Denis Biseko

Senior Public Sector Specialist
World Bank
Focus Area(s)
Civil Service
Critical Tasks
Salary structure reform
Civil service recruitment
Performance management system
Andrew Schalkwyk
Country of Reform
Dar es Salaam
Tanzania, United Republic of
Date of Interview
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Denis Biseko of the World Bank traces the history of civil service reform in Tanzania back to the mid-1990s, focusing on two phases of the Public Service Reform Program. He outlines some of the institutional underpinnings of reform, such as open performance appraisals for public servants, merit-based recruitment, and capacity building. He also describes various challenges involved in reform, including retaining qualified staff, a lack of political will, and announcing new policies without taking into account the plans that had already been set out. Biseko argues that the government should have started small rather than push for a comprehensive approach of pursuing reforms simultaneously. He discusses pay policy reform in detail as well the evolution of donor relations. Donors have played an instrumental role in civil service reforms in Tanzania, but the government has by and large been in the lead in terms of their design. Biseko explains how reform was affected by the decentralization process. He relates the process for determining allowances and setting targets for advanced salary enhancements and describes various methods for determining the success of reform policies. He maintains that the government was not able to maintain the size of its workforce because of the growth in the demand for social services, especially education and health. He highlights the importance of being able to ensure that successes are demonstrable on a smaller level before moving to a larger scale.

Full Interview

75 MB
Denis Biseko - Full Interview

At the time of this interview, Denis Biseko was the senior public sector specialist for the World Bank in Tanzania, where he managed a World Bank project involving public financial management reform and legal and judicial reform. Before joining the World Bank, he was a consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he worked primarily on public sector reform and organization and capacity building.

capacity building
civil service commission
Donor Relations
merit pay
pay reform
payroll/pay delivery
performance management
Reform sequencing
technical assistance
Not specified