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C. William Allen

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B
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
7
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Blair Cameron
Name
C. William Allen
Interviewee's Position
Former Director of Civil Service Agency
Language
English
Town/City
Paris
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

In this interview, C. William Allen reflects on how the President’s Young Professionals Program boosted the quality of the civil service in Liberia. For background, he describes the strategy and programs that improved the civil service in the aftermath of the Second Liberian Civil War. He highlights the PYPP’s uniqueness in identifying young talent, heavily recruiting women, and offering placements in rural areas. He analyzes the pay scale’s role in strengthening the program. He compares the PYPP with alternative paths to working for the government, as well as the Young Professionals with other civil servants.  He champions the PYPP’s transparent and meritocratic recruitment process as a model for the rest of the civil service while presenting the steps necessary to sustain the program.

Case: Graduates to Government: The Presidents Young Professionals Program in Liberia, 2009-2016

Profile

At the time of this interview, C. William Allen represented Liberia as the ambassador to France and permanent delegate to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). From 2006 to 2013, he served as director-general of the Liberian Civil Service Agency, where he chaired the steering committee of the President’s Young Professionals Program. In his prior post as minister of information, culture and tourism, he was the chief spokesman for the National Transitional Government of Liberia. He also worked as a journalist and taught journalism and mass communications at several universities. Allen earned a bachelor’s in journalism from Franklin College, a master of public administration from California State University at Sacramento, and a PhD in mass communication from Syracuse University.

Full Audio File Size
61 MB
Full Audio Title
C. William Allen Interview

E.M. Debrah

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C
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
1
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Ashley McCants
Name
E.M. Debrah
Interviewee's Position
Chairman
Interviewee's Organization
Governing Council, Ghana
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Ghanaian
Town/City
Accra
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

E.M. Debrah recounts his experiences in public sector reform in Ghana. He goes into detail about the culture of the civil service in Ghana as well as how one normally enters into the civil service, such as through the specially formed training institute, the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. He also explains the recruitment strategy needed to increase capacity within the civil service and the training programs and internal review sessions that were conducted. He explains the need to increase remuneration packages and the creation of pension plans to lure more talent into the civil service, as well as detailing the retrenchment program Ghana introduced. Debrah also talks about the dynamic between host countries and donors and how to strike the right balance within this relationship to be able to work effectively. Finally, he makes the point that in order for reform to be successful, it must be realistic as well. One must be able to see one’s own limitations and plan accordingly.
 

Profile

At the time of this interview, E.M. Debrah was serving as chairman of the Governing Council in Ghana. He joined the Ghana Foreign Service in 1955 and served in missions around the world, including the United States, Liberia, Ethiopia and Australia. He previously served as secretary to the Cabinet and head of the Ghana Civil Service. He earned degrees from the University of Ghana and the London School of Economics, and received honorary doctorates of law from various universities. In 2006 he was awarded the National Award of the Star of Ghana award for his service to Ghana and other Commonwealth and African countries.

Full Audio File Size
87 MB
Full Audio Title
Amb. Debrah - Full Interview

Dritan Agolli

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R
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
1
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Itumeleng Makgetla
Name
Dritan Agolli
Interviewee's Position
General Administrator of the City Municipality
Interviewee's Organization
Tirana, Albania
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Albanian
Town/City
Tirana
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Dritan Agolli discusses the municipal reforms that took place in Tirana, Albania, when Edi Rama became mayor of the city in 2000. He talks about the administration’s efforts to reduce illegal construction, improve infrastructure, and tackle special interests. He details how city administrators were able to improve facades, rebuild roads, clean city parks, and build playgrounds. He also discusses how private-public partnerships helped overhaul the city’s public transportation. Finally, he explains how Rama motivated Tirana’s municipal staff and successfully changed the attitude of its citizens. 
 
Profile

At the time of this interview, Dritan Agolli was the general administrator of the city municipality of Tirana, Albania. He served in several important positions in the municipality under the mayor, Edi Rama, first as the general director of Public Works and then the general director of Urban Planning before becoming the general administrator. Prior to moving to Tirana, Agolli was cleaning supervisor in the city of Fier, Albania. Agolli was part of Tirana’s municipal team that radically improved city infrastructure and service delivery from 2000 to 2010.

Full Audio File Size
51MB
Full Audio Title
Dritan Agolli Interview

Emile Short

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I
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
14
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Itumeleng Makgetla
Name
Emile Short
Interviewee's Position
Former Commissioner
Interviewee's Organization
Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Ghana
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Ghanaian
Town/City
Accra
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Emile Short recounts his experiences establishing the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice in Ghana from 1993 to 2004. He goes into detail about the strategies put into place to establish the commission while avoiding any politicization and patronage within this process. He recalls how he and others set up the commission with a triple mandate encapsulating human rights, ombudsman and anti-corruption activities, and how cases were selected and prioritized. The need for effective recruitment was essential in the initial stages, as well as the training that staff would receive initially, and continue to receive.  He details the character of the individuals sought for the commission and the particular skills set that was required. Throughout, he explains the challenges that were encountered and how these were overcome.    

Case Study:  Earning a Reputation for independence: Ghana's Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, 1993-2003

Profile

Emile Short served as commissioner of Ghana's Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice from 1993 to 2004. Before that, he was head of a Ghanaian law firm for 20 years. He also served as a justice on the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He earned an LLM degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1967. He also received an honorary doctorate from Northwestern University in Illinois.

Full Audio File Size
74 MB
Full Audio Title
Emile Short Interview

From a Rocky Start to Regional Leadership: Mauritius's Anti-Corruption Agency, 2006-2012

Author
Gabriel Kuris
Country of Reform
Abstract
After gaining independence from Britain in 1968, the island state of Mauritius developed swiftly into one of Africa's most stable and prosperous democracies. However, the nation's newfound wealth-especially in the booming offshore-finance sector-created distinct risks. Corruption and money laundering jeopardized the country's reputation for good governance. In 2002, Mauritius passed laws that created an Independent Commission Against Corruption, with investigative and prosecutory powers as well as preventive and educational roles. Early missteps and internal discord discredited the commission, but in 2006, Senior Magistrate Anil Kumar Ujoodha set the organization on a new course by building investigative capacity, implementing government-wide preventive reforms, and winning numerous court cases. Six years later, however, the commission was still struggling to win public trust, illustrating the difficulties of combating corruption in a politically charged context. 
 
Gabriel Kuris drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Port Louis and Quatre Bornes, Mauritius, in March and April 2013. Case published July 2013.
 
Associated Interview(s):  Dev Bikoo

Kwamena Ahwoi

Ref Batch
I
Ref Batch Number
3
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Itumeleng Makgetla
Name
Kwamena Ahwoi
Interviewee's Position
Secretary
Interviewee's Organization
Ministry of Local Governance and Rural Development, Ghana
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Ghanaian
Town/City
Accra
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Kwamena Ahwoi recounts his experiences implementing decentralization policies in Ghana as part of his role in the Ministry of Local Governance and Rural Development. He goes into detail about the key challenges he faced, such as translating policy proposals into legislation, transferring functions from historically highly centralized agencies, and setting up political structures for decentralization. He talks about the methods to garner support for the initiatives through a consultative process with the support of a fully researched policy document, and effective use of the mass media, as well as the methods to overcome the challenges faced from those opposing the reform, such as some local chiefs. He details the bargaining that took place at the national level as a result of the policy document and the need for openness in the implementation process to allow people the opportunity to express their concerns. He explains that throughout the entire process there is a need to increase capacity at all levels to ensure the requisite skill set is assigned to its relevant area.  Finally, Ahwoi offers his thoughts on the best ways to deal with the devolution of power in the decentralization process.

 

Profile

At the time of this interview, Kwamena Ahwoi was a principal lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. Ahwoi has had an extensive career in the government of Ghana. He started his professional career as a professor of law at the University of Ghana before joining the Rawlings government in 1983.  Jerry Rawlings, Ghana's military leader after a coup d'etat from 1982-1992, became the first president of the Fourth Republic in 1993, serving until 2001. Ahwoi served as secretary for the Ministry of Local Governance and Rural Development from 1988 to 1999, and doubled as the minister of foreign affairs from 1997 to 1998. Ahwoi also established the Ministry of Planning Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration before the Provisional National Defense Council lost power in 2001. After leaving office he also worked for the National Democratic Congress as director of research. He earned a law degree from the University of Ghana before going on to continue his studies at Oxford University.

Full Audio File Size
75 MB
Full Audio Title
Kwamena Ahwoi- Full Interview