Public Sector Reform Unit

Office of the President, 8 Wesley Street, Freetown

Final FAQs April, 2015 - Job Evaluation & Labour Market Survey for The Civil Service of Sierra Leone

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Public Sector Reform*

A systematic way of determining the value/importance of a job in relation to other jobs in an organisation. It makes a systematic comparison between jobs to assess their relative worth.
Difference: Major difference is that job evaluation assesses the job/post whilst the performance appraisal assesses the individual’s capacity to carry out job effectively.
Job evaluation will focus on the job and not people performing the job because the objective is to measure the relative value of the job in order to determine its relative position /worth in the organisation hierarchy. People performing the job will only be relied upon to provide accurate information about the actual, current duties and responsibilities of the job.

With the impact of the global recession continuing to squeeze and reshape economies around the world, public administrators are facing up to the challenging task of developing more innovative solutions to protect essential public service delivery frameworks and buffer the public sector reform process in the face of deep financial cuts.

There has been much debate in trying to define what public sector reform is, and how it should be implemented. The United Nations Economic and Social Council, in its 2006 paper, stated that "public sector reform consists of deliberate changes to the structures and processes of public sector organizations with the objective of getting them to run better. Structural change may include merging or splitting public sector organizations while process change may include redesigning systems, setting quality standards and focusing on capacity-building".

In terms of service delivery, governments around the world have to balance resources and investment with results and outcomes. Public Administration itself, whether at local, regional, federal, or national levels, comes under increasing public scrutiny as citizens come to regard this aspect of national activity in the same way as any other – one from which they expect efficiency, accountability, productivity and responsiveness. In order to meet citizen’s demands and to operate within the present financial constraints, public administrations are having to embrace reform.

* As defined by The International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS) which carries out a substantial amount of work to support administrations across the world in their efforts to bring about change and reform, providing a range of different services.


There is no universally accepted definition of Governance when used in political literature. We owe the concept to Plato who was the first to use the Greek word kubernáo, meaning to steer a ship, metaphorically, in the context of steering Men. Over the years, the word has been used generically and the concept has evolved to encompass relationships between stakeholders in a variety of set ups. In the present highly dynamic environment, politically, socially, economically, and culturally, the term means different things in different contexts and the use of an adjective with the word governance has become almost mandatory for it to make any sense at all.

As the ground-clearing progresses, a number of attempts have been made to bring precision and sense to the use of the term.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in its 1997 policy paper, defined governance as “the exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels. It comprises the mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences”. This definition was endorsed by the Secretary-General’s inter-agency sub-task force to promote integrated responses to United Nations conferences and summits. Over the past 10 years, the number of country level programmes on governance supported by the United Nations system has expanded considerably.

In 1993, the World Bank defined governance as the method through which power is exercised in the management of a country’s political, economic and social resources for development. While the World Bank has focused on stabilization and State reforms that overwhelmingly focused on civil service retrenchment and privatization for a long period, the early 1990s saw a change of focus. The Bank came to realize that most of the crises in developing countries are of a governance nature. Hence, the contemporary adjustment package emphasizes governance issues such as transparency, accountability and judicial reform. In this context, the Bank has introduced a new way of looking at governance; good governance.

Good Governance has now become the pet concept for most donor agencies. However, being laden by a subjective prefix makes it fair game for those who use cultural relativism as shield. It is therefore of great import to provide general guidelines as to what would be the acceptable attributes of Good Governance and the UN has identified eight Characteristics which are: participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive, and which follow the rule of law .

The International Centre for Parliamentary Studies takes a developmental approach to Governance as it views Good Governance as being quintessential for economic development and poverty alleviation. The centre recognises the importance of cultural diversity and it is committed to providing support to Governments in their endeavour to promote Good Governance by encouraging Capacity Building in the area of Governance.

* As defined by The International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS) which carries out a substantial amount of work to support administrations across the world in their efforts to bring about change and reform, providing a range of different services.