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Successful policy transfer and public sector reform in developing countries

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  • 1 University of New South Wales, Australia
  • | 2 University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • | 3 The Australian National University, Australia
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The scope and intensity of policy transfer has increased in recent years as developing countries have drawn on public sector reform programmes based on new public management practices originally designed in western democracies. However, there is mounting evidence that to be successful, reform programmes must be adapted to local contexts. This article demonstrates that national government control of policy transfer can enable localisation which in turn enhances the effectiveness of public reforms. Analysis of the Position Classification System – which sought to enhance accountability, efficiency and professionalism in the civil service in Bhutan – highlights two conditions that enable domestic control of the policy transfer process: strong internal motivation for engaging in policy transfer and the establishment or adaptation of institutions to manage processes of policy transfer. We conclude that when these conditions apply, a developing country can engage in successful voluntary policy transfer and retain control of the process.

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  • 1 University of New South Wales, Australia
  • | 2 University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • | 3 The Australian National University, Australia

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