Moving Beyond Central Planning: Crafting a Modern Policy Management System, Latvia, 2000-2006


In 2000, Latvia’s newly appointed state chancellor, Gunta Veismane, took on a daunting task. Since Latvia’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the new government had functioned without a clearly organized policy-planning process. Ministries produced policy papers that lacked input from stakeholders or essential information about costs and objectives, leaving decision makers in the dark when trying to set a course for Latvia’s future. Veismane’s job was to ensure that top officials had the information and analysis they needed to make informed policy decisions. She tapped Una Klapkalne, an experienced government official, to lead an elite unit in the State Chancellery to design and implement a new policy-making system. Between 2000 and 2006, Veismane and Klapkalne introduced rules and procedures that improved the quality of decision making and enhanced coordination across government. The World Bank lauded the system they created as a model for the region. 

Jonathan Friedman drafted this case study on the basis of interviews conducted in Riga, Latvia, during February 2012. Case published May 2012.

Associated Interview(s):  Una Klapkalne, Baiba Petersone

coordination unit
Cabinet offices and Secretariats
budget alignment
PM's office
center of government
policy planning
policy coordination
Focus Area(s)
Centers of Government
Critical Tasks
Aligning policy and budget
Cabinet reform
Improving cabinet efficiency
Preparation of policy papers and choices
Strategic planning
Core Challenge
Country of Reform
Case Studies
Jonathan (Yoni) Friedman