merit pay

Bernard Zeneli

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D
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
14
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Jona Repishti
Name
Bernard Zeneli
Interviewee's Position
Manager
Interviewee's Organization
Brain Gain Program, Albania
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Albanian
Town/City
Tirana
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Bernard Zeneli describes his experiences as the manager of the Brain Gain program in Albania as well as his perspectives on the history of civil service reform.  The Brain Gain program seeks to identify areas from which expertise is readily available, particularly among the Albanian diaspora, and attempts to bring these people into the public sector.  The government plays a leading role in the project, which is supported by the United Nations Development Programme.  Zeneli outlines the process of applying for a position through the program and some of the benefits received by those with advanced degrees from abroad.  He describes the Soros Program that preceded Brain Gain as well as some of the potential problems created by providing various financial incentives to attract those educated abroad.  He also recounts some of the initial difficulties faced when establishing the program.  There was support from the highest levels, but the program met opposition from some of the lower levels of the administration.  Zeneli characterizes the relationship between the government and the U.N. and Brain Gain’s cooperation with civil society organizations as quite positive.
Profile

At the time of this interview, Bernard Zeneli was the manager of the Brain Gain program, an initiative of the Albanian government supported by the United Nations Development Programme that encouraged skilled professionals to return to the country and contribute to its development.  Previously, he was head of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Pristina in Kosovo, where he developed courses related to policy making, comparative politics, government and international relations.  He also taught at Northeastern University, the University of Tirana and South Eastern European University in Tetovo, Macedonia.

Full Audio Title
Audio Available by Request

Gregory Ellis

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N
Focus Area(s)
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1
Country of Reform
Interviewers
David Hausman
Name
Gregory Ellis
Interviewee's Position
Senior Operations Officer, Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries Group
Interviewee's Organization
World Bank
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Australian
Place (Building/Street)
World Bank
Town/City
Washington, D.C.
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Gregory Ellis, drawing on his experience in reform programs in various countries, discusses general themes in civil reform service across various contexts, especially from the point of view of donor organizations. He emphasizes the need for understanding the political economy of countries undergoing reform, and the need for understanding indigenous customs. He places immense import on the citizen-state relationship in fragile states, and discusses how a state should be involved in service delivery. Ellis especially emphasizes deference to the host nation’s priorities in creating a reform agenda. In discussing capacity building in the Solomon Islands, Ellis reflects upon the dichotomy between service delivery by donors and the sometimes deleterious effect of technical assistance on long-term capacity building. He goes on to discuss restructuring organizations and combating patronage through professional associations, decentralized recruitment and autonomous decision making. Ellis emphasizes especially the role of local consultation, continuity in visionary leadership and long-term commitment in achieving success in fragile states.
Profile

At the time of this interview, Gregory Ellis had been a senior operations officer at the Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries Group at the World Bank for about a year. His parent organization was the Australian Agency for International Development. He was posted by AusAID in the Solomon Islands between 2005 and 2007, as deputy program manager for the Machinery of Government Program, part of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands. Prior to that, between 2000 and 2002 he held a posting in Timor-Leste after the withdrawal of Indonesian forces. 

Full Audio File Size
71MB
Full Audio Title
Gregory Ellis Interview

Selina Mkony

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E
Focus Area(s)
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6
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Andrew Schalkwyk
Name
Selina Mkony
Interviewee's Position
Program Coordinator
Interviewee's Organization
Public Service Management Office, Tanzania
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Tanzanian
Town/City
Dar es Salaam
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Selina Mkony draws upon her extensive experience to discuss the goals of reform in Tanzania and some of the related challenges and issues. She describes the procedures and standards used in the system of recruitment and how this changed over the period of the reform program. She lists some of the criteria used in promotions, including things like seniority, education, skills, and performance management. She underscores the government efforts to move away from nepotism and toward greater transparency in hiring. She also describes the process of and challenges facing performance management and evaluation. Mkony characterizes the sequencing and management of the reform process and relates how the reform process fits in with the goals of streamlining government. She highlights the importance of leadership in controlling and managing reforms. She also touches upon a number of other aspects of civil service reform, including the organizational structure of the civil service, pay policy, training programs, and capacity building. She describes the retrenchment process in the 1990s, ways the government has improved the working environment in order to retain quality people, and the importance of local cultural divisions or language differences and how they impact service delivery.    

Profile

At the time of this interview, Selina Mkony was program coordinator at the Public Service Management Office in Tanzania. She joined the Civil Service Department in 1994 as an accountant and was later assigned administrative duties as well. The Civil Service Reform Program lasted from 1994 to 1998, when a new program was developed to focus on institution performance management systems and making the public service efficient. She continued on as an accountant and administrator before a new phase began in 2007. At that time, she became the program coordinator. 

Full Audio File Size
73 MB
Full Audio Title
Selina Mkony - Full Interview

Joseph Rugumyamheto

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E
Focus Area(s)
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10
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Andrew Schalkwyk
Name
Joseph Rugumyamheto
Interviewee's Position
Former Permanent Secretary for Public Service Management
Interviewee's Organization
Tanzania
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Tanzanian
Town/City
Dar es Salaam
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
Yes
Abstract
Joseph Rugumyamheto describes sweeping human resource capacity-building efforts undertaken to transform the Tanzanian civil service from dysfunction to effectiveness. He details an array of efforts intended to supplement broader economic liberalization by downsizing while enhancing the skills, competencies and attitudes of civil servants. He explains how the role of the civil service was redefined, rationalized and focused via targeted retrenchment and strategic re-organization of departments. Additionally, he unravels New Public Management-style reforms that promoted meritocratic recruitment, introduced an appraisal system based on performance targets, recalibrated career paths and realigned payment systems. He also explains attempts to facilitate the quality of civil servants and attract skills through the formation of a Public Service Commission, needs assessments and training programs, pay raises and the overall image makeover of the civil service into a functional organization.
 
Profile

Joseph Rugumyamheto worked in several capacities in the Tanzanian civil service for 30 years, ultimately serving for five years as permanent secretary of public service management in the President’s Office. He was responsible for the management of all civil servants in the Tanzanian government in terms of human resources and development. He previously served as chairman of the Government Board of the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute and chairman of the Board of Global Development Learning Centre Network. Rugumyamheto retired in 2006, and at the time of the interview he was chairman of the board and a director of Douglas Lake Minerals Ltd., a joint-venture company holding mineral concession rights in Tanzania. In April 2006, he was awarded the Jit Gill Memorial Award for Outstanding Public Service by the World Bank.

Full Audio File Size
78 MB
Full Audio Title
Joseph Rugumyamheto - Full Interview

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

Albert Bockarie

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A
Focus Area(s)
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4
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Summer Lopez
Name
Albert Bockarie
Interviewee's Position
Senior Permanent Secretary
Interviewee's Organization
Public Service Commission, Sierra Leone
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Sierra Leonean
Town/City
Freetown
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Albert Bockarie describes civil service reforms after the end of civil war in Sierra Leone.  He focuses on recruitment procedures and training.  He reports that because of low public service pay, the country suffered from a “brain drain” and corruption.  He argues that these problems cannot be addressed without increasing salaries.  He describes the challenge of getting pay for retirees disbursed promptly.  He urges increased use of computers and other information technologies as essential because paper records can be lost or purposely destroyed.  He says international donors and consultants are helpful in meeting these challenges.     

Profile

At the time of this interview, Albert Bockarie was senior permanent secretary of the Public Service Commission of Sierra Leone.  He had served since 1982 at the provincial level as a district officer and in all the national ministries in the government of Sierra Leone except Trade and Finance, Foreign Affairs, Finance and Education.

Full Audio File Size
66 MB
Full Audio Title
Albert Bockarie - Full Interview

George Yambesi

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E
Focus Area(s)
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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

Mahmoud Mohieldin

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W
Focus Area(s)
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2
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Deepa Iyer
Name
Mahmoud Mohieldin
Interviewee's Position
Former Minister of Investment
Interviewee's Organization
Egypt
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Egyptian
Town/City
Washington, D.C.
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
Yes
Abstract

Mahmoud Mohieldin discusses the economic reforms undertaken by the Egyptian government in 2004. He focuses on the motivations for strengthening the central bank and the process of reforming its management structure. Mohieldin also touches on the use of pay incentives and other tactics to build a more efficient staff.

Case Study:  Building the Capacity to Regulate: Central Bank Reform in Egypt, 2003-2009 and Reclaiming an Egyptian Treasure: Restoring Infrastructure and Services, Alexandria, 1997-2006

Profile

At the time of this interview, Mahmoud Mohieldin was a managing director of the World Bank Group, having previously held the position of the Bank's governor for Egypt. Mohieldin was the minister of investment for the government of Egypt from 2004 to 2010.  Mohieldin also served on the boards of directors of the Central Bank of Egypt, the Egyptian Diplomatic Institute in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, HSBC-Egypt and Telecom Egypt. He published numerous papers on financial reform in Egypt and was a professor at Cairo University. Mohieldin earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Cairo University, a master’s in economics from the University of York and a doctorate in economics from the University of Warwick.

Full Audio File Size
23 MB
Full Audio Title
Mahmoud Mohieldin Interview

John E.K. Sotenga

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P
Focus Area(s)
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6
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
David Hausman
Name
John E.K. Sotenga
Interviewee's Position
Deputy Commissioner for Operations
Interviewee's Organization
Internal Revenue Service, Ghana
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Ghanaian
Place (Building/Street)
IRS head office
Town/City
Accra
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
Yes
Abstract

John E.K. Sotenga discusses his long experience in Ghana's Internal Revenue Service and the gradual improvements that were made in capacity. He focuses on the challenges of reorganizing tax administration along functional lines. As the first director of Ghana’s Large Taxpayers Unit, a one-stop shop for large taxpayers, Sotenga encountered the difficulties of integrating staff from three separate agencies: the IRS, the customs agency, and the value-added tax agency. He stresses the importance of placing employees from the three different agencies in groups together on specific tasks, thereby allowing them to gradually transfer their skills to one another.

Case Study: Professionalization, Decentralization, and a One-Stop Shop: Tax Collection Reform in Ghana, 1986-2008

Profile

At the time of this interview, Mr. Sotenga was deputy commissioner for operations at Ghana's Internal Revenue Service.  He joined the Ghanaian Central Revenue Department in 1978 as an assistant inspector and moved up through the ranks, first becoming chief inspector, then heading several regional tax offices. In Accra, he directed first the Large Taxpayers Office—a division of the IRS created in 1996—and later the Large Taxpayers Unit, a one-stop shop that allowed large taxpayers to pay all taxes at one central location.

Full Audio File Size
66.5MB
Full Audio Title
John E.K. Sotenga Interview

Awni Yarvas

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X
Focus Area(s)
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2
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Deepa Iyer
Name
Awni Yarvas
Interviewee's Organization
Former Director, Civil Status and Passports Department
Language
Arabic with English translation
Nationality of Interviewee
Jordan
Town/City
Amman
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Awni Yarvas discusses reforms undertaken in Jordan’s Department of Civil Status and Passports, with a focus on those that took place under his tenure.  He explains how increases in efficiency were possible with changes in departmental structure, employee incentives, and, in particular, computerization.  Yarvas details how changes in procedures for issuing passports and national IDs improved the department's efficiency and accuracy.

Case Studies:  Creating a 'Citizen Friendly' Department: Speeding Document Production in Jordan, 1991-1996 and People and Machines--Building Operational Efficiency: Document Processing in Jordan, 1996-2005

Profile
Awni Yarvas served as director of Jordan’s Civil Status and Passports Department from 1996 to 2005.  He previously served as a major general in Jordan’s General Intelligence Department.  In 2005, he was appointed Jordan’s Minister of Interior, a position he held until 2010.
Full Audio File Size
50 MB
Full Audio Title
Awni Yarvas - Full Interview