At the time of this interview, Gord Evans was an examiner of the effectiveness of cabinet offices for the World Bank. He had extensive experience studying and supporting cabinet office effectiveness. He had prior experience, working in the cabinet office in the government of Ontario, Canada. There he had the title of Deputy Clerk of the Executive Council, where he sat in on the cabinet and committee meetings and took the minutes. After doing this for eight years, he thought it would be time for a career switch and believed that it would be interesting to go out and work internationally. He desired to work with cabinet offices around the world; and luckily around this time the World Bank gained interest in studying things like prime minister, cabinets, and cabinet offices. Therefore, Evans was able to work with the World Bank and help them develop an approach to the examination of cabinet offices. Now, 14-15 years later, the program has been successful, and Evans has worked in approximately 30 countries.
Former Cabinet Consultant
Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC)
Centers of Government
Aligning policy and budget
Improving cabinet efficiency
Preparation of policy papers and choices
Princeton, New Jersey
Date of Interview:
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Gord Evans, as an examiner for the World Bank, discusses the improvement of the effectiveness of cabinet offices. He explains why the head of the state would want to improve their cabinet, detailing how they need the machinery of government to work well for them to help them govern. He talks about how the improvements of the respective cabinets depend on the type of government dynamics that are present. Evans talks about how there are high-level and low-level reforms. The high-level reforms are those that are ambitious, and challenging due to their complexity. In great contrast, the low-level reforms often pertain to administrative issues, those that are less difficult to adjust, such as not enough people to complete a certain task. He talks and elaborates about the biggest implementation challenges he has seen across countries referring to both levels of reform. Evan explains how there are not universal steps or changes that usually produce the biggest improvements in cabinet office performance, and how it is dependent upon the devotion of the prime minister and how sold they are in the reform’s initial proposal. Evans then talks about delivery units, and gives his opinion on the matter, stating how their ability to work is different in a parliamentary system versus a presidential system. He also talks about how official prioritize issues that they focus upon.
Gordon Evans - Full Interview
Nationality of Interviewee:
Deputy Clerk of the Executive Council