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Whole-of-Government
Approach (WGA) in the
Civil Service
M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan
October 2021
Outline of Discussions
 What is the Whole-of-Government Approach (WGA)?
 Origin and development of the concept of WGA
 The Whole-of-Society Approach
 The Whole-of-Nation Approach
 The driving forces of WGA
 WGA: how it works
Outline of Discussions (contd.)
 WGA in Bangladesh: the legal framework
 The concept of collective responsibility
 Opportunities of WGA in Bangladesh
 Challenges of WGA in Bangladesh
 Imperatives for an effective WGA in Bangladesh
 Bangabandhu’s idea of a national plan
What is the Whole-of-Government
Approach (WGA)?
 An integrated, holistic approach towards improved public
service delivery
 Also called “joined-up government”, “one-stop
government”
 Refers to the joined activities performed by various
ministries, agencies and other public institutions in
fulfilling government’s obligations to the citizens
 Ensures coherence in the formulation and implementation
of public policies
Origin and Development of the Concept
of WGA
 The first reference is found in Tony Blair’s UK as “Joined-
Up-Government” to address narrow “departmentalism”
 Many other countries in the North and the South adopted
the approach as a critical public sector reform measure
 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
(UNDESA) promoted WGA as a key contributor to e-
government
 Led to the development of Whole-of-Society and Whole-
of-Nation approaches (WSA, WNA)
The Whole-of-Society Approach (WSA)
 SDG17: Partnerships for the Goals
 Thematic Area: Stakeholder Engagement and Partnerships
 The Whole-of-Society Approach: Assessment of the levels
of engagement and meaningful participation of different
stakeholders in the review process of the 2030 Agenda
The Whole-of-Nation Approach (WNA)
 An evolutionary outgrowth of WGA
 Mobilization of all stakeholders in an inclusive manner so
that everyone interested in or impacted by community
development and nation-building can participate in the
process
 Defined as bringing various government agencies together,
as well as engage with the private sector, NGOs and the
youth, to achieve the desired goals
A M Omar, University of Brunei Darussalam
The Driving Forces of WGA
 External Factors:
 Rising public opinion
 Budgetary constraints
 Emerging security concerns
 Environmental impacts
 Internal Issues:
 Avoiding overlaps
 Reducing costs
 Increasing productivity and competitiveness
 Achieving desired results
WGA: How It Works
 Coherent and integrated policies and strategies
 Greater collaboration and coordination among ministries
and agencies
 Creation of synergies among public institutions
 Optimization and sharing of resources
 Citizen-centric public management
 Effective communication and information sharing,
interoperability of data
WGA in Bangladesh: The Legal
Framework
 Parliamentary democracy: the Cabinet is collectively
responsible to the Parliament, Article 55(3) of the
Constitution
 No-confidence motion can be moved against the Cabinet, not
any individual Minister, Rule 159, Rules of Procedure 2007
 Rules of Business 1996, made by the President under Article
55(6) of the Constitution: distribution and transaction of
business in the Government
 Rules of Business specifies the coordination and consultation
mechanism of the Government
 These are further elaborated in the Secretariat Instructions
2014, issued under Rule 4(vii) of the Rules of Business
Opportunities of WGA in Bangladesh
 The unitary system of the State
 The existing legal framework
 Central planning, comprehensive strategies
 Unified civil service structure
 Country-wide network of public institutions
 Elaborate instructions issued from time to time
The Concept of Collective Responsibility
 A government after the parliamentary model, is one
united whole. It has joint responsibility. Each member
of the government must support others so long he
remains in the government. It is quite absurd for any
Minister to oppose or even give the impression of
opposing his colleague. Opinions may be freely expressed
within the Cabinet. Outside, the government should
have only one opinion.
-Jawaharlal Nehru
Challenges of WGA in Bangladesh
 Gap between policies versus implementation, rules versus
practices
 Inadequate coordination and consultations
 Long-term vision and wider perspectives are often missing
 Role ambiguity; weakness in conflict management
Conflict Management Model
Imperatives for Effective WGA in
Bangladesh
 Stronger motivation and communication
 Professionalism; spirit de corps
 Effective coordination, vertical and horizontal
 Wider and deeper consultations
 Adherence to national policies and strategies, such as,
Delta Plan 2100, Perspective Plan 2021-2041, Five-Year
Plans
Bangabandhu’s Idea of A National Plan
A plan is not a merely a technical and economical
document, but also a socio-political document. It
must be able to enthuse, mobilize and motivate
people. It must provide with a vision and
perspective for the nation.
-Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Foreword to the First Five Year Plan
16
If you want to go fast,
go alone;
if you want to go far,
go together.
-African proverb

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5.02 Whole-of-Government Approach (WGA).pptx

  • 1. Whole-of-Government Approach (WGA) in the Civil Service M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan October 2021
  • 2. Outline of Discussions  What is the Whole-of-Government Approach (WGA)?  Origin and development of the concept of WGA  The Whole-of-Society Approach  The Whole-of-Nation Approach  The driving forces of WGA  WGA: how it works
  • 3. Outline of Discussions (contd.)  WGA in Bangladesh: the legal framework  The concept of collective responsibility  Opportunities of WGA in Bangladesh  Challenges of WGA in Bangladesh  Imperatives for an effective WGA in Bangladesh  Bangabandhu’s idea of a national plan
  • 4. What is the Whole-of-Government Approach (WGA)?  An integrated, holistic approach towards improved public service delivery  Also called “joined-up government”, “one-stop government”  Refers to the joined activities performed by various ministries, agencies and other public institutions in fulfilling government’s obligations to the citizens  Ensures coherence in the formulation and implementation of public policies
  • 5. Origin and Development of the Concept of WGA  The first reference is found in Tony Blair’s UK as “Joined- Up-Government” to address narrow “departmentalism”  Many other countries in the North and the South adopted the approach as a critical public sector reform measure  United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) promoted WGA as a key contributor to e- government  Led to the development of Whole-of-Society and Whole- of-Nation approaches (WSA, WNA)
  • 6. The Whole-of-Society Approach (WSA)  SDG17: Partnerships for the Goals  Thematic Area: Stakeholder Engagement and Partnerships  The Whole-of-Society Approach: Assessment of the levels of engagement and meaningful participation of different stakeholders in the review process of the 2030 Agenda
  • 7. The Whole-of-Nation Approach (WNA)  An evolutionary outgrowth of WGA  Mobilization of all stakeholders in an inclusive manner so that everyone interested in or impacted by community development and nation-building can participate in the process  Defined as bringing various government agencies together, as well as engage with the private sector, NGOs and the youth, to achieve the desired goals A M Omar, University of Brunei Darussalam
  • 8. The Driving Forces of WGA  External Factors:  Rising public opinion  Budgetary constraints  Emerging security concerns  Environmental impacts  Internal Issues:  Avoiding overlaps  Reducing costs  Increasing productivity and competitiveness  Achieving desired results
  • 9. WGA: How It Works  Coherent and integrated policies and strategies  Greater collaboration and coordination among ministries and agencies  Creation of synergies among public institutions  Optimization and sharing of resources  Citizen-centric public management  Effective communication and information sharing, interoperability of data
  • 10. WGA in Bangladesh: The Legal Framework  Parliamentary democracy: the Cabinet is collectively responsible to the Parliament, Article 55(3) of the Constitution  No-confidence motion can be moved against the Cabinet, not any individual Minister, Rule 159, Rules of Procedure 2007  Rules of Business 1996, made by the President under Article 55(6) of the Constitution: distribution and transaction of business in the Government  Rules of Business specifies the coordination and consultation mechanism of the Government  These are further elaborated in the Secretariat Instructions 2014, issued under Rule 4(vii) of the Rules of Business
  • 11. Opportunities of WGA in Bangladesh  The unitary system of the State  The existing legal framework  Central planning, comprehensive strategies  Unified civil service structure  Country-wide network of public institutions  Elaborate instructions issued from time to time
  • 12. The Concept of Collective Responsibility  A government after the parliamentary model, is one united whole. It has joint responsibility. Each member of the government must support others so long he remains in the government. It is quite absurd for any Minister to oppose or even give the impression of opposing his colleague. Opinions may be freely expressed within the Cabinet. Outside, the government should have only one opinion. -Jawaharlal Nehru
  • 13. Challenges of WGA in Bangladesh  Gap between policies versus implementation, rules versus practices  Inadequate coordination and consultations  Long-term vision and wider perspectives are often missing  Role ambiguity; weakness in conflict management
  • 15. Imperatives for Effective WGA in Bangladesh  Stronger motivation and communication  Professionalism; spirit de corps  Effective coordination, vertical and horizontal  Wider and deeper consultations  Adherence to national policies and strategies, such as, Delta Plan 2100, Perspective Plan 2021-2041, Five-Year Plans
  • 16. Bangabandhu’s Idea of A National Plan A plan is not a merely a technical and economical document, but also a socio-political document. It must be able to enthuse, mobilize and motivate people. It must provide with a vision and perspective for the nation. -Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Foreword to the First Five Year Plan 16
  • 17. If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. -African proverb