Adaptive management

Shaping Values for a New Generation: Anti-Corruption Education in Lithuania, 2002–2006

Author
Maya Gainer
Core Challenge
Country of Reform
Abstract

In 2002, Lithuania was struggling to defeat corruption, which had flourished during the Soviet occupation. Once viewed as the key to survival in an administered economy, offering gifts for services had become an accepted social norm. More than a decade after Lithuania regained independence, polling showed that although 77% of Lithuanians considered this form of corruption a problem, few were willing to change behaviors they saw as practical. The country’s recently created anti-corruption agency, the Special Investigation Service, faced the challenge of changing those social expectations. It decided to focus on a new generation of Lithuanians. The Modern Didactics Center, an educational nongovernmental organization, and a dedicated group of teachers stepped in to help the agency work toward the ambitious goal of changing the attitudes of students across the country. The group experimented with a variety of educational approaches both in and outside the classroom, including a curriculum that integrated anti-corruption elements into standard subjects and projects that encouraged students to become local activists. Despite resistance from educators that limited the program’s scale, the effort developed new approaches that illuminated the ethical and practical downsides of corruption for students across the country.

Maya Gainer drafted this case based on interviews conducted in Vilnius, Mažeikiai, and Anykščiai, Lithuania, during February 2015. Case published June 2015.

Gord Evans

Ref Batch
C
Focus Area(s)
Ref Batch Number
6
Interviewers
Michael Scharff
Name
Gord Evans
Interviewee's Position
Former Cabinet Consultant
Interviewee's Organization
Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC)
Language
English
Nationality of Interviewee
Canadian
Town/City
Princeton, New Jersey
Country
Date of Interview
Reform Profile
No
Abstract
Gord Evans, as an examiner for the World Bank, discusses the improvement of the effectiveness of cabinet offices. He explains why the head of the state would want to improve their cabinet, detailing how they need the machinery of government to work well for them to help them govern. He talks about how the improvements of the respective cabinets depend on the type of government dynamics that are present. Evans talks about how there are high-level and low-level reforms. The high-level reforms are those that are ambitious, and challenging due to their complexity. In great contrast, the low-level reforms often pertain to administrative issues, those that are less difficult to adjust, such as not enough people to complete a certain task. He talks and elaborates about the biggest implementation challenges he has seen across countries referring to both levels of reform. Evan explains how there are not universal steps or changes that usually produce the biggest improvements in cabinet office performance, and how it is dependent upon the devotion of the prime minister and how sold they are in the reform’s initial proposal. Evans then talks about delivery units, and gives his opinion on the matter, stating how their ability to work is different in a parliamentary system versus a presidential system. He also talks about how official prioritize issues that they focus upon. 
Profile

At the time of this interview, Gord Evans was an examiner of the effectiveness of cabinet offices for the World Bank. He had extensive experience studying and supporting cabinet office effectiveness. He had prior experience, working in the cabinet office in the government of Ontario, Canada. There he had the title of Deputy Clerk of the Executive Council, where he sat in on the cabinet and committee meetings and took the minutes. After doing this for eight years, he thought it would be time for a career switch and believed that it would be interesting to go out and work internationally. He desired to work with cabinet offices around the world; and luckily around this time the World Bank gained interest in studying things like prime minister, cabinets, and cabinet offices. Therefore, Evans was able to work with the World Bank and help them develop an approach to the examination of cabinet offices. Now, 14-15 years later, the program has been successful, and Evans has worked in approximately 30 countries.  

Full Audio File Size
39 MB
Full Audio Title
Gordon Evans - Full Interview

Tying Performance Management to Service Delivery: Public Sector Reform in Malaysia, 2009-2011

Author
Deepa Iyer
Country of Reform
Internal Notes
Added COG as focus area. Let's go back and check out critical tasks at some point! (LB, 3/12/13)
Abstract
In 2008 Malaysia’s voters expressed deep discontent with government services by handing the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, its worst election performance since independence in 1957. Poor service delivery reflected gaps in accountability, disparities in policy planning, and inadequate coordination across public agencies, especially at the ministerial level. After assuming office in 2009, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak appointed Idris Jala, a politically unaffiliated corporate executive, as a cabinet minister to head the newly created Performance Management and Delivery Unit, known by the acronym Pemandu, which also means “the driver” in Malay. Najib assigned the new agency the job of monitoring and improving the performance of ministries. Idris facilitated policy planning by issuing a roadmap for change, developed by civil servants in eight six-week “lab” sessions held in October and November of 2009. Leveraging his role as an unaffiliated cabinet minister, Idris and his team at Pemandu then set about implementing the roadmap, building a service delivery chain that linked the cabinet minister to the citizenry via the civil service and implementing agencies. Under Idris, Pemandu implemented the Government Transformation Program (GTP), a system that focused ministries on six key results areas, involving measurable service delivery targets against which ministers and inter-ministerial initiatives would be assessed. 
 
Deepa Iyer drafted this case on the basis of interviews conducted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in March 2011. Case published July 2011.
 
Associated Interview(s):  Idris Jala

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.”

A Promise Kept: How Sierra Leone's President Introduced Free Health Care in One of the Poorest Nations on Earth, 2009-2010

Author
Michael Scharff
Country of Reform
Abstract

When Ernest Bai Koroma assumed the presidency of Sierra Leone in 2007, he promised to run his government as efficiently as a private business. A few years earlier, a brutal 11-year civil war had ended, leaving an estimated 50,000 dead and an additional two million displaced. The effects of the war gutted the government’s capacity to deliver basic services. Koroma launched an ambitious agenda that targeted key areas for improvement including energy, agriculture, infrastructure and health. In 2009, he scored a win with the completion of the Bumbuna hydroelectric dam that brought power to the capital, Freetown. At the same time, the president faced mounting pressure to reduce maternal and child death rates, which were the highest in the world. In November, he announced an initiative to provide free health care for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five years of age, and set the launch date for April 2010, only six months away. Working with the country’s chief medical officer, Dr. Kisito Daoh, he shuffled key staff at the health ministry, created committees that brought ministries, donors and non-governmental organizations together to move actions forward, and developed systems for monitoring progress. Strong support from the center of government proved critical to enabling the project to launch on schedule. Initial data showed an increase in utilization rates at health centers and a decline in child death rates. 

Michael Scharff drafted this case study on the basis of interviews conducted in Freetown, Sierra Leone and London, U.K., in September and October 2011. Case published February 2012. See related cases, “Turning on the Lights in Freetown, Sierra Leone: Completing the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Plant, 2008-2009” and “Delivering on a Presidential Agenda: Sierra Leone’s Strategy and Policy Unit, 2010-2011.”

Focusing on Priority Goals: Strategic Planning in Lithuania, 2000-2004

Author
Jonathan (Yoni) Friedman
Focus Area(s)
Core Challenge
Country of Reform
Abstract

When Andrius Kubilius became prime minister of Lithuania in November 1999, he faced dual crises. Russia’s economic crash a year earlier had thrown Lithuania’s economy into a tailspin, and the government was in danger of losing its ability to borrow on international financial markets after running a large deficit the previous year. Furthermore, the European Commission had informed Lithuania that the country was falling short in its efforts to join the European Union (EU)—a key element in the Baltic state’s economic and political future. Kubilius’ government devised a plan to manage those crises, but systemic weaknesses in the center of government made it difficult to execute the agenda. The government was unable to ensure that line ministries set aside pet projects, was focused on supporting the goal of EU accession, and was unable to channel the government’s diminished resources to the most important projects. To address these challenges, Kubilius instructed State Chancellor Petras Auštrevi?ius and Government Secretary Algirdas Šemeta to reform the policy planning process to focus ministries on EU accession and other strategic goals, and to synchronize the budget and policy planning processes so that government spending flowed more reliably to where it was most needed. With less than a year until elections that were widely expected to bring in new leadership, Auštrevi?ius and Šemeta implemented reforms that put Lithuania back on track in negotiations to join the EU and back on its feet financially. Successive governments led by Lithuania’s other major political parties helped sustain and institutionalize the early gains.

 
Jonathan Friedman drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Vilnius, Lithuania, during January and February 2012. Case published May 2012.  A separate case study, "Improving the Quality of Decision Making: Fighting Reform Fatigue in Lithuania, 2006-2012," deals with later efforts to engage ministries in strengthening strategic planning.
 
Associated Interview(s):  Gord Evans, Kestutis Rekerta

Improving the Quality of Decision Making: Fighting Reform Fatigue in Lithuania, 2006-2012

Author
Jonathan (Yoni) Friedman
Core Challenge
Country of Reform
Abstract
In 2006, Lithuania was in the midst of its most robust period of economic growth and political stability since independence. The Baltic nation was a model of administrative capacity among new European Union members. But after years of energetic reform, weaknesses started to emerge in the strategic planning system the government had developed to meet the requirements for European Union accession. Civil servants increasingly viewed planning procedures as technical requirements rather than useful tools. And although planning documents proliferated, the system did not provide decision makers with the information required to assess policy impacts and performance. Officials from the prime minister’s office and the Ministry of Finance engaged other ministries in an effort to strengthen the strategic planning system. They refocused government on priority policies and improved the quality of information that decision makers needed. They improved the data management systems, reduced the number of policy priorities and impact assessments required, and empowered ministers in their sectors. In 2008, when a global financial crisis hit, new leaders endorsed and expanded the reform effort. 
 

Jonathan (Yoni) Friedman drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Vilnius, Lithuania, during January and February 2012. Case published June 2012.  A separate case study, Focusing on Priority Goals: Strategic Planning in Lithuania, 2000-2004,” deals with the initial implementation of the strategic planning system in Lithuania.

Associated Interview(s):  Giedrius Kazakevicius, Kestutis Rekerta

Matching Goodwill with National Priorities: Liberia's Philanthropy Secretariat, 2008-2012

Author
Michael Scharff
Focus Area(s)
Country of Reform
Internal Notes
Correction: Previously published draft incorrectly stated the goals Natty Davis set when he launched the Philanthropy Secretariat. New draft formatted and posted by Sarah Torian. 10.18.12
Abstract

After a protracted civil war ended in 2003, Liberia’s government began the costly and complex task of rebuilding. During the early years, philanthropies and foundations stepped forward to help but often worked on isolated projects that had little to do with Liberia’s broader needs. In addition, some donors duplicated the efforts of others or, worse, worked at cross-purposes. At the same time, government capacity was severely strained. Many experienced and skilled civil servants had died in the war or fled the country, and those who remained were swamped with work. When she took office in 2006, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf knew philanthropies and private foundations could help her achieve ambitious development goals. But although she had a strategic plan and concrete funding priorities, Sirleaf lacked the time and organizational means required to integrate private donors’ resources into the overall effort. After struggling with the problem early in her first term, Sirleaf assigned one of her most trusted advisers, Natty Davis, to work directly with private donors, enlist new contributors and channel philanthropic investments toward government priorities without burdening her office or ministers with repeated information requests and meetings. Davis created the Philanthropy Secretariat within the Office of the President to match donors with local nongovernmental organizations or government ministries on projects of mutual interest. By 2012 and despite shortcomings, the new unit had succeeded in linking more than a dozen new foundations and philanthropies with local organizations and government institutions. The funders gave more than US$16 million in grants, admittedly a small sum compared with annual contributions by multilateral and bilateral donors but still significant in helping the country move forward.

Michael Scharff drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Monrovia, Liberia and the United States in April and May 2012. Case originally published August 2012. Correction appended and case republished October 2012.
 
Associated Interview(s):  Dan Hymowitz

Shifting the Cabinet into High Gear: Agile Policymaking in Rwanda, 2008-2012

Author
Jonathan (Yoni) Friedman
Focus Area(s)
Country of Reform
Abstract
In 2008, the challenges of managing a growing economy and translating gains into higher standards of living put many issues on the agenda of Rwanda’s cabinet. The top-level policymaking process had to keep pace. Weekly meetings of Cabinet ministers were loosely organized that too often wasted the valuable time of the government’s top decision makers. Aware of the need to streamline operations at the center of government, President Paul Kagame created a Ministry in Charge of Cabinet Affairs, led by Charles Murigande, his longtime foreign affairs minister. Murigande quickly concluded that Cabinet-level confusion arose largely from a lack of clear guidelines for ministers on how to manage policy formulation and develop clear and complete policy proposals colleagues could understand easily and act upon quickly. He also suspected that not all the items on the agenda really required the attention of the whole cabinet. Murigande and his successor, former Minister of Local Government Protais Musoni, crafted a policy development manual for ministries, developed ways to resolve policy differences without involving the entire Cabinet, and introduced other changes that made Cabinet sessions shorter and more efficient. Although weaknesses remained in 2012, new Cabinet procedures improved the quality of policy proposals, promoted fast and responsible decision making, and gave Rwanda’s top government officials more time to deal with the country’s pressing problems.
 
Jonathan Friedman drafted this case study on the basis of interviews conducted in Kigali, Rwanda, during June 2012. Case published September 2012. See related case, “Improving Coordination and Prioritization: Streamlining Rwanda’s National Leadership Retreat, 2008-2011.”
 
Associated Interview(s):  Protais Musoni

Improving Decision Making at the Center of Government: Liberia's Cabinet Secretariat, 2009-2012

Author
Michael Scharff
Focus Area(s)
Country of Reform
Abstract
When Momo Rogers became director general of Liberia’s Cabinet Secretariat in June 2009, he thought the office could begin to support President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her team of ministers much more effectively than it had done previously. Cabinet offices generally aimed to improve the quality of decision making and coordination at the center of government. That function was especially important in Liberia, where President Sirleaf wanted to advance an ambitious development agenda—six years after the end of a protracted civil war—yet before Rogers stepped into his role, many Cabinet meetings were long and unfocused and often yielded few tangible results. For example, policy decisions reached in the Cabinet meetings were not often communicated to the people responsible for implementing policy. Moreover, the relevance of decisions about the government’s priorities was sometimes unclear even to those who had participated in the meetings. Recognizing those challenges, Sirleaf tasked Rogers with responsibility for making the office—and the Cabinet itself—work better. Rogers built a team at the Secretariat and introduced procedural changes like circulating agendas and policy papers in advance of Cabinet meetings. By 2012, the Cabinet was functioning more effectively: agendas circulated in advance, discussions were more focused, and the Secretariat followed up on action items agreed to in the meetings. But shortcomings remained, including a persistent need to improve the quality of policy proposals submitted to Cabinet.
 

Michael Scharff drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Monrovia, Liberia, and the United States in April and May 2012. Case published in September 2012. 

Associated Interview(s):  Momo Rogers