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From Old Public Administration to the New Public Service

Mark Robinson

Publisher: UNDP Global Centre for Public Service


Public administration in the 21st century is undergoing dramatic change. This is the case not only in advanced economies, but also in many parts of the developing world. Problems faced by governments are increasingly complex, ‘wicked’ and global, rather than simple, linear, and national in focus.  But prevailing ideas about public sector reform often do not fully encompass the significance or implications of these wider developments.

This paper argues that public sector reform efforts in developing countries should embrace these changes selectively and draw on a range of public management models that are appropriate to different contexts while putting the needs and interests of citizens at the heart of reform.

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