Improving the Quality of Decision Making: Fighting Reform Fatigue in Lithuania, 2006-2012

Full Publication 
Abstract 
In 2006, Lithuania was in the midst of its most robust period of economic growth and political stability since independence. The Baltic nation was a model of administrative capacity among new European Union members. But after years of energetic reform, weaknesses started to emerge in the strategic planning system the government had developed to meet the requirements for European Union accession. Civil servants increasingly viewed planning procedures as technical requirements rather than useful tools. And although planning documents proliferated, the system did not provide decision makers with the information required to assess policy impacts and performance. Officials from the prime minister’s office and the Ministry of Finance engaged other ministries in an effort to strengthen the strategic planning system. They refocused government on priority policies and improved the quality of information that decision makers needed. They improved the data management systems, reduced the number of policy priorities and impact assessments required, and empowered ministers in their sectors. In 2008, when a global financial crisis hit, new leaders endorsed and expanded the reform effort. 
 

Jonathan (Yoni) Friedman drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Vilnius, Lithuania, during January and February 2012. Case published June 2012.  A separate case study, Focusing on Priority Goals: Strategic Planning in Lithuania, 2000-2004,” deals with the initial implementation of the strategic planning system in Lithuania.

Associated Interview(s):  Giedrius Kazakevicius, Kestutis Rekerta

Keywords 
reform unit
strategic goals
accession
EU
European Union
cabinet
Budget Alignment
Chancellery
PM's office
center of government
Lithuania
Canada
institutionalization
strategic planning
prioritization
policy system
Focus Area(s): 
Centers of Government
Civil Service
Critical Tasks: 
Adaptive management
Aligning policy and budget
Improving cabinet efficiency
Inter-ministerial coordination
Strategic planning
Core Challenge: 
Coordination
Country of Reform: 
Lithuania
Type: 
Case Studies
Author: 
Jonathan (Yoni) Friedman