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Many thanks for the opportunity to comment on the draft "World Bank Approach to Public Sector Management 2011-2020". The draft offers a wealth of information on lending and technical assistance trends. It provides important insights into the challenges of achieving coherence, allocating human resources, and capturing and channeling tacit knowledge in an effective manner which are crucial for improving results in the Bank’s programs. We also very much appreciate the broad and open consultation process which has generated a very engaging live conversation on the approach. With this in mind, there are a number of points that we would suggest considering: · Assessing the progress made in the past decade, explicitly defining the problem, laying down the assumptions of the theory of change that underpins the approach, and relating the way forward to this analysis. It would be useful to add a brief discussion about the objectives of the previous strategy, the results achieved, lessons learned and the changed environment both externally and internally to the Bank. While trends in lending and positive experiences are featured, there is no systematic examination of what the objectives of the last strategy were, what has been achieved in the last decade vis-à-vis these objectives, and what the lessons learned are. There is also no discussion of changes both externally to the Bank and internally that may merit taking into account for the approach forward. Implicitly, the draft appears to say that on the "what" side, we will do more of the same (PFM and CSR) and that on the "how" side we will do things differently. It is however not clear what analysis has led the team to decide that is the "right" way forward for the Bank. Such analysis would allow an explicit statement of the problem the approach intends to address, whether/why it is conceptualized differently than the last strategy, why the "what" should remain the same, and what theory of change underpins the approach to "how" things should be done differently. Such brief analysis would also help to understand how the proposed objectives and instruments link to the statement of the problem. · Situating the Approach into a Broader Context Public sector management appears to be considered in a rather narrow manner. Apart from a brief discussion on trust there is little consideration of public sector management as a key element of the fundamental compact between citizens and the state. The approach appears to assume that the Bank's PSM approach should continue to focus on central Ministries of Finance and Public Administration and service delivery line ministries and exclude parliaments, oversight institutions, local governments, .... There are some references to the demand side of governance, but the vision of reform continues to come across as top-down and heavily focused on the central government. There may be a host of good reasons for continuing a narrow and top-down approach, but the paper fails to lay out clearly what these reasons are. Wouldn't it be helpful to consider whether there are fundamental changes in the operating environment of client governments and to analyze the emerging trends for the next decade? In particular, would it be helpful to consider the transformation in the relation between citizens and governments beyond the brief discussion on trust dynamics? The “reform space” approach and the joint piloting of projects with DFGG introduced in the last section of the draft are promising but sound rather timid. This is an area where SDV would be very happy to help refine the strategy and contribute to its implementation. We are also missing a discussion on the latest developments in public sector management theory and practice and how they have informed the strategy. For example, the paper points out that behaviors are at least as important as formal rules and yet it is not clear how this very important finding is reflected in the way forward. Very little is said about the recent literature and innovations around organizational culture, the diffusion of norms, change, communication strategies, hard and soft administrative technological innovations, leadership (beyond a the traditional understanding of the term), etc. Are we implicitly assuming that the Bank will continue its focus on the "hard" innovations? If so, why? While the bank is expected to be a knowledge generator, there is no discussion of what the most crucial knowledge gaps are in public administration and what the Bank's comparative advantage is vis-à-vis other others in addressing the knowledge gaps. With regard to the above, a reference is missing to the recent update of the Social Development Strategy the four pillars of which are social inclusion, cohesion, resilience and accountability, which are greatly relevant not only for assessing the success of public sector reform across the world, but also for the implementation of the approach. · Making sure the approach is relevant for all the Bank's clients It is not clear to us that the proposed approach will be relevant to the full spectrum of the Bank's clients. Implicitly, the approach seems to be focused on MICs. All the examples are from MICs, and the principal instruments highlighted (P4R and fee-based services) have an inherent bias toward MICs. Specifically it is not clear to us that the proposed approach will help us become more effective in fragile and conflict affected situations. Consider for example our dialogue with Cote d'Ivoire which is at a crossroads with a protracted strife between two presidential candidates finally having been settled. The new President will face important questions on how to address reconciliation in the face of a highly fragmented citizenry. The temptation will be very high to address this reconciliation through the public sector in a way that will affect the effectiveness of the public sector for years to come in one of Africa's major economies. Or consider CAR where the State is essentially absent of citizens' life except in a predatory fashion, and where all kinds of traditional/informal institutions, including a deeply worrisome resurgence of witchcraft, are the institutions of recourse. Does the proposed approach fit these situations and if so would it be possible to make that more explicit? The strategy would make a greater contribution by elaborating some of the implications by types of country settings (MIC, LIC, FCS) and providing guidance on what can be contextualized as best fit in each of these. The parameters of engagement and risk would certainly be very different in a MIC than in a country emerging from conflict or a country in which the state is largely absent from people’s life. While the message of accepting greater risks and uncertainties in PSM projects is an important one, it might be better to use less the language of risk mitigation (or avoidance) and more of risk management and the promotion of innovation.