Support to the Establishment of the Civil Service Agency, Republika Srpska

The Client

Working on behalf of DFID and the UK National School of Government, Dr Wilson was engaged in the establishment of, and the early support to, the Bosnia-Herzegovina Republika Srpska Civil Service Agency in the aftermath of the Balkans conflict.

The Challenge

In 1999 the Government of Republika Srpska (GoRS) developed and announced a radical programme to transform the Civil Service.  The purpose of the reform was “to provide a stable structure of administration which will have the capability to serve any democratically elected government.” Working closely with the World Bank, the Office of the High Representative, OSCE, UNDP and EU Experts the project was designed to focus in 4 main areas:

  • Legislation: including a new Civil Service law, in line with European good practice, together with a ful suite of secondary legislation
  • Streamlining of structures: including a review of Ministries and strengthening the core of government, through support to the Cabinet Secretariat and the Office of the Prime Minister;
  • Human resources management and development: including a senior civil service development programme and a comprehensive Civil Service training strategy; and
  • Information resources and management: including the enhancement of internal and external communications from the center of government.

The Solution

The solution of targeted technical advisers working inside the Agency aimed to support development of a merit-based, ethical, accountable and professionally competent Civil Service, capable of serving the duly elected government of the day in a politically impartial way, and of delivering high quality services to the people of the Republika Srpska. Principal civil service management bodies were established with separate Appeals and Appointments Boards. Senior management development and training programmes were designed and prepared for funding by multiple international partners. Support also entailed parallel work on related public administration reforms, including ministry restructuring, and innovative approaches to pay and grading reforms.

The Result

The Agency was successfully established and have subsequently expanded to undertake their operations independently. Much has been learned through these key interventions. Dr Wilson was subsequently involved as the Assistant Editor of the Compendium of Civil Service Legislation in RS, 5000 copies were initially printed. DFID rated the project very highly and supported follow on work in BiH, more widely adopting many of the project’s proven adaptive approaches. As part of the phasing out of engagement Dr Wilson designed a harmonized approach to longer term support involving design and implementation of a pooled funding mechanism.


Contact our expert with direct experience in this case study: Dr. Gregory Wilson.