At the time of this interview, Gregory Ellis had been a senior operations officer at the Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries Group at the World Bank for about a year. His parent organization was the Australian Agency for International Development. He was posted by AusAID in the Solomon Islands between 2005 and 2007, as deputy program manager for the Machinery of Government Program, part of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands. Prior to that, between 2000 and 2002 he held a posting in Timor-Leste after the withdrawal of Indonesian forces.
Senior Operations Officer, Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries Group
Country of Reform:
Date of Interview:
Monday, July 20, 2009
Gregory Ellis, drawing on his experience in reform programs in various countries, discusses general themes in civil reform service across various contexts, especially from the point of view of donor organizations. He emphasizes the need for understanding the political economy of countries undergoing reform, and the need for understanding indigenous customs. He places immense import on the citizen-state relationship in fragile states, and discusses how a state should be involved in service delivery. Ellis especially emphasizes deference to the host nation’s priorities in creating a reform agenda. In discussing capacity building in the Solomon Islands, Ellis reflects upon the dichotomy between service delivery by donors and the sometimes deleterious effect of technical assistance on long-term capacity building. He goes on to discuss restructuring organizations and combating patronage through professional associations, decentralized recruitment and autonomous decision making. Ellis emphasizes especially the role of local consultation, continuity in visionary leadership and long-term commitment in achieving success in fragile states.
Gregory Ellis Interview
Nationality of Interviewee: