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April 29, 2011

The World Bank and Public Sector Management: Where Do You Come Out?

Posted by Nick Manning

The World Bank is reviewing its approach to Public Sector Management. Please take a look at our thinking to date: http://go.worldbank.org/BQGJN2KA30

The purpose of the approach is to make the World Bank a more effective partner to client governments in improving their ability to deliver public sector results. By results we mean those that are needed by citizens' today in sectors such as health, education, agriculture and transport – as well as results such as fiscal stability which maximize the prospects that those sector improvements will still be delivered tomorrow. This is an opportunity to reflect on some broad themes concerning the field of “public management” or “public administration” - and the specific question of what the Bank can do, particularly in environments of generally weak governance, and how progress can be ascertained.

The Bank is a significant player in the field. Since 1995, the World Bank has approved over 1,500 lending projects with significant public sector components. Last year, it committed nearly $3.6 billion for lending for public sector management reforms in low and middle income countries. Getting the approach right means that we can do more with these resources in helping governments improve their public sector management.

The draft World Bank Approach to Public Sector Management 2011-2020 is proposing some practical ways forward. Are these over-ambitious or too cautious? Are they unduly inward-looking or hubristic in their view on the degree to which the Bank can influence global trends?

We are consulting on these issues with a broad range of governments, development partners, civil society organizations, private sector, academics and other stakeholders. Please participate in these consultations by contributing to our blog on Public Sector Management for Development or emailing (psmapproach@worldbank.org).

We look forward to hearing from you.

Note: The posts on the IMF PFM Blog should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy.

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