Book Project

From Paper to Practice: Implementing Civil Service Reform in Africa

Improving the performance of the core civil service is one of the most important tasks facing government, but is also notoriously challenging. Based on studying 30 years of reforms across 6 countries in Africa, this book shows that these reforms have largely failed to achieve their goals because they have approached organizational change mainly as a matter of changing formal structures and processes through one-off projects. The book proposes a new approach in which reform is viewed not as a short period of rewriting rules but as catalyzing an ongoing process of continuous organizational change, and discusses strategies for reformers to achieve this in practice.

This project is currently in progress. The first working paper linked to this project, on patterns of performance management reforms in Ghana and Zambia, is available here (co-authored with Liah Yecalo-Tecle).