Civil service reform in Sudan

  • Executing agency: UN/DESA Division for Public Economics and Public Administration
  • Senior advisor: Mrs. Najet Karaborni
  • Start date: 1 November 2000
  • End date: 28 March 2003
  • Partners: UNDP
  • Total budget: USD 146,000

I. Objectives of the project

The objective of this SPPD project is to provide the Sudanese Government with technical and substantive support for policy development and strategies on civil service reform and support the Government before, during and after the National Conference on Public Service that will take place in Khartoum from 28 April to 01 May 2001. Also, the project will assist UNDP in the preparation of a PSD document focussing especially on providing assistance to the Government for the follow-up work to be carried out after the Conference. This will help in the implementation of the recommendations of the National Conference and the National Public Service Strategy (2002-2026). The ultimate goal was to strengthen the national public service human capacities and institutions for an effective and efficient public administration and better public service delivery to the citizens in the framework of a comprehensive civil service reform

II. Main activities undertaken

1. At the request of UNDP and the Government, Najet Karaborni undertook, in November 2000, a two week mission during which she had more than 20 meetings with the main stakeholders involved, participated in a preparatory meeting of the Steering Committee of the Conference, reviewed the papers prepared by national consultants for the Conference, defined the assistance to be provided by UNDP and UNDESA before, during and after the Public Service National Conference for the follow-up work. Based on the aide memoire that she prepared and the document that she collected during her mission, Ms Karaborni formulated a SPPD document that was approved by UNDP.

2. DESA assisted the Government before, during and after the National Public Service Conference with the implementation of the different SPPD activities including the formulation of an UNDP/ Programme Support Document (PSD). A three-week mission composed of a team leader from UNDESA and 5 international consultants was undertaken in Sudan in April 2001 (one week before the Conference) in order to launch the implementation of the SPPD project SUD/01/001 on Civil Service Reform in Sudan, assist UNDP and the Government in preparing and organizing the National Public Service Conference , participate in the Conference and advise on follow-up actions, to implement the recommendations of the Conference. DESA also assisted UNDP in the recruitment process of the national consultants and in the preparation of an agenda for the UNDESA Mission and the organization of its work in Sudan in order to get the best results. The National Conference took place in Khartoum from 28 April to 1 May 2001 and was conducted in Arabic. More than 1200 participants representing all stakeholders (the Federal Government and the Regional States, the Public Servants, the Parliament, the Justice, the Army, the Trade Unions, the Private Sector, the NGOs and the Civil Society in general) attended and participated in the Conference. The Conference was very well prepared. A National Public Service Strategy (2002-2026) and substantive papers related to key-areas were presented. The discussions of the participants during the plenary and working group sessions emphasized the new role of the State (at national and regional levels), the public servants and the private sector as well, taking into account the challenges of the third millennium, especially globalization. They also underlined the urgent need of Sudan for civil service reform, networking and training to build, sustain and strengthen the public servantsí capacities and skills in a global society. They adopted the national strategy with minor amendments. They also made several concrete recommendations to improve the Sudanese public service and move towards a total quality management.

H.E. the President of the Republic of Sudan opened the Conference and reiterated his good will to go forward towards an efficient public service and to focus his efforts on achieving the conference recommendations and outcomes. The First Vice-President closed the Conference emphasizing on setting up a follow-up mechanism under the partnership of the highest level of the Government in order to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the National Conference and to start with the first phase of the National Public Service Strategy (2002-2026). On behalf of DESA and UNDP, Ms Karaborni, as team-leader, presented the prior actions that should be implemented during the first phase of the National Public Service Strategy (2002-2006). The participants fully agreed with the proposals as they take into account their urgent needs, they could improve drastically the Sudanese civil service and they could be easily achieved for the benefit of all stakeholders. The Participants and the Government very well appreciated the contribution of DESA and expressed their deep thank to DESA and UNDP for their very important contribution before, during and after the Conference

III. Project results/outcomes, including time frame

1. The actions to be undertaken following the National Conference are as follows:
- The National Public Service Strategy (2002-2026) adopted by the participants during the National Conference in Khartoum will be implemented step by step following 5 phases (5 years each)
- A follow-up mechanism will be set up shortly by the Government at the highest level
- An action plan based on the proposals of UNDESA will be set up by the Government
- The Government would like to start immediately follow-up activities to the Conference and especially to design and implement with the support of UNDESA and UNDP a preparatory phase composed of the following activities:

- Seminars on changing mind, attitudes and behavior for all levels of public servants including top officials
- Changing the work environment
- Set up of a database and information system for civil service
- Conduct of a survey on public service training needs
- Formulation of a concrete action plan for the first phase (2002-2006) of the National Public Service Strategy

2. Formulation of the PSD document:
The Government of Sudan (GoS) has decided to undertake an ambitious five-year programme (2002-2006) for public service reform. UNDP Programme Support to GoS national programme will aim at creating an enabling environment for public organizations capacity building, to render it more responsive, transparent, effective and fosters its accountability in delivery of services, as well as mobilizing its efforts geared to accomplish socio-economic development.

The main components to be pursued through this Programme Support Document (PSD) are: (i) rationalizing the overall structure of GoS; (ii) human resource development; (iii) innovating viable systems and procedures; (iv) establishing database and information networking; (v) salary and wage administration; (vi) introducing legal reform. This programme is one of the highest priority and commitment of Sudan. The PSD will focus mainly on the Human Element including salary structure and fringe benefits, HRM/HRD and training as well as institutional building (governmental structure, intergovernmental relations and decentralization). It will also include a database and information system for public service at all levels (national, state and local).

IV. Implementing partners including donors, UNDP, and Government counterparts

- UN organizations (UNDESA, UNDP, ITC/ILO/Turin Centre)
- Government counterparts at federal and state level
- NGOs, CSOs and other civil society representatives