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Civil service reform in developing countries

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Title: Civil service reform in developing countries  
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Subject: Reform, Public administration, Economic geography, Mark Abdollahian, Brazilian Civil Service
Collection: Anti-Corruption Measures, Development, Economic Development, Economic Geography, Public Administration, Reform
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Civil service reform in developing countries

restructuring, improving human resource management and training, enhancing pay and benefits while assuring sustainability under overall fiscal constraints, and strengthening measures for public participation, transparency, and combating corruption.

Important differences between developing countries and developed countries require that civil service and other reforms first rolled out in developed countries be carefully adapted to local conditions in developing countries.


  • References 1
    • Overview 1.1
    • Data and Diagnostics 1.2
    • Structure of the Public Sector 1.3
    • Personnel Management 1.4
    • Combating Corruption 1.5
    • Issues for Reform 1.6
    • Engaging support for reform 1.7



  • Rao, S. 2013. Civil service reform: Topic guide. Birmingham, UK: GSDRC, University of Birmingham.

Data and Diagnostics

  • Abdollahian, Mark, Michael Baranick, Brian Efird, and Jacek Kugler, 2006. Senturion A Predictive Political Simulation Model. Center for Technology and National Security Policy. National Defense University .
  • Global Integrity, 2007. Global Integrity Report.
  • International Budget Project, 2006. Open Budget Initiative. Washington, DC.
  • Hood, Christopher, Craig Beeston and Ruth Dixon. 2007. "Rating the Rankings: Assessing International Rankings of Public Service Performance". Paper prepared for the IPMN Workshop, ‘Ranking and Rating Public Services’, Worcester College, Oxford, 7-9 August 2007
  • Polimap, undated. PolicyMaker 2.3 Software Computer-Assisted Political Analysis.
  • Transparency International, 2007. Corruption Perceptions Index.
  • Wescott, C. 2003, “Measuring Governance in the Asia Pacific Region and its relevance for tax administrators”, in Asia-Pacific Tax Bulletin (APTB), Vol 9, No. 2, February 2003
  • World Bank, 2008. Governance Matters.
  • World Bank, 2007. “Actionable Governance Indicators”.
  • World Bank, 2007. Country Policy And Institutional Assessments 2007 Assessment Questionnaire, pp. 39–40.
  • World Bank. 2005. Public Financial Management—Performance Measurement Framework. Washington: PEFA Secretariat.
  • World Bank, 2002. Monitoring Comprehensive Reform Programs: The example of Albania.

Structure of the Public Sector

  • OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). 1996. "Civil Service Legislation Contents Checklist." SIGMA Papers No. 5. Paris:
  • OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). 1996. "Civil Service Legislation: Checklist On Secondary Legislation (and other Regulatory Instruments)" SIGMA Papers No. 14. Paris: OECD/SIGMA.
  • Schiavo-Campo, Salvatore and Hazel M. McFerson, 2008. Public Management in Global Perspective. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, pp. 70–123 .
  • Clay G Wescott 2006. “Decentralization Policy and Practice in Viet Nam: 1991-2001”, in Paul Smoke, Eduardo Gomez and George Peterson, eds. Decentralization in Asia and Latin America: A Comparative Interdisciplinary Perspective, Edward Elgar Press, Northampton, Mass.
  • Clay G Wescott 2005. "Improving Road Administration in the Asia-Pacific Region: some Lessons from Experience" in Kidd J B & Richter F-J (eds). Infrastructure and Productivity in Asia: Political, Financial, Physical and Intellectual Capital underpinnings, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 123–43.
  • Wilson, James Q, 1989. Bureaucracy. NY: Basic Books, pp. 154–75.
  • World Bank, 2000. Architecture of the Public Sector.

Personnel Management

  • Victor Lapuente and Marina Nistotskaya, "To The Short-Sighted Victor Belong the Spoils: Politics and Merit Adoption in Comparative Perspective," Governance 22.3 (July 2009): 431-458
  • Hood, C. and G. Peters, with G.O.M. Lee, eds. 2003. Reward For High Public Office: Asian And Pacific Rim States, London: Taylor and Francis (Routledge).
  • Mintzberg, Henry. 1996. “Managing Government, Governing Management”. Harvard Business Review. May–June.;jsessionid=2MVAO11O42FL0AKRGWCB5VQBKE0YOISW?id=96306&referral=2340
  • Perry, James L and Annie Hondeghem, eds. 2008. “Symposium on Public Service Motivation.” International Public Management Journal, 11 (1), pp. 3–167.
  • Rath, Tom, 2007. Strengths Finder 2.0. NY: Gallup Press.
  • Schiavo-Campo, Salvatore and Hazel M. McFerson, 2008. Public Management in Global Perspective. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, pp. 175–247, 293-322.
  • Clay G Wescott. and Brinkerhoff, J. (eds), 2006. Converting Migration Drains into Gains Harnessing the Resources of Overseas Professionals. Manila: Asian Development Bank.
  • Clay G Wescott 2006. "Adapting Asia - Pacific Public Administration to a Globalizing World: Some Lessons From Experience", in Ali Farazmand and Jack
  • Pinkowski, eds. Handbook of Globalization, Governance, and Public Administration. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Taylor and Francis: 491-518. 978-0-8493-3726-0
  • World Bank, 2008. Using Training to Build Capacity for Development. Independent Evaluation Group. Washington, DC: World Bank.
  • World Bank, 2000. Personnel Management.

Combating Corruption

  • Bräutigam, D. & Knack, S. 2004. “Foreign Aid, Institutions, and Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Economic Development and Cultural Change, Volume 52, Number 2, January.
  • Campos, J. Edgardo and Sanjay Pradhan, 2007. The Many Faces of Corruption. Washington, DC: World Bank.
  • Ear, Sophal. 2007. "Does Aid Dependence Worsen Governance?" International Public Management Journal, 10 (3): 259–286.
  • Wescott, C. 2003. “Combating Corruption in Southeast Asia”, in Kidd J B & Richter F-J, eds. Fighting Corruption In Asia: Causes, Effects and Remedies. Singapore, World Scientific Press,
  • Robert Williams and Robin Theobald, Eds. 1986. The Politics of Corruption (4 vol). Northampton, Mass.: Elgar Reference Collection.

Issues for Reform

  • Batley, Richard and George A. Larbi, 2004. Changing Role of Government The Reform of Public Services in Developing Countries. Basingstoke Hampshire (UK): Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Cheung, Anthony B. L., 2005. "The Politics of Administrative Reforms in Asia: Paradigms and Legacies, Paths and Diversities". Governance April 2005 - Vol. 18 Issue 2: 257-282.
  • Jenkins, Kate and William Plowden, 2006. Governance and Nationbuilding: the failure of international intervention. Northampton, Mass.: Edward Elgar.
  • Pollitt, Christopher, and Geert Bouchaert. 2004. Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis. Revised edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.,M1
  • Schedler, Kuno and Isabella Proeller, eds. 2007. Cultural Aspects of Public Management reform. Amsterdam: Elsevier JAI.
  • Schick, Allen. 1998. ‘Why most developing countries should not try New Zealand’s reforms’, The World Bank Research Observer, 13(1):123–31.
  • Clay G Wescott 2007. “E-Government And The Applications Of Technology To Government Services” in Dennis A. Rondinelli and John M. Heffron, eds. Globalization In Transition: Forces Of Adjustment In The Asia Pacific Region. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Reinner.
  • Clay G Wescott 1999. Guiding principles on civil service reform in Africa: an empirical review. The International Journal of Public Sector Management. Volume 12, Number 2 (Online). Available:
  • World Bank, 2008. Public Sector Reform: What Works and Why? An IEG Evaluation of World Bank Support. http:/
  • World Bank, 2000. “Common Problems”.

Engaging support for reform

  • Bentley, Arthur Fisher, 1908. The Process of Government; a Study of Social Pressures: A Study of Social Pressures. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Norma M. Riccucci and Frank J. Thompson, 2008. “The New public management, homeland security and the politics of civil service reform” Public Administration Review. September/October: 877-890.
  • Clay G Wescott, 2003. “In Asia, the Web is routing Power to the People”, International Herald Tribune, October 29.
  • World Bank, 2000. Engaging Support for reform.
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