copy the linklink copied! Foreword

More than a decade after the financial crisis, OECD countries are still experiencing relatively slow economic growth. They are also saddled with a large debt burden, and facing challenges related to ageing populations and rapid technological change. At the same time, people’s trust in public institutions and the their perception of the responsiveness, integrity and efficiency of the public sector have yet to fully recover from the crisis, limiting the capacity of governments to implement necessary reforms. In this context, taking a people-centric approach to policy making and service delivery becomes urgent. Such an approach entails governments better taking the needs and expectations expressed by the people into account when designing, implementing and evaluating public policies and services.

Government at a Glance 2019, the sixth edition of the flagship publication of the OECD Public Governance Committee, focuses on progress made by OECD countries in achieving people-centricity in their public management and governance practices and in service delivery. Data show that countries are improving service provision, which is reflected in the levels of public satisfaction with key public services, making headway in the use of people-centric public governance practices.

The major objective of the Government at a Glance series is to provide reliable, internationally comparative data on government activities in OECD countries, accession countries, and other major economies. These data can be used to benchmark governments’ performance, track national and international developments over time, and provide evidence for policy making.

As in every edition, there are indicators on the entire government production process from inputs through processes to outcomes. A unique feature of the publication is that data on public management and governance practices are collected by OECD survey instruments from government officials, validated by OECD experts. This edition contains chapters on the roles and responsibilities of selected institutions, budgeting practices and procedures, human resources management, regulatory governance, public procurement and open and digital government. Input data focus on public finance and employment, while outcome data include indicators on core government results – such as trust in government, political efficacy, role of the government in reducing income inequalities – as well as indicators on access, responsiveness, service quality and citizen satisfaction in education, health and justice services.

The indicators in Government at a Glance are unique, and have been developed to monitor countries’ progress with OECD principles and recommendations on various public governance practices. As a result, they are a recognised benchmark in many fields of public governance, allowing for more informed, evidence-based policy discussions worldwide.

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD 2019

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at