of the public sector is largely determined by a government's ability to staff and manage its public service. That in turn depends partly on attractive salaries and career prospects in the public service and partly on political leaders, being committed to high standards of performance and integrity. Even then, public servants often have to work through and with institutions that have been established only recently-and in conditions that may not be conducive to efficiency. In many developing countries, public servants have a more challenging task than their counterparts in developed countries.

Public employment in developing countries has grown rapidly in recent years in response to the demand for improved public services. But often there is overstaffing at lower levels, accompanied by shortages of professional and technical staff. These shortages are exacerbated by the "brain drain". Public service training needs to be made more relevant to the demands of the job. This requires forging closer links between trainers and trainees and between training and career development, as well as developing local training materials and programmes.

A strong civil service requires a personnel office that actively manages rather than passively administers personnel policies. Strengthening personnel management demands, above all, improving the management capabilities of personnel offices and giving them the status they need to carry out policy reforms. Other policy measures include establishing career schemes for occupational groups, instituting an effective system of performance evaluation, and avoiding big salary differentials between the private sector and the civil service.

Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies