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Public Sector Reform: What Works and Why? An IEG evaluation of World Bank Support


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  • Independent Evaluation Group
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    The World Bank support for public sector reform has grown notably in recent years. To address the questions of what is working and why in this area, the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) has examined Bank lending and other support for public sector reform in four areas: public financial management, administrative and civil service, revenue administration, and anticorruption and transparency. A majority of countries that borrowed to support public sector reform improved their performance in some dimensions, but there were shortcomings in important aspects. Middle-income borrowers saw improvements in their public sector quality more frequently than low-income borrowers, even though the low-income group usually had greater needs for public sector improvement. Performance usually improved for public financial management, tax administration, and transparency, but not for civil service. Direct measures to reduce corruption, such as anticorruption laws and commissions, rarely succeeded, as they often lacked the necessary support from political elites and the judicial system.

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    Bibliographic Info

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    This book is provided by The World Bank in its series World Bank Publications with number 6484 and published in 2008.

    ISBN: 978-0-8213-7589-1
    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:6484

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    Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
    Phone: (202) 477-1234
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    Keywords: Public Sector Economics Banks and Banking Reform Governance - National Governance Public Sector Expenditure Policy Public Sector Corruption and Anticorruption Measures Finance and Financial Sector Development Public Sector Development;


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    1. Pollitt, Christopher & Bouckaert, Geert, 2004. "Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199268498, October.
    2. Islam, Roumeen, 2003. "do more transparent government govern better?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3077, The World Bank.
    3. Schick, Allen, 1998. "Why Most Developing Countries Should Not Try New Zealand's Reforms," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 123-31, February.
    4. Paul, S., 1990. "Institutionnal Reforms In Sector Adjustment Operations; The World Bank'S Experience," World Bank - Discussion Papers, World Bank 92, World Bank.
    5. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2006. "Using Micro-Surveys to Measure and Explain Corruption," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 359-370, February.
    6. Brian Levy & Sahr Kpundeh, 2004. "Building State Capacity in Africa : New Approaches, Emerging Lessons," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14878, October.
    7. Brian Levy, 2007. "Governance Reform : Bridging Monitoring and Action," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6742, October.
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