A wide variety of reform initiatives have been elaborated herein and each of them dealt with unique issues. However, there are many common features that characterize these success stories.
Leadership plays a very important role in kick-starting reforms. Initial resistance can be overcome with greater ease if there is commitment and pushed from top to bottom. Strategic leadership helps garner political support and mobilize funds for reform measures.
Successful implementation requires a thorough analysis of the context to get a deep understanding of the problem. Decision-making should be data driven.
It is important to have consensus and cooperation amongst all stakeholders from the very beginning of the process. Consultations and collaborative approaches work best to achieve this. Building partnerships between the government, private sector and CSOs helps achieve coordination to enhance service delivery.
Organizations must invest in staff training and sensitization to familiarize employees with new systems and gain their cooperation. Staff must be made to realize that they are important stakeholders in bringing about change. Involving them in consultations about improving the system is one way to do that. Institutional Change: Reform works best in an enabling environment. Sometimes, it may be necessary to formulate laws and policies to help sustain reforms. Setting up autonomous constitutional bodies is a good way to avoid disruption of reforms due to changing governments.
Clear and regular communication from the government about reforms helps people adapt to change. Knowledge and awareness about new systems helps address resistance and instil faith in the government’s intentions. It is important to set out goals and benchmarks for service delivery and communicate these to concerned officials to meet targets. Authorities must also collect regular information and publicize results to establish a transparent and accountable system.
Technology is a powerful tool that can help streamline government operations and achieve efficiency. Innovations must be adapted to local conditions for best results. Most countries face a digital divide, with some sections of the population lagging behind others in terms of access to technology. Even when digital services are supplied in such areas, number of users willing and able to avail of them can remain limited. Education and advocacy efforts will help address the problem of low demand for e-governance.
The citizen is the focus of all government activity. Deepening of democracy requires mainstreaming citizen concern into the government agenda. Organizations must simplify procedures and make services more accessible to the common citizen. Sharing of global best practices helps countries get exposure to new ways of achieving excellence in pubic service delivery. Consultation with experts from various departments is an enriching knowledge sharing-experience that benefits the global community as a whole. It is hoped that this process will continue through the Global Community of Practice on Government Performance Management, an initiative of the UNDP, the World Bank and the Institute of Public Enterprise.