Clay Wescott draws on his global experience and talks about civil service reform programs in countries around the world. He talks about his involvement in such programs in Vietnam, including aspects such as downsizing and the introduction of one-stop shops. He also recalls the introduction of an effective but contentious computer-based budgeting system in Kenya in the 1980s. Wescott reflects on the difficulty of reforming a civil service that had been used as a tool of a peace process, such as in Cambodia, where positions were parceled out in order to get different factions to buy into the process. He also identifies the importance of building reforms to last beyond a current window of opportunity, and of selling a vision of reform that people want to buy into. He also talks about civil service censuses and outsourcing in Nepal and capacity-building programs in Eritrea, Timor-Leste and Afghanistan.
At the time of this interview, Clay Wescott was a visiting lecturer at Princeton University and the principal regional cooperation specialist for the Asian Development Bank. His work has covered e-government, regional cooperation, governance assessment, civil service reform, public finance, decentralization, citizen participation and combating corruption. He worked all over the world, including Kenya, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, Ghana, Nepal, Eritrea, Timor-Leste and other countries. Before joining the ADB, he worked in the governance division of the United Nations Development Programme, assisting countries to formulate and carry out reform programs in Asia and the Pacific, Africa and the Caribbean. He earned a bachelor's degree in government from Harvard University and a doctorate from Boston University, and he was an editorial board member of the International Public Management Journal and the International Public Management Review.