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Working with the GrainIntegrating Governance and Growth in Development Strategies$
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Brian Levy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199363803

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199363803.001.0001

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Function Versus Form in Public-Sector Reform

Function Versus Form in Public-Sector Reform

(p.135) Chapter 8 Function Versus Form in Public-Sector Reform
Working with the Grain

Brain Levy

Oxford University Press

Chapter 8 explores how to achieve a “good fit” between country characteristics and options for public-sector reform. It distinguishes among three types of public-sector reforms: comprehensive reforms to build a high-performing core of government, cascading downward throughout the public-sector hierarchy; incremental efforts to improve public management, focused on specific functions, sectors, public agencies, and locales; and multistakeholder initiatives that engage stakeholders in processes of formulating rules and policies and assuring their implementation. Comprehensive approaches can work in settings where formal institutions (or leadership) and a commitment to achieving development results are strong. In personalized-competitive settings, multistakeholder engagement takes on heightened relevance—as a complement to targeted initiatives to improve public-sector capacity incrementally and as the basis for building and sustaining islands of effectiveness even in the absence of a supportive public sector. Their success depends on developmentally oriented coalitions having sufficient strength to trump predatory threats.

Keywords:   principal agent, hierarchy, collective action, multistakeholder governance, accountability, public sector reform, public management, bureaucratic quality

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