Executive Summary

 

Background l Themes

 

 Background

 

The driving forces of reform

Over the past five years the MENA region has made a strong commitment to the reform of public governance. What have been the driving forces behind these reforms? Many MENA governments cite the need to attract investment and support economic growth as their primary motivation, based on growing recognition that weak public governance can pose a major barrier to private sector growth. Dissatisfaction with the comparatively weak growth performance of the region compared to other developing regions has also fuelled this response. Other governments have cited the need to combat corruption and state-building objectives as primary drivers for their comprehensive governance reform programme. The growing use of international rankings and greater collaboration with international conventions (such as World Trade Organisation membership) have also highlighted areas of governance needing attention, motivating and assisting governments to take action on a broad front.

 

This report reviews achievements in implementing public governance reforms in nine areas: human resource management, public finance, integrity, regulation and law drafting, administrative simplification, e-government, public-private partnerships, gender, and water resource management. Each area of reform is treated through a discussion of overall strategies and country case studies (listed in Annex A) profiling achievements in the first decade of the 21st century, and particularly the past five years.

 

Chapter 1 examines the overall strategies used by MENA governments to pursue reform, drawing on the rich experience contained in the nine chapters that follow. This review finds that two governmental poles have typically led these reform programmes across the region. Overall leadership has come from the prime ministers’ offices, with technical support from two specialised units attached to the prime ministry: ministries of public sector reform (a common feature of regional governments) and civil service bureaus. Despite tackling a broad agenda with very limited personnel and few if any operations outside the capital, these units have played key strategic, co-ordination and monitoring roles.

 

Finance ministries have also played a key role in reform implementation. As a major line agency with countrywide operations and day-to-day involvement with other central government agencies, ministries of finance have a strategic overview of government, both horizontally and vertically. Supported by generally strong management teams and greater operational flexibility than other line ministries, they have become centres for experimentation and innovation, even in non-financial areas such as outsourcing, public-private partnerships, e-government and personnel management.

 

While reform strategies have naturally varied across countries in the region, they generally emphasise four pillars of public governance: policy-making capacities, public finance, human resource management and the rule of law. In reforms to each of these areas, governments have taken different approaches with differing results. Although it is impossible to generalise about such a diverse region, one overall impression from the case studies is that the most effective approaches have included consultation with internal and external stakeholders, experimentation to test innovations followed by a gradual, decentralised approach to implementation. These have tended to outperform top-down, centralised and non-participatory approaches. Value-based methods, such as developing codes of conduct, have also helped, when combined with stakeholder consultation and participation in implementation. Sustained leadership and determination in the face of the inevitable barriers have also been key to success in the MENA, as in other regions.

 

 Thematic Issues

 

Chapter 2: Improving the management of human resources in the public sector

 

Chapter 3: Improving the management of public finances


Chapter 4: Fostering integrity in the public sector

 

Chapter 5: Ensuring high quality regulation


Chapter 6: Overcoming barriers to administrative simplification


Chapter 7: Achievements in e-government

 

Chapter 8: Ensuring the efficient use of public-private partnerships in MENA countries


Chapter 9:
Introducing gender approaches to public management


Chapter 10: Enhancing environmental governance: The case of water

 

 

 

Countries list

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cape Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China (People’s Republic of)
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • European Union
  • Faeroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guernsey
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao (China)
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia (Federated States of)
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestinian Administered Areas
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Serbia and Montenegro (pre-June 2006)
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Virgin Islands (UK)
  • Wallis and Futuna Islands
  • Western Sahara
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe