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Constructing Country Ownership

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Chapter Summary

The implementation of the civil service reform programme was one of the central measures to improve governance after Malawi's democratisation in 1994. Country ownership is presented as a necessary precondition for the success of policy reforms. This chapter analyses in detail how the notion of ownership is reconciled with the far-reaching conditions set by the World Bank and the IMF with regard to the reorganisation of Malawi's civil service. This is achieved through a set of legal techniques that places the responsibility for policy reforms with the government and transforms economic data into conditions, which the government agrees to adhere to in order to improve efficiency and transparency. The chapter further shows how the latest development programmes, the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PSRPs) introduced in 1999, supplement the normativity of numbers with highly sophisticated conditions addressing corruption.

Keywords: civil service reform; country ownership; IMF; Malawi; Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PSRPs); World Bank



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