Reform Management

The most important opportunity is to embed effective reform in governmental processes. Reform and pay management in International Organizations has been my prior interest and work activity but not mine alone as Gus O Donnell can attest to with his IBRD experience, especially under the late Jim Wolfensohn. Institutional reform needs time, determination and consistency to see it through. Money is not the only answer. I have been previously involved with reform at IBRD, AfDB BIS, EFTA Interpol, FAO, UN (ICSC), WTO, VSO, CGIAR, and AKDN, Successful reform initiatives include those of Brian Urquhart and Erskine Childers at the UN, which took some 20 years to come to fruition (A World in need of leadership) reforms uninitiated at IADB by Keith Bezanson who then became President of IDRC, and the previously mentioned IBRD reforms What is most effective is to appoint a reform “manager” (as opposed to a senior departmental administrator) who can drive through reform over the “forces of the status quo”. The reform manager needs to know his institution/ department well from the inside and have the confidence of its senior staff. He/ She also needs to be consistent (as opposed to political appointments who change their approaches frequently COVID has exposed inconsistencies in the management process and has shown that the political response has ignored the most appropriate decision sequencing that would have made responses more effective and less confusing. The Johnson government has been poorly chosen and IF Sir Eric Andersen’s obituary in the Times had been carefully studied the UK might have avoided some of the obvious pitfalls he had identified. I have published two books on related subjects (The administration of international organizations – Ashgate 2002 and more recently a joint authorship of International Organizations – A Companion with Richard Woodward – Elgar 2013)




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