Data higher wages and neutrality of civil servants

Data Collection Strategy

An important part of the WPSR 2005 will be the original
presentation of

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information, data sets and indicators that can be used to
substantiate its findings,

conclusions and recommendations. To provide focus and
clarity to the data

collection and research efforts, a separate note will be
developed by an in-house

expert, outlining in some detail what data sets and
indicators should ideally be

compiled for the report.

Regular consultations will also be held with stakeholders
in different countries to

discuss the substantive preparations for the WPSR,
particularly with members ofthe United Nations Committee of Experts on Public
Administration (UNCEPA).

The consultative process will begin with a participatory
review of the Concept

Note by a Working Group of UNCEPA at its upcoming meeting
in New York, 29

March-2 April 2004, as well as at the Ad-hoc Expert Group
Meeting (AEGM) in

Florence, 6-8 May 2004. The Concept Note would
subsequently be revised to

reflect the outcome of these meetings.

As mentioned earlier, the WPSR 2005 will particularly
examine the conditions

needed to establish a public service that can be
described as professional,

responsive and impartial. The report would therefore
attempt to identify those

factors that seem to be highly significant in explaining
this desired public service

condition. Research undertaken under the auspices of the
World Development

Report 1997, for example, showed that an index
representing meritocratic

recruitment and promotion and adequacy of pay was
correlated with economic

growth and investors’ perceptions of bureaucratic
capability.

Related research by James Rauch and Peter Evans (1999)3 on bureaucratic

structures in 35 less developed countries tested whether
bureaucracies with the

main “Weberian” characteristics perform better. Their
evidence suggests that

they do; particularly on issues of meritocratic
recruitment, but also with respect to

internal promotion and career stability. A United Nations
University4 (UNU)
study

has also highlighted the importance of career stability,
higher wages and

neutrality of civil servants in explaining efficient
implementation practices in the

public service.

One important research objective of the WPSR 2005 would
be to discuss

whether the above-cited findings are still valid in
today’s public sector

environment. For example, many governments in both
developed and developing

countries have opted in recent years to reform their
civil service models, with the

aim of making them more responsive, efficient and
professional based on NPM

concepts. An important aspect of this trend is the
relative shift from closed

career-based systems to more open recruitment and
promotion of staff in the

public service. However, it is not clear how these changes
will affect

professionalism and impartiality of senior officials in
the public sector in the longterm,

particularly in developing and transition countries.

This begs the question whether innovations, such as the
introduction of NPM

concepts in human resources management, are likely to
contribute to the

creation of a more professional, responsive and impartial
public service; or are

less developed countries better off by promoting
incremental improvements to

existing traditional career-based recruitment and
promotion systems that tend to

rely on internal promotion to strengthen career stability
and institutional memory,

rather than by introducing far-reaching reforms based on
NPM concepts? Thereport would particularly advocate for the establishment of
strong career-based

systems in the public service in developing and
transition countries.

The WPSR 2005 would systematically analyse the
above-cited question with the

aim of formulating practical policy advice to
governments. The research work,

however, could possibly be hampered by a lack of
sufficiently recent data to test

the various hypotheses. The data collection note would
address this issue,

particularly whether necessary data sets can be extracted
from existing

information resources, or if additional research is
required.

For example, a number of indicators have already been
developed by various

organizations to measure what can broadly be described as
‘government

effectiveness’. Some global surveys have also been
undertaken in recent years

to examine the perceived prestige of different
institutions in society, including

governments. However, comparative data on the
remuneration of public servants

in different countries appears to be scarce. The World
Bank, through the abovecited

Rauch and Evans study, collected information on
remuneration issues in 35

countries. The UNU study mentioned earlier looked at this
aspect as well. The

data collection note would examine if there is need to
undertake additional

research in this area in order to strengthen the analysis
of the report.

The 2002 UNDP Human Development Report, entitled “Deepening
Democracy in

a Fragmented
World”, presented a
number of subjective indicators on

governance, developed or assembled by various
multilateral, private and nongovernmental

institutions, such as the World Bank, Transparency
International,

and the University of Maryland, etc. These indicators
deal with issues such as

government effectiveness, corruption, and rule of law.

A few of these indicators are described here below (concepts
measured are in

brackets):

? Polity score (competitiveness of chief executive
recruitment; openness

of chief executive recruitment; other measures)
(University of Maryland);

? Government effectiveness (bureaucratic quality; quality of
public health

care; government stability) (World Bank Governance
Indicators);

? Voice and accountability (change in government; transparency;
other

measures) (World Bank Governance Indicators);

? Corruption perception (official corruption as perceived by
business

people, academics and risk analysts) (Transparency
International);

? Graft (corruption among public officials; frequency of
irregular payments

to officials and judiciary; perception of corruption in
civil service; other

measures) (World Bank Governance Indicators).

It is probably possible to devise a methodology to assess
government

effectiveness in different countries by combining
individual measures from the

above-cited indexes. These measures could also be
complemented by a number

of other socio-economic indicators with the aim of
reaching a reasonableestimate of government effectiveness that could be
compared with the perceived

quality of human resources in a particular country.
Regression analysis could

similarly be used to examine the relationship between
government effectiveness

measures, other relevant socio-economic indicators, and
perceived quality of

human resources management.

As mentioned earlier, the report would particularly
examine the importance of

adequate remuneration and prestige of public service
employment for

government effectiveness, including the ability of the
public sector to recruit and

retain high quality staff. While information may be
available on the perceived

prestige and reputation of government employment,
comparative recent data on

remuneration in the public service is likely to be scarce
as mentioned earlier.

However, the World Bank has recently undertaken a study
on pay reform in

seven African countries. It will be discussed with the
World Bank if the report of

these surveys can be made available to UNDESA for the
preparation of the

WPSR.

6. Methodology, Timeframe and Resources

A recent evaluation of the Flagship Reports of UNDESA,
undertaken by

independent consultants, highlighted the importance of
investing sufficient

financial and human resources in the preparation of the
World Public Sector

Report in order to maintain satisfactory quality
standards. The evaluation report

also emphasized the importance of effective quality
control in the areas of

editing, layout and printing of the WPSR, as well as the
need for active

participation of relevant stakeholders in the preparatory
process. More use of

boxes and other attention-grabbing tools was also
recommended in the

evaluation report.

The preparation of the WPSR 2005 will undoubtedly require
significant in-house

efforts and considerable financial resources over the
next 10-12 months,

beginning in earnest with the development of this Concept
Note, outlining the

objectives, thematic focus, approach, timeframe and other
relevant aspects

relating to the production of the report. It is also
proposed that an in-house expert

be designated at the outset to develop a complementary
note on the data

collection strategy for the WPSR.
Both notes would be extensively discussed

with colleagues in DPADM, as well as at the
upcoming UNCEPA Meeting, 29

March to 2 April 2004, and the Ad-hoc Expert
Group Meeting (AEGM), 6-8 May

2004, Florence, Italy.

A select group of senior policy makers, practitioners and
resource persons from

developed and developing countries and economies in
transition is being invited

to participate in the AEGM, which is organized in
cooperation with the Florencebased

European University Institute. The AEGM is expected to
critically review

the Concept Note and the data collection strategy. A
series of background

papers will also be commissioned for the meeting. In
addition, some participantsmay be requested to prepare brief background
documents/notes on specialized

aspects of human resources management in advance of the
AEGM.

It is also envisaged that selected UNCEPA members and
AEGM participants

would be invited to form an Advisory Group for the WPSR
2005. The Advisory

Group could be requested to meet in late 2004 to review
the first draft of the

report. A separate Readers’ Group composed of in-house
staff and other outside

experts would also be constituted. The Readers’ Group
would not meet, but

rather be invited to comment on the draft report via
electronic means. In addition,

it is proposed to engage at an early stage of the
preparatory process, a wellknown

academic or practitioner to act as the Senior Adviser to
the in-house team

charged with the production of the report, with
particular focus on methodologies

and quality control.

Preparations for the WPSR 2005 will also benefit from the
findings and

recommendations of various expert group meetings convened
by UNDESA over

the past few years, including the Capacity Development
Workshop entitled

“Building the
Human Capital in the Public Sector” that
took place at the Global

Forum on Re-inventing Government in Mexico in November
2003. This workshop

dealt with a number of issues that will be further
examined in the WPSR 2005

(see the UNPAN website for copies of background papers
and presentations).

The preparations for the WPSR 2005 can be divided into
three main phases.

First phase: The emphasis would be on the finalization of
the concept and

data collection notes; preparations for the AEGM;
identification of

consultants/resource persons to draft papers for the WPSR5; identification of

interns to perform literature and ‘best practice’
research; development of a

draft table of contents for the report; and finalization
of the first set of

background papers (March-May 2004).

Second phase: The focus of work would be on the
completion of all

background papers; literature and Internet-based
research; development of a

draft table of contents; and initial drafting of the
report (June-August 2004.

Third phase: Most of the report would be drafted during
this period. The draft

report would also be reviewed by both the Advisory Group
and the Readers’

Group. The WPSR would subsequently be finalized,
including editing, layout

and printing of the report (September-December 2004).

Proposed Timeline

? Concept
Note reviewed in-house by 31 March 2004;

? Presentation
on the WPSR 2005 to the United Nations Committee of Experts

on Public Administration 1 April; Resource persons
identified to prepare background papers for the AEGM on

specific aspects of HRM by 31 March;

? AEGM
to take place in Florence from 6-8 May;

Two interns undertaking literature and ‘best practice’
research for the report,

as well as the survey on HRM-related data identified by
15 May;

? Consultants/resource
persons identified to prepare the six background

papers by 25 May (see also footnote no. 5);

? Data
Collection Note prepared by 30 May;

? Special
home page created on the United Nations Online Public

Administration Network (UNPAN) for all documents and data
sets prepared

for the World Public Sector Report 2005 by 30 May;

? Draft
table of contents of the report prepared by 30 May;

? Countries
selected for national surveys (if required) by 30 May;

? Concept
and Data Collection Notes finalized to reflect the outcome of the

UNCEPA and AEGM by 30 May;

? National
consultants to undertake the surveys (if required) identified by 30

May;

? Consultants/resource
persons to prepare additional background papers

identified by 15 June;

? Advisory
Group for the report constituted by 15 June;

? Readers’
Group for the report constituted by 15 June;

? Six
background papers completed by 31 July;

? Interns
to complete literature and ‘best practice’ research by 31 July;

? All
background papers completed by 31July;

? Drafting
of report to commence by 15 August;

? Revised
draft table of contents of the report prepared by 30 August;

? Survey
work (if required) completed by 30 September;

? First
draft of the report completed by 15 November;

? Meeting
of Advisory Group to review first draft of the report by 30 November;

? Final
draft of the report completed by 15 December;

? Editing,
layout, and printing of report completed by 31 January ’05;

? Dissemination
strategy for the report prepared by 30 January ’05;

? World
Public Sector Report 2005 launched at the Global Forum on Reinventing

Government in May 2005, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Estimated Costs

As mentioned earlier, the preparation of the WPSR 2005
would require

significant human and financial resources. More
specifically, the production of the

report may require the following costs:

1. Concept Development. Both the Concept Note and Data
Collection Strategy

would be developed by in-house experts, followed by
extensive review within

the division (Estimated cost: none)

2.
Product Development

Background papers: Six consultants (estimated cost: USD
60,000) (see

also footnote no. 5)

? Additional
papers: (estimated cost: USD 15,000)

? Surveys
(if required) (estimated cost: USD 40,000)

? Drafting
of report (two to three months) (estimated cost: USD 25,000)

? Advisory
Group Meeting (estimated cost: USD 15,000)

? Special
Adviser (methodologies and quality control) (estimated cost: USD

20,000)

? Staff
travel (estimated cost: USD 5,000)

3. Production Costs6.

? Editing
of report (estimated cost: USD 20,000)

? Graphics,
layout, printing (estimated cost: USD 25,000)

? Printing
(estimated cost: USD 25,000)

Based on the above, the estimated total cost of preparing
and producing the

World Public Sector Report 2005 is USD 250,000. These
funds would have to be

generated from the regular budget, as well as other
extra-budgetary resources.