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.



Overall Strategies for Public Governance Reform in the MENA Region

This chapter examines the overall strategies that MENA governments have adopted to pursue reform, drawing on the rich experience contained in the nine chapters that follow. The review concludes that in each of the policy areas examined, governments have applied different strategies to advance the reform agenda, with differing results. While the review refrains from generalising about such a diverse region, it shows that reform paths involving consultation with internal and external stakeholders, experimentation to test innovation, and then a gradual, decentralised approach to implementation tend to outperform top-down, centralised and non-participatory approaches. An overall finding from the case studies is that value-based methods, such as developing codes of conduct, have made a contribution where combined with consultation and including stakeholders in implementation. Sustained leadership and determination in the face of the inevitable barriers have been key to success in the MENA, as in other regions.


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