budgeting

Staying Afloat: South Africa Keeps a Focus on Health Priorities During a Financial Storm, 2009-2017

Author
Leon Schreiber
Country of Reform
Abstract

In 2009, South Africa's health-funding system teetered on the verge of collapse. Despite the adoption of a transparent and credible budget framework in 1994, large parts of the public health system suffered from chronic overspending and poor financial control. As wage hikes and supply costs ate into the health budget and as government revenues plummeted in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, the national health department had to find ways to preserve priorities, linking them more effectively to the budget. The department won agreement on a list of non-negotiable expenditure items to protect in provincial budgets, used earmarked conditional grants to channel funds to key programs, cut medicine costs by improving central procurement, rolled out a new information technology system, and improved its monitoring of provincial finances. Although the country's nine provincial health departments had important roles to play, most of them struggled. However, the Western Cape was able to set a model by controlling personnel costs, improving monitoring, and creating incentives for health facilities to collect fees. Nationally, total per-capita government revenues dropped by 5% in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis and grew only slowly thereafter, but the health sector's strategy helped ensure progress on its key priorities even as resources fluctuated.

Leon Schreiber drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa, in August 2018. Case published October 2018.

To view a short version of the case, please click here

 

Building a Healthier Rwanda: Linking Social Priorities to the National Budget, 2011–2016

Author
Simon Engler
Country of Reform
Abstract

Rwanda’s public health system was among the many casualties of the country’s 1994 genocide. In the aftermath of the violence, health workers were in short supply, maternal and child mortality rates spiked, and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDs and tuberculosis often went untreated. By 2011, Rwanda had made enormous progress in remedying the situation, but much more remained to be done. From 2011 to 2016, officials in the finance ministry and health ministry worked together to develop five-year plans for public health, translate their new priorities into annual budgets, and monitor spending so as to ensure progress toward national goals. They revised the budget calendar to improve the planning process, helped local authorities build medium-term public-health strategies, and refined the tools used for tracking spending in the health sector. They met or surpassed more than half of the top targets they set for 2015, cementing the gains Rwanda had made since 1994.

Simon Engler drafted this case study with the assistance of Louise Umutoni Bower, based on interviews conducted in Kigali, Rwanda in March, April and August 2018. Case published September 2018.

To view a short version of the case, please click here

Saah Charles N'Tow

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B
Ref Batch Number
31
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Blair Cameron and Pallavi Nuka
Name
Saah Charles N'Tow
Interviewee's Position
Former Director of PYPP and Scott Fellows
Language
English
Town/City
Monrovia
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

In this interview, Saah Charles N’Tow describes his roles as program director for the President’s Young Professional Program (PYPP) and John Snow Inc.’s (JSI) Scott Family Liberia Fellows Program. He talks about the process of designing a two-year fellowship program to bring young Liberians into key government ministries and agencies. He explains the creation of a selection criteria for fellows and the procedures that ensured the applicant-screening process remained transparent and fair. He discusses how the program held support sessions for applicants focused on resume writing and interview preparation. He addresses the program’s coordination practices with donors on budget support. He notes instances of resistance against the program from ministries and agencies and describes how the program responded to problems arising from the placement of fellows. He highlights the program’s administrative components that included mentoring, training, performance management, and program immersion. Finally, he describes the importance of sustainable funding procedures and talks about the likelihood of continued support for the program through future administrations

Profile

At the time of this interview, Saah Charles N’Tow was Liberia’s minister of youth and sports. He previously served as the program director of the President’s Young Professional Program (PYPP) and John Snow Inc.’s (JSI) Scott Family Liberia Fellows Program. He formerly served as a conflict sensitivity and training officer for the United Nations (UN) Liberia Peacebuilding Office. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Liberia and his master’s degree in humanitarian assistance from Tufts University. 

Full Audio File Size
99 MB
Full Audio Title
Saah Charles N'Tow Interview

Stanley Murage

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ZP
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
3
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Rushda Majeed
Name
Stanley Murage
Interviewee's Position
Former Special Advisor to the President
Language
English
Town/City
Nairobi
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

In this interview, Stanley Murage discusses results based management in the Kenyan government, particularly the implementation of Rapid Results Initiatives (RRI). He begins by recounting the early stages of reforming, from when he first started looking at results based management five years before its execution. The process began in 2003 with different economic sectors creating service charters with measurable goals and timelines. Departments set these goals in conjunction with citizens through stakeholder forums that discussed what aims to establish and how to achieve the desired results. This citizen participation is one demonstration of how citizen-centered the reforms were. In addition to soliciting public input, the Rapid Results reforms also improved communication to the public regarding what services to expect and how the reforms benefited citizens. As part of the new emphasis on results and evaluation, the reform teams also implemented results-based budgeting. Murage identified the political steering from the top as a key factor enabling the success of the RRIs. Having skilled people in government was another critical element. Overall, Murage explains that RRIs require accompanying reform structures such as a policy setting body, political will and a good communication strategy. He outlines the set up and process for each of these elements in Kenya’s implementation of Rapid Results. 

Profile

At the time of this interview, Stanley Murage was an engineering consultant. Prior to that he had served as Special Adviser to President Mwai Kibaki for strategic policy analysis. He had previously held other government posts, including Permanent Secretary of Labor, Transport and Communications, and Public Works. Early in his career he served in the public service as a surveyor. In 2005, he was awarded the Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS) for his government service. 

Harold Jonathan Monger

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ZF
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
2
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Yoni Friedman
Name
Harold Jonathan Monger
Interviewee's Organization
Liberian Institute of Public Administration
Language
English
Town/City
Monrovia
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

In this interview, based on his experiences at the Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA), Harold Jonathan Monger explains the challenges involved in institutionalizing capacity building. LIPA is an internal consulting and civil service trainer entity. Monger discusses the budgeting problems in equipping the institute to be able to provide better training and to improve the marketing of its services to government agencies. He also details LIPA’s changing relationships with other internal and external capacity-building consultants such as the Governance and Economic Management Assistance Program and IBI International, both of which have also played significant roles in the designs of certification trainings and civil service workshops. Finally, Monger draws from his extensive experience to comment on what he says are the main obstacles to improving governance in Liberia. He recommends establishing formal, uniform systems and procedures and improving communication and collaboration between agencies to avoid duplication.

Profile

At the time of this interview, Harold Jonathan Monger was director general of the Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA). He has a bachelor of science from Liberia’s Cuttington University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California. And he has extensive public- and private-sector experience in civil-service capacity building, having been with both the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Children’s Fund as well as a Ghanaian consulting company. He has been at LIPA since 2004.

Charles Sokile

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E
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
12
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Andrew Schalkwyk
Name
Charles Sokile
Interviewee's Position
Public Sector Adviser
Interviewee's Organization
U.K. Department for International Development
Language
English
Town/City
Dar es Salaam
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Charles Sokile recounts DFID’s role in financing and advising the Public Sector Reform Program in Tanzania. He describes some of the challenges faced in the first two phases of reform, including issues of harmonization, capacity, and linkages between the reforms and the President’s Office. He notes that the government made progress in attaining milestones it set for itself. Tanzania, in his opinion, was very successful in sustaining reforms. Sokile goes into detail about a number of elements of reform, including merit recruitment and promotions, performance and quality cycle management, and pay policy. He points out that the notion of pay policy has a lot to do with the compression and decompression of the pay ratios and challenges involved in getting these ratios correct. He discusses two major initiatives designed to use pay policy to attract civil servants to underserved areas and how the government has changed its policy with regard to allowances. He provides general thoughts on how the public has reacted to changes in pay for civil servants and details some of the pressures with regards to the total wage bill. He concludes by highlighting the importance of coordinating reforms and political awareness.
Profile

At the time of this interview, Charles Sokile was the public sector adviser for the Tanzania office of the U.K.'s Department for International Development.

Full Audio File Size
43 MB
Full Audio Title
Charles Sokile - Full Interview

Philip Banks

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E
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
1
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Graeme Blair
Name
Philip Banks
Interviewee's Position
Chair
Interviewee's Organization
Law Reform Commission of Liberia
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Liberian
Town/City
Monrovia
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Philip Banks describes the two years he spent as the minister of justice of Liberia after being appointed to the position in 2007. He outlines the three major areas of improvement that he identified at the advent of his career as minister: seeking to reinforce the prosecution sector, improve national security, and resume the publishing of legal materials by the department. Emphasizing the importance of competent staff, he describes how he revamped the vetting process for both lawyers and policing officials and sought to improve the legal education and knowledge of both lawyers and judges. Furthermore, Banks describes how he sought to improve security in the country, particularly with respect to the high instances of rape, and looked to obtain greater compensation for both police officials and prosecutors. In this regard, he also describes his efforts to increase the numbers and improve the lives of county attorneys. Banks outlines the steps he took to increase budgetary support from the government. Towards the end of the interview, Banks touches upon his experience in dealing with problems such as patronage and nepotism with respect to appointed under-qualified members of the ministry, and concludes with an emphasis on the need for the independence of the ministry and ministry officials from political influences.
Profile
At the time of this interview, Philip Banks was the chair of the Law Reform Commission (LRC) of Liberia. He transitioned to this position after having served as the minister of justice for two years, taking office in 2007. Banks also served as the minister of justice for the Interim Government of National Unity from 1990-1994. Moreover, he was the dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia from 1983-1984. Banks has extensive knowledge about legal affairs and served as a consultant for the Government Reform Commission from 1999-2003 as well as the director of Legal and Advisor Affairs on the Constitution Commission from 1981-1983. 
Full Audio File Size
92 MB
Full Audio Title
Philip Banks - Full Interview

George Yambesi

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E
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
15
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Andrew Schalkwyk
Name
George Yambesi
Interviewee's Position
Permanent Secretary, Public Service Management
Interviewee's Organization
President's Office, Tanzania
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Tanzanian
Town/City
Dar es Salaam
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

George Yambesi draws upon his experience in the President’s Office for Public Service Management to trace the history of civil service reform in Tanzania.  He describes some of the challenges and goals involved in implementing reforms. The major theme of these reforms has been improving performance results and accountability.  Within this, there has been a focus on policy development, systems for appraising performance, improving human resource management, and leadership development.  Yambesi notes that one of the main motivations for reform was a public outcry for better services.  He goes into great detail about retrenchment and staff size, delineating specific goals set and the methods used in achieving those goals.  He also describes changes to pay policies, performance management systems, and in the promotion and recruitment systems at some length.  He speaks about the effect of the shift from secretive to open performance evaluations and stresses the importance of strategic thinking as the basis for annual plans and budgets.  He also discusses training programs and capacity building.  Finally, while he acknowledges the role played by international donors in establishing the reform agenda, he maintains that the reform agenda was driven largely by Tanzania itself.

Case Study:  Creating an Affordable Public Service: Tanzania, 1995-1998

Profile

At the time of this interview, George Yambesi was the permanent secretary in the President’s Office for Public Service Management in Tanzania.  His involvement with the reform program in Tanzania began in 1993.  He joined the program as a national expert on redeployment and subsequently worked as a national expert on capacity building for ministries, departments, agencies and other institutions.  He then served as director of policy development, responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Public Service Reform Program in Tanzania.  Immediately before being named permanent secretary, he served as deputy permanent secretary. 

Full Audio File Size
67 MB
Full Audio Title
George Yambesi - Full Interview

Siti Nurbaya

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S
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
2
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Itumeleng Makgetla
Name
Siti Nurbaya
Interviewee's Position
Secretary General
Interviewee's Organization
Regional Representatives Council, Indonesia
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Indonesian
Town/City
Jakarta
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Siti Nurbaya explains how the Indonesian government implemented a four-stage decentralization policy to transfer authority from the national to the regional governments over the period February 2001 to May 2005. She explains the need to train and guide regional governments to increase their capacity and improve their performance and thus allow them to provide more effective services to the provinces outside of the capital city of Jakarta. She described how a test run was conducted before the eventual turnover of power to regional governments to ensure that they were adequately prepared to deal with their new responsibilities. Nurbaya also discusses the importance of maintaining unity to encourage the regional governments to collaborate with the national government in the absence of formal controls. She describes how Indonesia benefited from considering the successes and failures of other countries in decentralizing and instituting new laws and constitutional changes. Throughout the interview, she highlights how power transfers at the presidential level deeply influenced the success of reform efforts undertaken by lower levels of government and the civil service.    

Case Study:  Decentralizing Authority After Suharto: Indonesia's 'Big Bang,' 1998-2010 

Profile

At the time of this interview, Siti Nurbaya was the secretary general of the Regional Representatives Council in Indonesia. Nurbaya, who played an important role implementing Indonesia’s decentralization policy as the secretary general of the Ministry of Home Affairs from February 2001 to May 2005, began her career in 1979 as an agricultural planner on the Development Planning Board in the provincial government of Lampung. After nearly 20 years of working in regional development, she was appointed as chief of the Planning Bureau of the Ministry of Home Affairs in Jakarta in 1998 and then as secretary general in February 2001. After leaving the position of secretary general of Home Affairs, she served as secretary general of the House of Regional Representatives, which is the upper house of the Parliament of Indonesia. She has played an active role in the Golkar Party-affiliated Indonesian Younger Generation for Reform (AMPI) and even chaired the mass organization in 1993. Throughout her career she has advocated for policies that support gender equality.

Full Audio File Size
66 MB
Full Audio Title
Siti Nurbaya Interview

Richard Panton

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B
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
4
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Summer Lopez
Name
Richard Panton
Interviewee's Position
Deputy Director-General for Training and Development
Interviewee's Organization
Liberia Institute for Public Administration
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Liberian
Town/City
Monrovia
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Richard Panton describes the role he played in public sector reform in Liberia. Before the civil war, he explains, civil servants were adequate and well trained. But they began to take jobs in the private sector, non-governmental organizations and the United Nations after the war, leading to a decline in the public sector’s capacity. Also, due to transitional arrangements, recruiters did not consider education and professionalism when selecting public workers. Reform was necessary to resolve capacity issues. The Civil Service Agency was in charge of selection and recruitment, payroll and age structure, and promotion systems. The Liberia Institute of Public Administration designed a curriculum for training existing public workers. Panton was involved in designing and facilitating training programs in records management, project planning and management, human resource management, strategic management, and financial management. According to him, some of the challenges included a shortage of training equipment, budget delays and inadequate specialists in human resource management.  

Profile

At the time of this interview, Richard Panton was the deputy director-general for training and development at the Liberia Institute for Public Administration. He joined LIPA in 1998 as a special assistant to the director-general. He was also a trainer of the African Management Development Institute Network and an instructor of public administration and management at the University of Liberia and United Methodist University. Panton joined the government as a cadet in 1985 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He worked in the Office of the Deputy Minister for Administration. He later moved to the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics with a minor concentration in political science from the University of Liberia and a master’s in development management from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.  

Full Audio File Size
73 MB
Full Audio Title
Richard Panton - Full Interview