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During the last decade, globalization and democratization have been the major forces that helped transform the structures, functions and processes of Asian public sectors…
During the last decade, globalization and democratization have been the major forces that helped transform the structures, functions and processes of Asian public sectors. These transformation efforts of Asian countries vary considerably depending on local context, and have met with different degrees of success. Some countries experienced smooth transformations. For others, the reform process has been more volatile. These issues were explored at a conference 7–9 July 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand, hosted by the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, and co-sponsored by the International Public Management Network, the Asia-Pacific Governance Institute, and Thailand Democracy Watch. This book presents some of the works contributed by participating scholars and practitioners at the conference. The contents fall into three categories: corruption and anti-corruption initiatives, public financial management (PFM) and public management reforms with emphasis on performance and results.
As the 21st century moves ahead, it is increasingly evident that globalization and democratization are strong forces playing crucial roles in shaping public sector transformation around the world. For Asian countries, the key questions are, how should selected reform ideas from other countries be diffused, and which parts of one's traditional government and culture should be retained? A common choice among Asian countries is to replace government with governance. Transforming bureaucracies from government to governance involves the acceptance of certain democratic principles such as accountability, openness, transparency, integrity, corruption-free, and high performance standards (Bowornwathana, 2006, pp. 667–680).
In recent years, the World Bank has channeled up to one-sixth of its lending and advisory support to reform of central governments. A recent evaluation tried to understand…
In recent years, the World Bank has channeled up to one-sixth of its lending and advisory support to reform of central governments. A recent evaluation tried to understand what was working, what needs to be improved, and what needs to be added or discontinued. The evaluation looked at four key central government tasks: public financial management and procurement (PFMP) reform, administration and civil service reform (ACS), tax administration reform, and combating corruption. This chapter looks at the first of these tasks.
The advice provided by the World Bank on improving public financial management and procurement is influenced by debates on theory and practice in developed and developing countries. This chapter touches on some of the highlights of these debates, drawing from indicative literature mainly since 1990 from scholars and practitioners. The second part of the chapter discusses examples of Bank support for reform of budget planning and execution, financial management, and procurement, looking at the Bank's diagnostic work, design, and implementation of project support. It also assesses evidence of outcomes and attribution, and ends with questions for further research.
Bidhya Bowornwathana is associate professor at the Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. His research interests are on governance and administrative reform. His writings appear in journals such as Governance: An International Journal of Policy and Administration, Public Administration and Development, Australian Journal of Public Administration, Asian Survey, Public Administration Quarterly, Public Administration: An International Quarterly, Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, Asian Review of Public Administration, and Asian Journal of Political Science. He has written several books in Thai on administrative reform and public administration. He co-edited a book with John P. Burns on Civil Services Systems in Asia (Edward Elgar, 2001). He also has chapters in recent books such as in Christopher Pollitt and Colin Talbot, eds., Unbundled Government (Taylor and Francis, 2004), Ron Hodges, ed., Governance and the Public Sector (Edward Elgar, 2005), Eric E. Otenyo and Nancy S. Lind, eds., Comparative Public Administration: The Essential Readings (Elsevier, 2006), and Kuno Schedler and Isabella Proeller, eds., Cultural Aspects of Public Management Reform (Elsevier, 2007). He was Chairman of Department of Pubic Administration, Chulalongkorn University. He has served several times as member and secretary of the national administrative reform commissions appointed by Thai governments.
Government service delivery is undergoing change as a result of innovations in information technology (IT). Scholars and practitioners have paid attention to…
Government service delivery is undergoing change as a result of innovations in information technology (IT). Scholars and practitioners have paid attention to electronic-government (e-government) as a strategic tool for delivering services through the Internet and thus enhancing service quality, as well as streamlining internal operations (Council for Excellence in Government [CEG], 2000; Center for Technology in Government, 1999; Ho, 2002; Norris & Moon, 2005; West, 2004). Many local governments have also initiated e-government development and taken advantage of internet-based applications to facilitate community development and communication with constituents (Benjamin, 2001; Modesitt, 2002), as well as to provide online application services (Ho, 2002; Norris & Moon, 2005). E-government brings with it the potential for greater cost-efficiency, enhanced citizen involvement, improved service quality, and increased transparency. Although e-government has the potential to provide many benefits, little research has been conducted on e-government performance and the influence of public management on e-government performance in local government.
Nonaka (1990) makes the distinction between generic knowledge that can be applied in many similar contexts, and local knowledge that can be best applied in a specific…
Nonaka (1990) makes the distinction between generic knowledge that can be applied in many similar contexts, and local knowledge that can be best applied in a specific local context. Israel (1987) and Fukuyama (2004) point out that “high specificity” tasks (i.e. with clear objectives, and using well-defined technologies) with low transaction volume are more likely to be performed successfully by organizations across a wide range of cultural contexts. In this spirit, Friedman (2005, pp. 313–323) observes that countries can benefit from the “flat world” through a combination of “reform wholesale” and “reform retail”. The former entails market-centered reforms such as privatization, deregulation, reducing trade barriers, and adopting flexible labor laws. A handful of leaders in each country have pushed through such reforms in a wide range of cultural contexts including the developed OECD countries, plus many others such as Brazil, India, Mexico, Russia, China, and other East Asian “tiger” economies. The latter entails upgrading infrastructure, regulatory institutions, and education and health standards. Unlike the former, the latter reforms cannot be instituted by a handful of leaders, but require broad changes at many levels of society. Although the end results in countries successful at “reform retail” have many similarities (e.g. healthy, well-educated citizens) the steps toward achieving the results are very different, depending on culture and other contextual factors.