Power to the Ministries: Decentralization in the Civil Service, Botswana, 1999-2001

Full Publication 
Abstract 

Between 1999 and 2001, the powerful Directorate of Public Service Management in Botswana decentralized personnel authority to line ministries.  This process was critical in enabling ministries to be more efficient while also allowing the directorate to focus on more substantive issues concerning the public service.  The Botswana case demonstrates three components that contributed to the successful devolving of responsibility from a central public service ministry: 1) the training for and establishment of new human resource mechanisms within the line ministries, 2) the creation of new accountability mechanisms to ensure that new powers were not abused, and 3) the creation of a new role and identity for the relatively disenfranchised central public service ministry.

Daniel Scher drafted this case study on the basis of interviews conducted in Gaborone, Botswana, in July 2009. 

Associated Interview(s):  Taboka Nkhwa, Rose Seretse

Keywords 
civil service
oversight
Decentralization
computerization
Botswana
institutional capacity
bureaucratic structure
Focus Area(s): 
Civil Service
Critical Tasks: 
Civil service corruption
Computerization of records
Performance management system
Training
Core Challenge: 
Devolution
Country of Reform: 
Botswana
Type: 
Case Studies
Author: 
Daniel Scher