Progress in Public Management in the Middle East and North Africa

Case Studies on Policy Reform

image of Progress in Public Management in the Middle East and North Africa

The MENA-OECD Governance Programme supports public sector reform in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. Since its inception in 2003, the programme has helped the region to improve institutions for good governance through continuous policy review and reform.

The need to accelerate economic growth has been the primary impetus, but MENA governments are increasingly implementing reform to improve public sector performance and to meet citizens’ needs for higher quality education and health care, a safer and cleaner environment, and transparent and responsive government. Going forward, reforms will also be driven by equity and sustainability concerns.

This report offers a perspective on the progress made in public management in the MENA region since 2005. It reviews achievements in implementing public governance reform in nine areas: human resource management, public finance, integrity, regulation and law drafting, administrative simplification, e-government, public-private partnerships, gender, and water resource management. The report presents case studies on key policy reforms and outlines common characteristics across the region as well as the specific conditions and circumstances in MENA countries and economies.



Cutting the Red Tape

Simplifying Administrative Procedures in the MENA

Excessive administrative burdens increase transaction costs in the market, impede the competitiveness of firms, limit initiative and encourage an informal economy. While administrative procedures are needed to collect information and implement public policy, streamlining them makes life easier for citizens and businesses. For these reasons, MENA governments are cutting red tape by implementing various administrative simplification policies, aiming to improve the regulatory framework, streamline administrative procedures and reduce paperwork. Generally, administrative simplification activities focus on four approaches: i) legal review and improvement; ii) process re-engineering and organisational streamlining; iii) the use of information and communication technologies (ICT); and iv) broader access to information and improved transparency. This chapter identifies important elements of administrative simplification that are improving governance in the MENA region. It briefly describes several promising initiatives underway in Arab countries, with a special focus on three cases from Bahrain, Lebanon and Tunisia.


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