Good governance is critical to long-term economic, social and environmental development. However, evaluating government activities and performance is challenging due to the limited availability of comparative data. Best practices are rarely definable and are often based on subjective assessments.
In 2005, the OECD launched the ‘Government at a Glance’ project to collect data and develop indicators describing government activities and performance. In particular, the project focuses on public management policies and practices in the areas of human resources management, budgeting, regulatory management and integrity. In addition, it collects data on the size and reach of government in terms of revenues, expenditures and employment. The goal of the project is to help countries better understand their practices and assess, plan and measure public sector reforms. In the longer term, it will hopefully contribute to the OECD-wide lesson learning process concerning sector efficiency and institutional effectiveness.
The latest edition of Government at a Glance can be found at: http://www.oecd.org/gov/govataglance.htm
Intended to be a biennial publication, future editions of Government at a Glance will build upon the core indicators introduced in the first edition of the publication, updating the data at regular intervals. These time series data enable governments to compare their institutional arrangements and performance to other OECD countries both at one point in time and over time; to shed light on the possible causes of performance differences among governments; and to facilitate more in-depth analysis of the impact of public sector reforms.
In addition to collecting time series data on key indicators included in the first edition, the next edition of Government at a Glance may focus on new areas explored in the technical papers below.
The initial Government at a Glance dataset and the 2009 edition of the publication were based on four technical papers. These papers have been combined and summarised in the publication Measuring Government Activity (2009), a technical companion to Government at a Glance 2009 that introduces the comprehensive data classification and analysis framework used in the project and discusses in detail the challenges of output and outcome measurement in the public sector.
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Permanent URL: www.oecd.org/gov/indicators