performance management

Learning To Be Smart: Using Data and Technology to Improve Services in Kansas City, Missouri, 2009 – 2019

Author
Tyler McBrien
Focus Area(s)
Country of Reform
Abstract

When Troy Schulte took over as interim city manager of Kansas City, Missouri, in 2009, the local economy was struggling and the government faced hard choices about how to use scarce resources. With a slashed budget and a diminished workforce, Schulte had to figure out how to deliver city services without reducing quality. Together with a small team of employees, he began to create a culture of data-driven decision making in municipal offices, to invest selectively in technology, and to give nonprofit organizations and firms an opportunity to develop their own, innovative solutions to city problems by making more information available to them. Schulte found a kindred spirit in Mayor Sly James, who negotiated a public–private partnership with a view to developing what Kansas City’s chief innovation officer called “the smartest 54 blocks in the country” along the city’s new streetcar corridor. As initial efforts came to a close and a new mayor entered office, Schulte and other officials stepped back to assess what they had learned. The new, data-driven culture had yielded positive improvements, whereas the technology-based smart-city initiative had had a more limited impact—at least in the shorter term. The experience generated important lessons about the scale of the benefits that technology could generate in midsize cities and in what kind of time frame.

Tyler McBrien drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Kansas City, Missouri, in January 2020. Case published March 2020.

 

Saah Charles N'Tow

Ref Batch
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

Changing a Civil Service Culture: Reforming Indonesia's Ministry of Finance, 2006-2010

Author
Gordon LaForge
Country of Reform
Abstract

By the mid-2000s, Indonesia had recovered from a devastating economic crisis and made significant progress in transitioning from a dictatorship to a democracy. However, the country's vast state bureaucracy continued to resist pressure to improve operations. In 2006, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono tapped economist Sri Mulyani Indrawati to transform Indonesia's massive Ministry of Finance, which was responsible not only for economic policy making but also for taxes and customs. During four years as minister, Mulyani introduced new standard operating procedures, raised civil servant salaries, created a new performance management system, and cracked down on malfeasance. Her reforms turned what had once been a dysfunctional institution into a high performer. But ongoing resistance illustrated the difficulties and perils of ambitious bureaucratic reform in Indonesia.

This case study was drafted by Gordon LaForge based on research by Rachel Jackson, Drew McDonald, Matt Devlin, and Andrew Schalkwyk and on interviews conducted by ISS staff members from 2009 to 2015. Case published May 2016. Other ISS case studies provide additional detail about certain aspects of the reforms discussed in this case or about related initiatives. For example, see Instilling Order and Accountability: Standard Operating Procedures at Indonesia's Ministry of Finance, 2006-2007.

Stanley Murage

Ref Batch
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

Ref Batch
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

Ref Batch
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

Fatbardh Kadilli

Ref Batch
D
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
13
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Jona Repishti
Name
Fatbardh Kadilli
Interviewee's Position
Adviser to the Prime Minister
Interviewee's Organization
Albania
Language
Albanian
Nationality of Interviewee
Albanian
Town/City
Tirana
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Fatbardh Kadilli, adviser to Albania's prime minister on anti-corruption policies, presents his views on the efforts to reform public administration. He says that the country adopted Western models for reform legislation and implementation, but that breaking old habits acquired under the former communist system was difficult. He believes that protecting civil servants from arbitrary firing impeded efforts to modernize the government because so many administrators were still in positions where they could not perform. He describes the difficulties of trying to institute a successful performance management system because Albania had few leaders who understand management. He reports on initiatives to downsize and consolidate ministries and to install Internet-based systems to reduce corruption in procurement, licensing and a number of other public services.

Profile

At the time of this interview, Fatbardh Kadilli was adviser to the prime minister on anti-corruption matters, a position he had held since 2005.  Prior to that he served for four years as a consultant on anti-corruption with an American firm financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Prior to that he led a program on integrated services for children at UNICEF. From 1998 to 2005, he was also a consultant with the Institute for Contemporary Studies, where, among other tasks, he advised the government on decentralization reforms. Earlier, he served in the State Secretariat for Local Governance, where he was in charge of the Refugee Office and drafted the law on asylum seekers.

Full Audio File Size
78 MB
Full Audio Title
Fatbardh Kadilli - Full Interview

Faisal Issa

Ref Batch
E
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
4
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Andrew Schalkwyk
Name
Faisal Issa
Interviewee's Position
Director of Human Resource Development
Interviewee's Organization
Public Service Reform Program, Tanzania
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Tanzanian
Town/City
Dar es Salaam
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Faisal Issa, director of human resource development for Tanzania’s Public Service Reform Program, describes how his agency works with ministries to define gaps in capacity that need to be filled through training.  Much of this training is provided through short-term courses offered locally.  At higher levels, trainees may be sent to some of Tanzania’s universities for training, or even to training institutions outside the country in southern Africa or East Asia.  He briefly describes how the impact of this training is assessed through performance evaluations.
Profile

At the time of this interview, Faisal Issa was director of human resource development in Tanzania’s Public Service Reform Program.  He served previously on the faculty of Mzumbe University in Malogoro.

Full Audio File Size
34 MB
Full Audio Title
Faisal Issa - Full Interview

Samuel Kofi Woods

Ref Batch
E
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
9
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Graeme Blair
Name
Samuel Kofi Woods
Interviewee's Position
Minister of Public Works
Interviewee's Organization
Liberian Cabinet
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Liberian
Town/City
Monrovia
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
In this interview, Samuel Kofi Woods describes his experiences with institutional reform in Liberia, detailing his work for the country first as a youthful activist and later a government employee. Drawing upon his time as labor minister, Woods describes the measures he took to improve accountability and transparency within the ministry, emphasizing the need to lead by example and hold true to principles of equality and fairness. Speaking of the day-to-day running of the ministry, Woods delves into the measures taken to address its human resource capacity. Among other things, he outlines the ‘emergency employment program’ and ‘merit-based recruitment policies’ that were instituted. Woods also elaborates on the tasks he undertook upon his appointment as Minister of Public Works, providing insight into reform strategies and citing actions he took to deal with deep-rooted issues such as corruption and patronage. He suggests that for reform to be sustainable, it is the capacity of institutions that needs to be strengthened, and not just that of individuals. He recognizes, however, that for a reform effort to be successful, support from both high-level government officials and the general populace is crucial. Woods concludes by noting that there will always be challenges faced by those seeking reform, but to be successful, one must learn to adapt to the problems faced and not lose heart. 
Profile

At the time of this interview, Samuel Kofi Woods was the Liberian Minister of Public Works, having been appointed to the position in 2009. A youth activist since the age of 11, Woods went on to become a well-known champion of human rights, receiving the Reebok’s Human Rights Award in 1994 and the Benerementi Medal in 1999. Woods established the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church in Liberia in November 1991, and played a leading role in documenting and publicizing human rights abuses during the 1989-1997 civil war. His efforts in this regard included the creation of the Forefront Organization in 1994, an international advocacy and support network. Woods also set up the Foundation for International Liberty, an international non-governmental human rights organization with offices in Sierra Leone and Liberia. In 2006, Woods became the Minister of Labor under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. He held this position until his appointment to the Ministry of Public Works in 2009. 

Full Audio File Size
74 MB
Full Audio Title
Samuel Woods - 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.”