Managing the Public Service: Strategies for Improvement

2310-2012 (online)
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A strong and achieving public service is a necessary condition for a competitively successful nation. This series maps current and emerging best practices in public service management from across the Commonwealth. It draws on the experience of practitioners, managers and policy-makers to point the way to practical strategies for improvement.

Better Policy Support

Better Policy Support

Improving Policy Management in the Public Service You do not have access to this content

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Mohan Kaul
01 Jan 1997
9781848596139 (PDF)

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Looks at ways of improving policy management from personnel, organisational and institutional perspectives.

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  • Foreword

    A strong and achieving public service is a necessary condition for a competitively successful nation. The Managment and Training Services Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat assists member governments to improve the performance of the public service through action-oriented advisory services, policy analysis and training. This assistance is supported by funds from the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation (CFTC).

  • Introduction

    Over the past two decades, the common global changes – political, social, economic, technological and environmental, and the upsurge in liberal-market economic policies and democratic systems of governance – have led to a reassessment of the role of government in the planning and management of economic and social policies. This has led to a new and more focused definition of the role of government.

  • Background

    The business of government is to make choices and strategically manage resources towards achieving the goals those choices imply. Public policy is the product of these choices, setting the parameters within which government departments and others operating within the sphere of particular policies are either intended, or made, to function. Within government, policy management has become a critical area in the present development debate.

  • Process Dimensions of Policy Management

    The common phases of the policy-making process which are practically applicable, include the following: policy initiation; policy process design; policy analysis; policy formulation; decision-making; policy dialogue; implementation; and monitoring and evaluation.

  • Roles and Responsibilities in Policy Management

    Management reforms within government have led to the search for enhanced clarity of role and tighter lines of accountability with a desire to re-define the political relationship between political policy-making and administrative policy implementation. How the relationship between political leadership, administration and policy analysis is managed could have far-reaching implications, both for the technical quality and the democratic content of government. The public service requires a clearer political lead, and by distinguishing the role of senior administrators from that of politicians, strategic objectives will be more easily separated from operational processes.

  • Institutional Arrangements for Policy Management

    Integral to any strategy to strengthen the policy process is a clear understanding of the organisational and institutional structures through which policy initiatives are generated and processed.

  • Annexes and Bibliography
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