Project: Scarcity, Conflict and Cooperation in Government Public Service: Assessing the Scale, Nature, and Impact of Side-Payments for Human Resource Postings – INDIA
Client Organization: The World Bank
Donor: The World Bank
Description of the Assignment: Working with the task manager and a research assistant, the objectives of this mission were to develop the analytic framework, methodologies, and accompanying draft instruments to collect information on side payments generated from civil servant transfers. The task also involved the identification of stakeholders and strategies available to reduce incidences of side payments and other practices which circumvented the merit based principle.
My Contributions: Drafted a document detailing an approach for studying transfer practices in the public health sector. This approach recommended a description of the transfer processes and practices; a collection and analysis of performance indicators; a collection and analysis of lessons learned from reforming transfer processes and practices and a collection and analysis of employee grievances emerging from transfers. The assignment also included a concept paper on the Human Resources Management Accountability Framework as a first step to improve scrutiny and evaluation by superior public officials at the Indian state level.
Outcome: Documents served to better understand the forces that motivated corruption and the systemic components (e.g. network) which reinforced inappropriate practices. It also brought to light the human resources control points and measures required to monitor compliance.
From my Journal: This rather ‘academically’ inclined assignment emphasized the fragility of merit-based human resources practices and its intrinsic linkages to the organizational value system. The assignment brought elements of risk management, performance measurement and quality assurance at the forefront. India is a country of over 880 million people – 25 times the size of Canada’s population, with one of the oldest civil service in the world. Imagine. Oversight of government hiring activities needs a tapestry of approaches to be effective in this environment.