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Civil service reform and the World Bank


  • Nunberg, Barbara
  • Nellis, John


The emphasis placed by the World Bank in recent years on the major overhaul of developing country economies has accentuated the importance of adequate public sector administrative capacity, especially within the central core of government, that is, the civil service. This paper surveys recent Bank experience in civil service reform, and begins to assess the progress made. The paper focuses on two separate but related aspects of civil service reform work. One deals with the shorter term, emergency steps to reform public pay and employment policies. These reforms usually focus on measures to contain the cost and size of the civil service, mostly in the context of structural adjustment lending. The other set of reforms are those dealing with longer range civil service strengthening efforts, some of which may support various nearer term cost containment measures, but most of which are directed toward ongoing, sustained management improvements. Many of these reforms have been included in technical assistance projects, either those that stand alone as"development management"operations or those that constitute direct institutional support for specific actions taken in SALs.

Suggested Citation

  • Nunberg, Barbara & Nellis, John, 1990. "Civil service reform and the World Bank," Policy Research Working Paper Series 422, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:422

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    Cited by:

    1. Stevenson, Gail, 1992. "How public sector pay and employment affect labor markets : research issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 944, The World Bank.


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