The hidden hand of neoliberal global institutions: The World Bank and the Reshaping of Botswana Public Sector
This paper examines how powerful international institutions work to influence the reforms trajectory in the developing countries. A key dynamic that brings them to Botswana is the neoliberal agenda of the World Bank, which has been increasingly creeping into the public sector in many countries. For Botswana, this comes not as a surprise as the government is renowned for its strong conviction in the free market as a vehicle for development and prosperity. However, what is surprising is the idea being peddled by government bureaucrats that these changes are mainly initiated from within. It is argued that the involvement of networks of international organisations in Botswana’s reforms dispels this myth. The paper demonstrates how earlier concerns raised by the World Bank, of low productivity in Botswana became materialised with the assistance of a number of consultants from international institutions, who provided varied support to the government of Botswana. For example such assistance came in form of financial, intellectual, and training of government officers. It is from the role played by these international institutions that the national structures and mechanisms have changed the public service. This has eventually led to neoliberal reforms in the form of Performance Management System being the accepted dogma for improving productivity in the Botswana public service.
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