accountability

Sigrid Arzt

Ref Batch
M
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
4
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Robert Joyce
Name
Sigrid Arzt
Interviewee's Position
Former National Security Advisor to the President of Mexico
Language
English
Town/City
Mexico City
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

In this interview, Sigrid Arzt Colunga explains the role of the Technical Secretary of the National Security Council in Mexico. She discusses the administrative coordination necessary to serve national and public security needs in Mexico. Just as the Calderon administration is coming into power, she describes the political diplomacy and cooperation she uses to transition into her newly created role as the President’s security adviser. She also details the process of communicating with and reporting to the President and Congress, as well as coordinating efforts with other ministers and technical secretaries. Arzt says one of the challenges of the job is that the legal mandate detailing the power of the position is vague, and because it is a new position, others in the bureaucracy and older agencies do not immediately accept her authority. Arzt also explains the mission and vision behind the National Security Plan, and describes some of her responsibilities, like allocating budget appropriations, working with the governors to secure states, and coordinating agenda items for the President’s meetings with senior administrators. 

 

 

Profile

At the time of this interview Sigrid Arzt Colunga was working with a think tank, conduting policy research in Mexico. She had extensive experience working on national and public security issues through her academic work, with the Fundacion Rafael Preciado, and through public service. She worked both as a public servant and a consultant for Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional  (CISEN) and served as Technical Secretary to Attorney General Antonio Lozano Gracia during President Ernesto Zedillo’s administration.  She also formerly directed the NGO Democracia de Derechos Humanos y Seguridad, an organization that gathered information and made policy recommendations regarding issues of security, human rights and transparency. She officially joined President Felipe Calderon’s transition team in October 2006 as the Technical Secretary of the National Security Council, and served in that role until resigning in March 2009. 

A Blueprint for Transparency: Integrity Pacts for Public Works, El Salvador, 2009–2014

Author
Maya Gainer
Focus Area(s)
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Abstract

When Gerson Martínez became head of El Salvador’s Ministry of Public Works in 2009, the organization was notorious for corruption that contributed to poor-quality construction, unfinished projects, and frequent lawsuits. Working with a prominent nongovernmental organization (NGO) and industry representatives, Martínez introduced integrity pacts as monitoring mechanisms intended to prevent corruption. The agreements publicly committed officials and companies to reject bribery, collusion, and other corrupt practices and enabled NGOs to monitor bidding and construction. Although limited capacity and resistance from some midlevel ministry staff hindered the monitors’ work, integrity pacts focused the attention of both the government and the public on problems in major public works projects; and participants said the pacts helped deter corruption in those they covered. In 2012, integrity pacts became part of El Salvador’s Open Government Partnership action plan, in implicit recognition of the tool’s contribution to reform. As of August 2015, the ministry had signed 31 integrity pacts involving five projects worth a combined US$62 million. Although sustaining the initiative proved a challenge, integrity pacts served as a foundation for increased collaboration between government, civil society, and the private sector—and as a first step toward a new institutional culture at the Ministry of Public Works.

 

Maya Gainer drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in San Salvador in July 2015. Case published in October, 2015. This case study was funded by the Open Government Partnership.

Nitish Kumar

Ref Batch
ZZ
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
1
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Rushda Majeed
Name
Nitish Kumar
Interviewee's Position
Former Chief Minister
Language
Hindi/English
Town/City
Patna, Bihar
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

In this interview, Nitish Kumar explains the role of the Chief Minister and the progress made in Bihar through governance and reform. Kumar talks about initial challenges and a changing atmosphere in Bihar over the course of his administration, with the mood shifting from fear and mistrust to confidence in government and law and order. Detailing major reforms in governance, law and order, education, healthcare, and more, Kumar describes specific actions taken by Bihar’s government. These include passage of an Arms Act to secure public spaces, expansion of and increased attendance in public schools, increased infrastructure and transportation, delegation of responsibility in government offices, implementation of a Rights to Public Services Act and more. Kumar discusses what he sees as successes from his time in office, and the steps he takes to effectively govern the people of Bihar.

Profile

At the time of this interview, Nitish Kumar was the former Chief Minister. Kumar had previous experience in governing from his work as a Minister in the Union Government of India. Before that, he briefly worked with the Bihar State Electricity Board, putting his Electrical Engineering degree from NIT Patna to use. Kumar belongs to the Janata Dal (United) political party in India, and has gained popularity by initiating a series of developmental reforms in the state of Bihar during his times as Chief Minister there. His supporters and fans nicknamed him “sushasan babu,” which roughly translates to “man of good governance.”

Edmundo Perez Yoma

Ref Batch
K
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
16
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Robert Joyce
Name
Edmundo Perez Yoma
Interviewee's Position
Former Minister of the Interior
Language
English
Town/City
Santiago
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

In this interview, Edmundo Jaime Pérez Yoma, the former Minister of Interior under the Bachelet Administration discusses the 2010 presidential transition process in Chile, specifically how they transitioned from one coalition to another, from President Bachelet’s left-wing coalition to President Piñera’s right-wing coalition. He argues that the main responsibility of an outgoing government to an incoming government is to make the transition as smooth as possible. He mentions that to accomplish this, he gave his team a list of instructions on how to effectively handle the transition. Some of the instructions included to not hire any more government officials and to communicate and schedule meetings with President Piñera’s appointed ministers. Moreover, Perez Yoma acknowledges that some ministers were very reluctant to work with the Piñera administration, given that they belonged to a different coalition. He claims that to address this issue he met with those ministers and told them that working with the Piñera administration was in their benefit because it would prevent the incoming officials from blaming them for lack of information. Perez Yoma mentions that the transition process went very smoothly until the February 27th earthquake. Once the earthquake struck, he argues, President Piñera and his administration became very proactive and wanted to manage the situation by themselves. In addition, they lost support from people, like the commander-in-chief of the army, who decided to follow Piñera’s orders because he already had a position secured in his administration. As a result, communication and cooperation between the two administrations worsened after the earthquake. He concludes by recommending to Ministers of Interiors facing a similar transition to the one he handled to prioritize the interests of the country over the interests of both the outgoing and the incoming government.

Case Study:  Transferring Power in a Crisis: Presidential Transition in Chile, 2010

Profile

Edmundo Jaime Pérez Yoma is a well-known politician from the Christian Democrat Party of Chile. He served as the Minster of Interior for President Michelle Bachelet’s first administration and helped ease the presidential transition process from President Bachelet to President Piñera. Prior to this position, he served, twice, as Minister of Defense during the administration of President Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle. In addition to his political career, in the 1990s, he was president on the board of Petrox and Chilectra Metropolitana, oil and electricity companies, respectively.

Full Audio File Size
49 MB
Full Audio Title
Edmundo Perez Yoma Full Interview

Delivering on a Presidential Agenda: Sierra Leone's Strategy and Policy Unit, 2010-2011

Author
Michael Scharff
Country of Reform
Abstract

In 2010, President Ernest Bai Koroma struggled to implement his development agenda for Sierra Leone, unable to count on consistent follow-through by his own ministries. He had won election in 2007, five years after an 11-year civil war had decimated the civil service and destroyed much of the West African country’s infrastructure. Early in his presidency, Koroma had established an advisory group called the Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) in a bid to monitor ministries’ progress on major projects and to hold ministry staff accountable. During 2008–09, the SPU had made a few notable gains, particularly in formulating performance contracts with ministers and steering completion of the giant Bumbuna hydroelectric dam. But by 2010, major elements of Koroma’s development agenda had faltered, and the president knew he had to improve coordination and accountability at the center of government in order to address Sierra Leone’s daunting challenges. He hired a chief of staff, Kaifala Marah, and charged him with overhauling the SPU. Marah hired expert support staff and sharpened the unit’s focus. Victor Strasser-King, a retired geology professor who oversawthe successful completion of the long-delayed Bumbuna project while working as an SPU adviser, became director of the unit. Rather than spreading its efforts across all of the president’s priorities, the unit under Strasser-King targeted a handful of flagship projects. The revamped SPU held regular coordination meetings of the president and ministry officials that strengthened monitoring and accountability and identified logjams and bottlenecks that required presidential intervention. By late 2011, with support from the Africa Governance Initiative, the United Nations Development Programme and other partners, the SPU had increased interministerial coordination and significantly improved progress on priority programs. This case study describes the reforms in the president’s office at the center of government. 

Michael Scharff drafted this case study on the basis of interviews conducted in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in October 2011. Case published February 2012. For more examples of how Sierra Leone strengthened its center of government, see related cases, “Turning on the Lights in Freetown, Sierra Leone: Completing the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Plant, 2008–2009” and “A Promise Kept: How Sierra Leone’s President Introduced Free Health Care in One of the Poorest Nations on Earth, 2009–2010.”

Osman Gbla

Ref Batch
I
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
6
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Arthur Boutellis
Name
Osman Gbla
Interviewee's Position
Dean of the Faculty of Social Science and Law
Interviewee's Organization
University of Sierra Leone
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Sierra Leone
Place (Building/Street)
Center for Development and Security Analysis
Town/City
Freetown
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
Yes
Abstract

Osman Gbla talks about the double-edged transition that Sierra Leone has undergone, both from war to peace and from authoritarianism to multiparty democracy. Post-war reconstruction created an opportunity to overhaul the entire security sector. Within the police, reformers changed management structures; created a single department for complaints, discipline and internal investigation; implemented community policing structures that set up local boards across the country; overhauled recruitment and training procedures; and upgraded equipment. The reforms, initially driven by the British and other donors, have been taken over by Sierra Leoneans. Gbla believes that as a result of these reforms, public confidence in the police has grown. However, he notes that sustaining the reform effort will be difficult without continued financial support from donors and international partners.

Case Study: Building Strategic Capacity in the Police: Sierra Leone, 1998-2008

Profile

At the time of this interview, Osman Gbla was dean of the faculty of social science and law for Fourah Bay College at the University of Sierra Leone and founder the Center for Development and Security Analysis. He earned a doctorate, a master's degree in political science and bachelor's degrees from Fourah Bay College. He also received a diploma in advanced international conflict resolution from Uppsala University in Sweden. Gbla carried out several consultancies individually and collaboratively for national, regional and world bodies including the United Nations, World Bank and the Economic Community of West African States. His research covered peace, security and development in West Africa.

Full Audio File Size
17.6MB
Full Audio Title
Dr Osman Gbla-Full Interview

A Promise Kept: How Sierra Leone's President Introduced Free Health Care in One of the Poorest Nations on Earth, 2009-2010

Author
Michael Scharff
Country of Reform
Abstract

When Ernest Bai Koroma assumed the presidency of Sierra Leone in 2007, he promised to run his government as efficiently as a private business. A few years earlier, a brutal 11-year civil war had ended, leaving an estimated 50,000 dead and an additional two million displaced. The effects of the war gutted the government’s capacity to deliver basic services. Koroma launched an ambitious agenda that targeted key areas for improvement including energy, agriculture, infrastructure and health. In 2009, he scored a win with the completion of the Bumbuna hydroelectric dam that brought power to the capital, Freetown. At the same time, the president faced mounting pressure to reduce maternal and child death rates, which were the highest in the world. In November, he announced an initiative to provide free health care for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five years of age, and set the launch date for April 2010, only six months away. Working with the country’s chief medical officer, Dr. Kisito Daoh, he shuffled key staff at the health ministry, created committees that brought ministries, donors and non-governmental organizations together to move actions forward, and developed systems for monitoring progress. Strong support from the center of government proved critical to enabling the project to launch on schedule. Initial data showed an increase in utilization rates at health centers and a decline in child death rates. 

Michael Scharff drafted this case study on the basis of interviews conducted in Freetown, Sierra Leone and London, U.K., in September and October 2011. Case published February 2012. See related cases, “Turning on the Lights in Freetown, Sierra Leone: Completing the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Plant, 2008-2009” and “Delivering on a Presidential Agenda: Sierra Leone’s Strategy and Policy Unit, 2010-2011.”

Sheka Mansaray

Ref Batch
I
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
12
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Arthur Boutellis
Name
Sheka Mansaray
Interviewee's Position
Former National Security Adviser
Interviewee's Organization
Sierra Leone
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Sierra Leone
Town/City
Freetown
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Sheka Mansaray talks about the strides that Sierra Leone's police service has made since the brutal civil war which ended in 2002.  He details the chaotic security situation when he took over as national security adviser in 1998, and he talks about the decision to recruit a foreigner to be the inspector general of the reorganized police force.  This decision was based on the importance he assigned to having a neutral person in the role, in order to help rebuild public respect, to assist in depoliticizing the service and to provide expertise and knowledge.   Mansaray also talks about redefining intelligence roles within the police and military in order to reduce duplication of effort.  He talks about the importance of extensive and effective training for police because of the agency's close engagement with the public and the increasing sophistication of criminals.  He believes training in upper-level management skills has been very successful and advocates a stronger focus on training lower-ranking police who walk beats.  Mansaray emphasizes that despite the continued challenges, the Sierra Leonean police have made progress in transforming a politicized force allied with “dysfunctional elements in society” into a more effective and accountable service.

Case Study: Building Strategic Capacity in the Police: Sierra Leone, 1998-2008

Profile

Sheka Mansaray started his career in Sierra Leone as a foreign service officer. He held the positions of first secretary in the U.K., and head of chancellery at the Sierra Leone mission to the United Nations. In 1998, he returned to Sierra Leone and became  national security adviser and special adviser to the president. In 2000, he went to Princeton University and earned a master's degree in public policy, after which he returned to Sierra Leone as the head of civil service/chief of staff. He remained in that position until his retirement in January 2008.
 

Full Audio File Size
42.5MB
Full Audio Title
Sheka Mansaray-Full Interview

Instilling Order and Accountability: Standard Operating Procedures at Indonesia's Ministry of Finance, 2006-2007 (Bahasa Translation Available)

Author
Rushda Majeed
Country of Reform
Translations
Language
Bahasa
Abstract

Studi kasus ini juga, Menerapkan Aturan Dan Akuntabilitas: Standar Operasional Prosedur Di Kementerian Keuangan Republik Indonesia, 2006-2007, tersedia dalam Bahasa Indonesia.

In 2006, Indonesian economist Sri Mulyani Indrawati took on a huge and knotty problem: bringing order and efficiency to the Indonesian Ministry of Finance, an organization of 64,000 employees. At the time, many Indonesian citizens viewed the ministry as corrupt and unaccountable, exemplifying the failures of the entire government. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had appointed Mulyani because of her reputation as a tough-minded reformer and a savvy manager. Mulyani ascribed the ministry’s weak and inconsistent handling of taxes, customs and other services to a shortage of clear and consistent procedures for the many tasks employees handled. A key element of her strategy was to simplify and standardize ministry processes in order to improve employee performance and accountability. During the next two years, Mulyani and her team initially focused their efforts on 35 priority services that citizens used heavily, and then they expanded the reforms to include other activities. By 2007, the ministry had developed and implemented nearly 7,000 standard operating procedures. The changes significantly improved public services and earned popular acclaim for both the ministry and the Yudhoyono government. This case shows how a strong leader and her reform team introduced new ways of working to achieve significant gains in service efficiency, quality and fairness.

 

Rushda Majeed drafted this case study on the basis of interviews conducted in Jakarta, Indonesia, in November and December 2011, and on a 2009 interview of Sri Mulyani Indrawati by Matthew Devlin and Andrew Schalkwyk. Case published April 2012.

Associated Interview(s):  Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Robert Pakpahan

John Wallace

Ref Batch
G
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
6
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Andrew Schalkwyk
Name
John Wallace
Interviewee's Position
Consultant
Interviewee's Organization
Tribal-HELM
Language
English
Town/City
Dhaka
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

John Wallace, team leader of Bangladesh's Managing at the Top 2 (MATT 2) project, identifies lack of accountability as the major challenge to Bangladesh's civil service.  Wallace introduces the rationale behind MATT 2 and differentiates it with its predecessor, MATT 1.  Whereas the first stage of the MATT project (1999-2002) focused on the training of individuals but not on the culture of the organization itself, MATT 2 (2006-2013) sought to create a critical mass of reform-minded civil servants and enable a reform environment.  Wallace says, "It is all about giving skills to senior civil servants, giving them experience with reforms, actual experiences of reforms."  He addresses the relationship between the U.K. Department for International Development and the government of Bangladesh, particularly regarding reforms in governance and human resource management.  Wallace highlights the need for donor coordination for distribution of resources so as not to duplicate efforts and work at cross-purposes.

Case Study:  Energizing the Civil Service: Managing at The Top 2, Bangladesh, 2006-2011

Profile

At the time of this interview, John Wallace was team leader of the Managing at the Top 2 (MATT 2) project in Bangladesh.  As a consultant with Tribal-HELM, a Northern Irish company, Wallace was charged with the implementation of MATT 2, a project funded by the U.K. Department for International Development to develop and advise civil servants.

Full Audio File Size
87 MB
Full Audio Title
John Wallace Interview