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Bureaucratic Structure and Performance: New Evidence from Africa. Julius Court, Office of the Rector [email protected] The United Nations University http://www.unu.edu/africa/. Overview.

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Bureaucratic structure and performance new evidence from africa

Bureaucratic Structure and Performance:New Evidence from Africa

Julius Court, Office of the Rector

[email protected]

The United Nations University



From: Court, Kristen and Weder, 1999, Bureaucratic Structure and Performance: New Evidence from Africa, UNU Working Paper.

  • Framework / Literature

  • African Bureaucratic Structure Survey (ABSS)

  • Africa Findings

  • Empirical Analysis

  • (Country Sheets – to be added)

Simple framework
Simple Framework

Knack and Keefer, 1995

Evans and Rauch, 1999a

World Bank, 1997 (WDR)

  • Development Performance

  • Bureaucratic Performance

Weber, 1968

Evans and Rauch, 1999b

World Bank, 1993 (EAM)

  • Bureaucratic Structure

African bureaucratic structure survey
African Bureaucratic Structure Survey

  • Rationale - evidence on bureaucratic performance in Africa only based on case studies

  • Objectives– (i) first systematic data collection on bureaucratic structure and performance in Africa; (ii) expand existing global dataset.

  • Innovative Methodology - survey of high level bureaucrats using country coordinators

  • Results– (i) Africa findings; (ii) analysis of extended database on bureaucracy and (for researchers) and (iii) country sheets (for policy-makers and practitioners)

Bureaucracy Database“first systematic data on African bureaucracies”“extended global database on bureaucracies”

  • Coverage: 50 countries (20 Africa)

  • Timespan: c1970-1998

  • Sources: Evans-Rauch database, WDR 1997, UNU survey.



Africa context
Africa Context

  • Political inaction in many countries in Africa.

  • Economic and fiscal crises in Africa.

  • Structural adjustment and conditionality – emphasis on reducing the size and expense of the state and reducing its responsibility.

  • Weak policy formulation capacity and lack of effectiveness.

  • Public administrative reform – decentralization, performance contracting, cost recovery, etc.

Corruption tips and bribes as of salary
CorruptionTips and Bribes as % of salary

Efficiency of service provision in africa 1988 1998 1 very efficient 6 very inefficient
Efficiency of Service Provision in Africa, 1988-1998 (1 = very efficient; 6 = very inefficient)

African findings
African Findings

  • Myth 1 - “Forty years after the first independence, Africa remains bereft of political institutionalization necessary for the emerging of the modern state.” “… the politics of the belly” has “crushed most of the strategies and institutions, in particular … the civil service”

  • Myth 2 – African strategies don’t work and countries in the region should look to East Asia for answers.

Empirical analysis framework
Empirical Analysis Framework

  • Bureaucratic Performance

  • Dependent Variables

  • Bur. Quality

  • Consultation

  • Corruption

  • Efficiency

  • Implementation

  • Independent Variables

  • Agency Power

  • Autonomy

  • Career Opportunities

  • Private Sector Career

  • Relative Wage

  • Bureaucratic Structure

Regression findings

Bur. Quality





Agency power








Career Opps


Private Sect Career


Relative Wage




Regression Findings

Significance * - ten; ** - five; *** - one % level.

Empirical findings

  • The results for the new expanded data set are better than for the original Evans / Rauch database.

  • Certain structural issues are associated with cross-country differences in bureaucratic performance.

  • Better bureaucratic performance is associated with greater autonomy to formulate policy; good career opportunities; good pay for public servants and no shifting to the private sector.

  • African bureaucracies are guided by the same incentives as others.

Country sheet framework
Country Sheet Framework

  • Agency power: influence of core economic agencies in formulating new policies.

  • Autonomy: - do top civil service move when political leadership changes.

  • Private sector career - normal for officials to spend time in the private sector.

  • Graduate entrance- entrance via a formal exam and university degrees.

  • Career opportunities - internal promotion, duration and civil service opportunities.

  • Relative wage - compares public sector salaries to the private sector ones.

Country sheets botswana
Country Sheets - Botswana

Government increasingly espouses the goal of cooperating with the private sector in a “smart partnership” to achieve common development objectives.

Botswana over time


5 years ago

10 years ago

20 years ago

Relative wage





Fringe benefits





Tips and bribes




















Botswana over Time

Average: Not include efficiency.

Country sheets kenya
Country Sheets - Kenya

The relationship between government and the private sector is now more open than 10-20 years ago. Then, the relationship was antagonistic. The one major hindrance to improved relationship is the culture of corruption.

Country sheets south africa
Country Sheets – South Africa

The strong racial divide between government (Black dominated) and business (White dominated) make South Africa a complex case … An unproductive work ethic, ideological commitment to affirmative action, and inexperience in government are the major constraints currently in the bureaucracy.

Country sheets tanzania
Country Sheets - Tanzania

I witnessed a lot of deterioration in public service discipline and total erosion in integrity and moral behaviour. So much so that now, corruption is an accepted norm in our society… Of recent, the relationship between the private sector and government has significantly improved due to the introduction of economic and political reforms.

Togo quotes
Togo Quotes

  • The Administration in Togo faces serious problems linked to organization, non-existence of a career management, weak remuneration, excessive centralization of policy-making, and political infighting. These factors contribute to a lack of enthusiasm and motivation of the public service.

  • I believe that our answers could contribute to the eradication of this gangrene that is corruption and all its surrounding diseases. As for me I note that bureaucracy is too heavy and slow in the execution of entrusted tasks.

  • It is due more to a lack of a planning structure than to a lack of political will.

Solving africa s development puzzle
Solving Africa’s development puzzle …

… depends on which pieces you choose.