Public Administration Reforms

The right to food in practice: implementation at the national level

Adequate food is a human right. This is something that has been formally recognised by the majority of states, but very little has been done to put this recognition into practice. This paper gives practical guidance on how to implement the right to food at the national level. Read more »

From Nominal to Substantive Democracy: The Role and Design of Election Management Bodies

The last quarter of the century has seen a wave of new democracies. However in many democracies, the electoral process is fraudulent and powerful incumbents manipulate elections. This calls for a distinction to be drawn between nominal and substantive democracies and this paper focuses on such nominal democracies, where elections are often a façade and democracy is rendered meaningless. Instances of fraudulent elections are rampant in the recent history of many developing countries, creating a need to reform electoral processes. Read more »

Development as accountability: accountability innovators in action

Accountability is still seen largely as a toolbox of metrics and mechanisms to bolt on to existing development projects, designed to reduce corruption and inefficiency at the margin. This report argues that accountability should become the central goal of development. It is based on dialogues convened in Indonesia, Russia and Brazil with hundreds of leaders, from civil society, business, the public sector, international institutions and the media.

Paradoxes of public accountability in Malaysia: control mechanisms and their limitations

Public accountability has become difficult to ensure. There are a variety of factors, often rooted in the politico-bureaucratic institutions that render accountability mechanisms largely ineffective. This article considers public accountability in Malaysia and its limitations. In particular, it focuses on the mechanisms of public accountability and their roles in theoretical and empirical terms.

Regulatory regimes and accountability

This research considers accountability issues for new forms of regulation that shift the emphasis from prescribing actions to regulating systems or regulating for results. Shortfalls at various levels of accountability are identified from experiences with these regimes in the regulation of building and fire safety, food safety and nuclear power plant safety. These experiences illustrate how accountability shortfalls can undermine regulatory performance and introduce a potential for subtle forms of regulatory capture. Read more »

Toolkit to promote transparency in local governance

This toolkit offers a collection of practical tools that civil society organisations and other advocacy groups can use in their efforts to 'clean up' local governments. The toolkit highlights the potential for civil society to create mechanisms for scrutiny and control of public institutions and to demand and promote accountable and responsive public administration.

New partnerships for education: learning from experience

This study reviews literature on public-private partnerships in education, as they apply to progress towards the Education for All goals, and highlights the policy lessons one can draw from it.

How the European Commission can take the lead in providing high-quality budget support for education and health

Developing-country governments desperately need more long-term and predictable aid, given through their budgets, to finance the expansion of health care, education, and other vital social services. The European Commission (EC) is one of the biggest donors providing this kind of essential budget support, and has innovative plans to further improve and increase this aid. European Union (EU) member states must support these ambitious plans. Read more »

Toward universal primary education: investments, incentives, and institutions

Better education is fundamental to the prospects for economic and social development and the end of world poverty. This report offers a rigorous set of interventions that countries can choose from to help provide universal access to high-quality education by focusing on hard-to-reach groups of people, educating girls and women to break the cycle of low education and strengthening educational opportunities for adolescents.

Information Systems and Public Sector Accountability

Accountability is an important component of public sector reform. Increased accountability can help put an end to waste, inefficient use of resources and corruption, and can also improve delivery of services. Information technology (IT) and information systems (IS) have had a significant impact on the public sector, and there is an expectation that they will create greater accountability.This paper from the Institute for Development Policy and Management looks at the relationship between accountability in the public sector and IT/IS. Read more »