Sierra Leone Query: Experiences with Sequencing PAR Reforms and Electoral Cycles

Case Study

September 13, 2011

Sierra Leone Query: Experiences with Sequencing PAR Reforms and Electoral Cycles

This report aims to assist UNDP/Sierra Leone in formulating strategies to reform different aspects of civil service, as it heads into upcoming elections. It begins with a discussion of the types of civil service reforms that may be useful, and methods of implementation. It was difficult to find examples of experiences correlating PAR reforms and electoral cycles.  However, we did find examples of reform programmes from a number of countries.  These programmes tend to be implemented over a minimum of four (4) years; at which time the country has often undergone some type of major election.  

The overwhelming trend across the international reports found seems to point towards avoiding election times when it comes to civil service reforms. Reforms in other countries have begun either before or after elections, but do not tend to be heavily implemented during election time frames. Although civil service reform is the main topic of the report, it would be difficult to have meaningful reforms without legitimate leadership, chosen through democratic elections. Because of the difficulty in maintaining fair elections in the past, it seems that electoral reform is a necessary precursor to civil service reform, especially given the temporal proximity of the next elections.

The report concludes with observations and questions for further study, which may aid UNDP/Sierra Leone as it attempts to reform civil service and public sector laws, while anticipating upcoming elections.

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