Working Paper
Civil Service Reform

a Review

Civil service reform is one of the most intractable yet important challenges for governments and their supporters today. However, civil service reform thus far has largely failed. Based on a review of existing literature, this paper presents principles for donors, governments, and advocates to help them design more effective reform programmes. While the current understanding of how best to promote civil service reform has advanced, it remains broadly incomplete due to a combination of the complexity of the subject, disagreement on the objectives, and a failure of practitioners to reflect on their experiences and then disseminate the results. Recommendations are presented separately for reform designers and reform funders.