Monitoring and Evaluating Civil Service Performance

[from the Research Helpdesk of the Governance and Social Development Resource Centre ]

Request: Summarise recent research findings and intellectual debate on how to best monitor and evaluate civil service performance, including international best practice and issues around standardised indicators (along the lines of the PEFA framework).

Key findings: There continues to be debate as to how best to monitor and evaluate civil service performance. This debate relates to what to measure, the best indicators to use, whether such a framework is appropriate and how best to implement a chosen framework.<>

When creating evaluation procedures for civil service performance it is important to clarify the level of evaluation. Is it at an individual level, a team level, an institutional level, or at system level? There is currently no performance appraisal system which has been widely considered objective and effective for assessing performance at an individual level.

UNDP (2009) currently provides the most comprehensive guide to measuring public administration performance. The first part of the guide consists of guidance based on feedback from users of assessments tools and a distillation of good practices. The second part provides detailed information on public administration assessment tools, with nine assessment tools provided for assessing Public Human Resource Management. Many of these tools derive their indicators from private sector practice. The World Bank’s Actionable Governance Indicators Instrument is arguably the most comprehensive in terms of breadth of indicators.

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