technical assistance

Harold Jonathan Monger

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ZF
Focus Area(s)
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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.

Leonard Rugwabiza

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S
Focus Area(s)
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11
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Daniel Scher
Name
Leonard Rugwabiza
Interviewee's Position
Director General for National Planning and Research
Interviewee's Organization
Rwanda Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Rwandan
Town/City
Kigali
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Leonard Rugwabiza describes the integrated planning, budgeting, and implementation process involved in imihigo, the Rwanda’s initiative to improve local governance by increasing accountability and implementing economic and social development. Rugwabiza reports on the procedures used to harmonize national and local planning and priorities through an integrated bottom-up and top-down process. He explains that officials at all levels, national and local, were on “performance contracts.” About three-fourths of the mayors in the country’s 30 districts left their jobs in the prior year because of the stress. Nevertheless, Rugawabiza says, measurable improvements in performance and execution could be credited to the process.
 
Profile

At the time of this interview, Leonard Rugwabiza was the director general for national planning and research at Rwanda's Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. Prior to that, he spent two years as an economist with the African Development Bank. Earlier, he served in the strategic planning unit of the Ministry of Finance.    

Full Audio File Size
43MB
Full Audio Title
Leonard Rugwabiza Interview

Ellam Tangirongo

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N
Focus Area(s)
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15
Country of Reform
Interviewers
David Hausman
Name
Ellam Tangirongo
Interviewee's Position
Chairman
Interviewee's Organization
Civil Service Commission of the Solomon Islands
Nationality of Interviewee
Solomon Islands
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Ellam Tangirongo talks about the period of civil unrest from 1999 to 2000, when the collapse of the economy in the Solomon Islands affected the ability of the civil service to function.  The Regional Assistance Mission for the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), made up of Australia, New Zealand and some of the South Pacific Islands, helped restore order and reestablished the public service.  Tangirongo describes how, as part of RAMSI, the Public Service Improvement Program (PSIP), with the help of consultants and advisers, developed a vision and mission statement for a new public service free of corruption.  Tangirongo talks about methods the PSIP used to establish a human resource program to improve practices involving recruitment, training, equipment and promotions at the national and provincial level.  He discusses the problems that result when ministers try to influence the choice of members on the Civil Service Commission and the important task of the commission in serving as a coordinating organ to involve the ministries and senior officers.

Profile

At the time of this interview, Ellam Tangirongo was chairman of the Public Service Commission of the Solomon Islands, a position he had held since 2008.  A public-service career of more than 30 years began in the provinces of the Solomons.  Later, he became deputy secretary of foreign affairs and served in the Ministry of Lands, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Women.  For eight years he served in in the Public Service Department of the prime minister’s office, including the last four years as permanent secretary.

Full Audio File Size
59MB
Full Audio Title
Ellam Tangiorngo Interview

Sok Siphana

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9
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Rohan Mukherjee
Name
Sok Siphana
Interviewee's Position
Adviser
Interviewee's Organization
Government of Cambodia
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Cambodian
Place (Building/Street)
Supreme National Economic Council
Town/City
Phnom Penh
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Sok Siphana discusses Cambodia’s efforts to join the World Trade Organization and to implement economic reform and development domestically. He discusses Cambodia’s transition to a market economy.  Accession to the WTO offered an overarching goal that allowed the government to implement key reforms, including establishing legal frameworks protecting private property and regulating economic activity, standardizing government procedures with respect to foreign corporations, and overcoming entrenched interests. Siphana explains in detail the efforts of the WTO negotiation team to represent the Cambodian nation and to build consensus within the public sector, the private sector, the non-profit sector, international donors and the general populace. Siphana discusses the problems faced by Cambodia in these aims, including entrenched interests, political gamesmanship, lack of expertise and capacity building, bargaining inequality, language barriers and budgetary constraints.
Profile
At the time of the interview, Sok Siphana was adviser to the government of Cambodia. Between 1993 and 1999, he was employed as a legal adviser at the United Nations Development Programme. In 1999 he was appointed vice minister of commerce in Cambodia, where he was largely responsible for the nation’s accession to the World Trade Organization. After Cambodia’s successful accession to the WTO in 2004, he worked as director of technical cooperation at the International Trade Centre. Siphana holds a juris doctor degree from the Widener University School of Law and a doctoral degree in law from the Bond University School of Law. 
Full Audio File Size
105MB
Full Audio Title
Sok Siphana Interview

Nasouh Marzouqa

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Focus Area(s)
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1
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Deepa Iyer
Name
Nasouh Marzouqa
Interviewee's Position
Former Director
Interviewee's Organization
Civil Status and Passports Department
Language
Arabic with English translation
Nationality of Interviewee
Jordanian
Town/City
Amman
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Nasouh Marzouqa discusses major reforms in Jordan’s Civil Status and Passports Department during his time as its director.  He describes how he improved the physical infrastructure of the department and streamlined the process for issuing passports.  Marzouqa also worked to institute a system of national identification numbers and began the process of computerizing the department.  He also discusses his efforts to motivate employees.    

Case Study:  Creating a 'Citizen Friendly' Department: Speeding Document Production in Jordan, 1991-1996

Profile

Nasouh Marzouqa served as head of Jordan’s Civil Status and Passports Department from 1991 to 1996, during which he oversaw massive reforms to the department. He previously served as director of the police departments in Irbid and Amman, and was director general of the Department of Public Security from 1985 to 1989.

Full Audio File Size
207 MB
Full Audio Title
Nasouh Marzouqa - Full Interview

Taboka Nkhwa

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8
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Daniel Scher
Name
Taboka Nkhwa
Interviewee's Position
Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture
Interviewee's Organization
Government of Botswana
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Botswana
Town/City
Gabarone
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Taboka Nkhwa discusses Botswana’s efforts to improve public service institutions. She reflects upon the role of political impulse, discontent within the private sector, and international political conditions in providing an impetus for change. She also talks about the role of training, technical assistance, consultants, and communication in improving Botswana’s civil service. Nkhwa also offers insights into the obstacles to reform, such as political and bureaucratic resistance, financial cost, accountability and failures of service delivery.    
 
Profile
At the time of this interview, Taboka Nkhwa was the deputy permanent secretary in Botswana's Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture. Prior to that, she was deputy director for the Directorate of Public Service. She had worked as a management consultant for ministries in Botswana, where she analyzed ministerial structures and functioning. She was also involved in introducing a performance management system for the public service of Botswana. Earlier, she served as deputy director for human resource management for Commonwealth Public Services under the Governance and Institutional Development Division.
Full Audio File Size
29MB
Full Audio Title
Taboka Nkhwa Interview

Humberto Falcao Martins

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Focus Area(s)
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6
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Rushda Majeed
Name
Humberto Falcao Martins
Interviewee's Position
Managing Director
Interviewee's Organization
Instituto Publix
Language
Portuguese
Nationality of Interviewee
Brazil
Town/City
Brasilia
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract

Humberto Falcao Martins offers his perspective on the Brazilian civil service reforms of the 1990s.  He credits Bresser-Pereira for single-handedly putting civil service reform on the agenda.  As a specialist on state an institutional issues in the Secretariat for Strategic Affairs, he was involved in the initial review of the Plano Diretor, or blueprint for reform, produced by Bresser-Pereira.  Martins says he was impressed with the decentralization scheme that would create a strategic core, a second group of activities handled exclusively by the state, a third group that would perform activities through partnerships with NGOs and social organizations, and a fourth group focused on market-oriented service provision by state-owned agencies.  Although he recognized the potential of the proposed initiatives, Martins was concerned with reduction of political interference in the implementation stage.  He identifies economists in the government as one of the main sources of opposition, which translated into generalized resistance to the reform.  Divergent views on managerial reform within the executive branch also contributed to resistance.  Martins further argues that consensus building during the drafting process would have circumvented opposition within the civil service.  Operational and legal obstacles plagued the implementation stage as well, but were somewhat successfully addressed in the social organization initiative in which Martins participated personally.  Specific strategies involved passage of constitutional amendments to restructure the civil service, but they came at the cost of increasing opposition.  Martins emphasizes the role of the reform in bringing about a paradigm shift in public administration rather than in effecting specific change.  In that sense, the ultimate result of the Brazilian managerial reform was to inspire other reformers across the country, with the state of Minas Gerais emerging as a paradigmatic success.  In the end, Martins attributes failure of specific implementation to fragmentation arising from concomitant and somewhat divergent views on state reform that were happening at the same time under President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

Case Study:  Strengthening Public Administration: Brazil, 1995-1998

Profile

At the time of this interview, Humberto Falcao Martins was the managing director of the Instituto Publix, which focuses on consulting and corporate education in public management.  He served as a specialist on state institutional issues in the Secretariat for Strategic Affairs under President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, and he reviewed initial proposals for national reform.  Inspired by the potential of the Plano Diretor, he joined the Ministry of Administration and State Reform himself as a member of the social organizations team.
 

Full Audio File Size
80 MB
Full Audio Title
Humberto Martins Interview

Benjamin Mkapa

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Focus Area(s)
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6
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Jennifer Widner
Name
Benjamin Mkapa
Interviewee's Position
Former President
Interviewee's Organization
United Republic of Tanzania
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Tanzanian
Town/City
Dar es Salaam
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Benjamin Mkapa discusses the reform of Tanzania’s civil service during his presidency. He explains the need for reform to curtail corruption and inefficiency, spur economic growth, promote more egalitarian policies for workers and retain support from international donors. He discusses Tanzania’s largely voluntary retrenchment program and pay reform for state employees, as well as efforts to privatize state-owned commercial enterprises. Measures to restructure and decentralize civil service, as well as improvements in performance management, also played a large role in Tanzania’s success in achieving civil service reform. Mkapa also discusses the role of leadership in creating and sustaining support for his reform program. He examines the role of the executive branch in mustering support from the civil service, the private sector, the legislature and other political entities, and international donors to ensure the efficacy and longevity of reform. He also emphasizes the importance of an active press, consistent provision of law and order, economic growth, and intelligent sequencing of reforms in the success of reform programs.
 
Profile

Benjamin Mkapa was the third president of Tanzania, holding the office from 1995 to 2005. Mkapa began his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but soon began work in journalism. After editorial work for newspapers, he was appointed press secretary for the president. His career then turned toward foreign affairs and politics again, and his appointments included the offices of ambassador to the United States, minister for foreign affairs, minister for information and broadcasting, minister for information and culture, and minister for science, technology and higher education.  

Full Audio File Size
53.1MB
Full Audio Title
Benjamin Mkapa Interview

Obadiah Mailafia

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Focus Area(s)
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7
Critical Tasks
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Itumeleng Makgetla
Name
Obadiah Mailafia
Interviewee's Position
Director
Interviewee's Organization
Center for Policy and Economic Research
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Nigerian
Town/City
Abuja
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
Yes
Abstract

Obadiah Mailafia recounts his experiences as the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, where he was responsible for monetary policy, statistics, economic analysis and relations with regional and international institutions.  His governorship came at a time of financial flux in the country, and Mailafia participated and led a number of progressive reforms.  The three that he emphasizes were the consolidation of the banking system, the establishment of a policy support instrument in conjunction with the International Monetary Fund, and the negotiations with the Paris Club for debt relief.  These reforms, in particular the consolidation and overhaul of the banking system, met strong and sometimes violent resistance, but reformers attempted to maintain public support by maintaining openness and transparency, engaging with the press along the way.  The reform was nonetheless slow and was susceptible to cults of personality, corruption and changes in government that left efforts vulnerable to backfire or failure.  Mailafia also identifies areas of the Nigerian civil service that require training and capacity building, particularly information technology and statistics services as well as leadership training.  He credits much of the central bank's success to the open and team-like community he cultivated with his employees, whom he describes as the brightest in the civil service.

Profile

At the time of this interview, Obadiah Mailafia was the director of the Center for Policy and Economic Research, a Nigerian macroeconomics and public policy think tank that he founded.  Mailafia studied economics at the Institut International d’Administration Publique (of l’École Nationale d’Administration) in France, and went on to earn his doctorate in economic development and international relations at Oriel College of Oxford.  He taught at the American University of London and at Regent’s Business School before he joined the African Development Bank, first in Côte d’Ivoire and then Tunisia.  He received the Mamoun Beheiry Award for distinguished service to the ADB Group.  In 2005, Mailafia was invited back to his native Nigeria to serve as the deputy governor of the central bank, a post that he held until 2007.  He was briefly a senior policy adviser to the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with the rank of Minister of State.  After this interview, Mailafia was appointed chief of staff at the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States in Brussels.

Full Audio File Size
66 MB
Full Audio Title
Obadiah Mailafia Interview

Deependra Bickram Thapa

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7
Country of Reform
Interviewers
Andrew Schalkwyk
Name
Deependra Bickram Thapa
Interviewee's Position
Secretary of Education
Interviewee's Organization
Ministry of Education and Sport, Nepal
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Nepali
Place (Building/Street)
Ministry of Education and Sport
Town/City
Kathmandu
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Deependra Thapa describes the successes and failures of civil service reform efforts in Nepal before, during and after civil conflict. He reports successes in downsizing the bureaucracy and combating corruption. A Web-based personnel information system was installed. However, its use was inhibited by the resistance to change within the bureaucracy, which persisted in doing most transactions on paper. Because of a lack of support from top leadership, installation of a performance management system, with pay and promotion dependent upon outputs, was stymied for similar reasons. When Parliament was suspended during the civil conflict, training for parliamentarians and senior civil servants and officials also came to a halt. Thapa expresses concern that tensions under the coalition government at the time of the interview meant that little attention and few resources would be paid to achieve the ambitious civil service reform goals the government originally set for itself in 1999.
Profile

At the time of this interview, Deependra Thapa was Nepal's secretary of education, a position he had held for less than a year. Earlier, he was secretary of the Ministry of General Administration, where he had served for two years as national program officer in charge of the civil service reform program.  Since entering the civil service in 1997, he also served in the ministries of tourism, environment, operations, transportation and labor and in the office of the prime minister.

Full Audio File Size
76MB
Full Audio Title
Deepndra Thapa Interview