African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 352

Full Length Research Paper

Dictatorship, bad governance and their impact on public need and social development: A comparative public administration (CPA) study on the evidence of Togo

Bienmali Kombate
  • Bienmali Kombate
  • College of Public Administration, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, People’s Republic of China.
  • Google Scholar
Huang Dong
  • Huang Dong
  • College of Public Administration, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, People’s Republic of China.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 17 September 2018
  •  Accepted: 31 October 2018
  •  Published: 30 November 2018


This study aimed to investigate the major challenges facing Togolese State government in public administration, and to provide some policy recommendation that can be applied to overcome these threats. In order to look into Togolese government managerial capacity in the implementation of national development initiatives and deliver the necessary public services efficiently and effectively, comparative public administration studies was applied. Togolese administrative management framework was designed following the French system, its ancient master of colonization. The temporal dimension of the Togolese administrative management is often decisive, not only with respect to inherited constructions and other "sunk costs", but also in the form of laws, inherited political relations, legacy management systems and inherited cultural attitudes and other norms. (Pollitt, 2008: xiii). In addition, the "equilibrium thesis" is not relevant because bureaucracy in the urban and rural institution is weak, lacks resources, technical expertise and professional development. The autocratic rule in Togo State has led to "boss-dominated" bureaucracies, where senior bureaucratic positions are occupied by supporters and friends of autocratic political leaders; thus limiting competition for power. At the lower level of professional development, the bureaucracy is gradually transformed into a collaborator, who shares the largesse of power and wealth, even if it is relegated to the status of appendage of political authority. Togo State public administration needs to be transformed and revitalized in order to improve the administrative capacity to implement the policy and to deliver public services; conditions that are essential for good governance.


Key words: Public administration, comparative public administration, public management, public needs, developing countries, Togo.


Comparative Public Administration (CPA) is a learning and discovery method that uses benchmark to  advance administrative knowledge in the government and societies as well.  The  comparative  study  of  administrative structures, functions and behaviors across organizational and cultural boundaries helps to improve the reliability and applicability of public administration knowledge. As Bannister (2007: 171) points out, “human will to compare one's results with that of others and it is an integral part of our psychological constitution". Comparative studies have existed for centuries since Aristotle's Politics, and have produced many important and interdisciplinary generalizations (Deutsch, 1987: 7).
This paper aims to define the fundamental principles and concepts of CPA and to assess their consequences for governance in Togo, mainly after the Togolese State Independence in 1960. In general, CPA has evolved to become the culmination of several mutually influencing goals. A number of factors have helped advance and sustain the movement of comparative administration in the United States and abroad, before universities begin to offer courses and specializations in this area. At the end of the colonial period, the dramatic rise in the number of independent states, from about 45 at the end of the Second World War to more than 190 today, has increased interest in comparative administration. Many of these states are in Africa. The emergence of so many independent states has reinforced the urgency of the need for public administration to address a range of societies and administrative systems, particularly in view of the growing tension surrounding the governance mainly in Africa and Togo in particular. One of the consequences of the African governance is dictatorship, which is a type of governance where absolute sovereignty is allocated to an individual or a small clique.
It is not on common sense to affirm that CPA is designed as central point to both practical and academic aspects of public administration. A study aimed at public administration practice can be adjudged, as scientific research if it lacks of a comparative dimension. Furthermore, CPA study has not been dynamic in terms of consistency. Looking into related fields, CPA lack focus and is disjointed, as several researches on comparative administration studies grounded their analysis on state administrative processes, its systems, and its institutions. Otenyo and Nancy (2015) argued that there are substantial problems creating value comparisons, such as how efficient or effective is an administrative system X in comparison to system Y? Researchers used to shape their study more on a leaf from the sociological functionalist approaches and comparison was rely on functional equivalency of the different administrative appliances and processes. Since these are not the central issues of CPA studies, this paper aims to analyze the factors cited earlier the capacity and limitations in administrative action and behavior on CPA with the evidence of Togolese State.
Extensive reviews of the development of comparative administration
The review of previous literature in the development of comparative administrative research gives us a brief understanding of other nations and cultures. This process has made it possible to better define the conditions conducive for efficient and/or less efficient administrations. Several studies that were designed as comparative studies have been used to express different administrative trends and to identify anomalies that affect administrative efficiency. The CPA has also evolved in parallel with the processes of globalization and the growing interdependence of nations, phenomena that have intensified with the improvement of information and communication technologies. The proliferation of transnational interactions has created new demands and challenges for traditional governance concepts and practices.
Haroon (2008) defined the CPA as a quest for searching patterns and regularities in administrative behavior and action as well as to characterize them in present day states. Researchers on CPA have drawn their papers, focusing on Public Administration as a field of study. CPA studies gained the attention of public administration scholars interested in evaluation capacity building, and the institutionalization of a culture of evaluation (Pattyn 2014). This brings useful knowledge to the study of policy making by relating it to various dimensions of policy capacity needed for the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies. However, CPA study lacks intellectual approach that a researcher engaged in CPA can follow. Steven and Marleen (2018) argued that unlike disciplines such as international economics or political science, the discipline of CPA cannot benefit from an abundant availability of established authoritative datasets.


As argued earlier, the scientific method of systematic analytical capacity in research is not the prime focus of CPA study yet comparative understanding thereof, will do well to turn to studies that explain and describe the nature of public administration training in high school program (Pal and Clark, 2016). In all researches, such datasets are important for researchers to draw the comparison, yet it continues to suffer validity and reliability issues (Van de Walle, 2006; Brans and Pattyns, 2017). In recent years, many researchers have taken the initiative to collect the data (Verhoest et al., 2017). Example of the dataset are the COBRA survey on agencies (Verhoest et al., 2016), the COBRA survey on top public executive survey (Hammerschmid et al., 2016) or various datasets by quality of government institution (Teorell et al., 2017). Therefore, since this study was aimed at CPA, being the prime investigation of the phenomenon of Togo, exploratory research design was used. The data used in this study was based on stand-alone academic data collection and datasets compiled by international organizations and NGOs. The analysis was framed on the comparative framework of the functional approach of CPA.
Comparative public administration and development
The CPA has always sought to strengthen managerial capacity through the implementation of national development initiatives and to deliver the necessary public services efficiently and effectively. Interest in development management has evolved into a separate and specialized area of study called the "Development Administration". In the early 1960s, many CPA followers, including, Riggs (1964), expressed the basic characteristics of this question. Their contributions produced a considerable number of publications, which defined and advocated possible reform strategies for countries embarking on modernization missions. At the operational level, development administration refers to government activities that promote economic growth, build human and organizational capacity, and promote equality among citizens in the distribution of opportunities, income, and power (Esman, 1991, 1974: 3).
Evaluation of comparative administration and development
The usefulness of administrative theories and generalizations for national development, policy and administration after the African countries including Togo independence, is a standpoint research area. Administrative change in all societies is largely evolutionary. As a result, the historical context is important to explain the current situation (Jabbra and Jreisat, 2009: 114). Pollitt (2008: 2) points out, "the pace of change in modern societies has accelerated"; taking into account time and the past has become more important. Togolese administrative management framework was designed following the French system, its ancient master for colonization.
Contributions on comparative administration and development had a mix of functional and futile consequences. There is no doubt that early studies in comparative of Togolese administration and development have raised awareness of the Togolese government on developing society to stimulated research on these issues, enriched education systems, and provided constant and functional information to practitioners. These contributions, however, fell short of the immense needs of the time. Several researchers on the CPA concerned set down some criticisms among the following factors:
1. Lack of consensus on what development and modernization mean for developing countries. As Heady (2001: 111) points out, the main concepts and variables most often used in the literature are derived from concepts and administrative practices employed in Western societies. The implementation of these concepts and practices in developing countries faces distinct obstacles.
2. The African experience, as Montgomery (1974: 399) explains, emphasizes the fact that French legalism, British pragmatic elitism and Soviet rigidity have had little influence on the developing world during the last century. The modern versions of American public administration, Montgomery (1974: 399), say, "deserve less criticism than the more systematic, more universalize, more pretentious principles developed in the United States during the first third of the twentieth century.
3. "While control and rule of law practices, a secure and stable political base and a viable private sector characterized by entrepreneurial initiatives, have made a significant contribution to improving the standard of living in the West, they were not present or not achievable in most emerging nations, let alone in the African states, especially in Togo. On the other hand, the study of the administration for development has become an essential element of the comparative approach, "the factors that triggered the administrative transformations, the passage of classical bureaucracies, focused on theirs and the "modern" modes of government organization in which the ideals of "efficiency" and "effectiveness" can become guiding principles" (Riggs, 1964: 3).
The CPA literature, therefore, lacked a framework that responded to relevance and utility testing or synthetic ability (Jreisat, 1975). Togo, though independent since 1960, is still under the ruling of a dictatorial regime RPT/UNIR with a political orientation, which is not in line with the culture in practice. The lack of uniformity in culture and political orientation also exacerbated the difficulties (Otenyo and Lind, 2006: 2). Morgan (1974: xxiii) also underscored this vital need for relevance and integration of administrative knowledge, which indicated that the profusion of practical experience and case studies focusing on Asia and Africa was of no use in the absence of organizational attempts to extract from experience a set of generalize problems lending itself to theoretical and practical solutions".
The keen interest in administrative reform requires careful assessment and verification of CPA research observations and knowledge. This is in order to identify best practices and the most desirable organizational structures and processes; even though new information technologies, training, formal education and the dissemination of literature have ensured the constancy and abundance of the flow of information on administrative successes and failures, adaptation and implementation. Change in the new environments did not materialize as expected: "Looking at systemic change in public management, policy can also determine the 'what works' issue at the most systemic level" (Barzelay, 1997: 2).
The CPA approach emphasized the analysis of open systems, which does not assume that the public administration environment is a basic datum as stipulated by conventional management schools in particular, the bureaucratic model (Jreisat, 1997; Baum, 1996: 79). The public administration environment includes a whole series of external links and constraints, which influence the administrative efficiency: political, legal, economic, historical, cultural, etc., constraints. A systematic comparison of the administrative systems of different countries, with varying contexts and levels of development, would certainly improve the reliability of the conclusions and facilitate the evaluation of the hypotheses. In reality, however, comparative empirical research has often failed to overcome some practical obstacles, such as feasibility, language, cultural barriers, cost, and lack of existing data. As a result, many of the generalizations were extrapolations from unique case studies or eclectic abstractions based on incomplete information.
A study aimed at national comparative studies invariably attempts to determine how much variation of managerial attitudes and behaviors is due to attributes of national culture (Hofstede, 1980). The problem is that, if the nation and the culture are to be placed on equal footing, a certain cultural homogeneity is necessary. The fact is that, state boundaries have been arbitrarily suppressed by colonial regimes in many developing countries such as Togo and Ghana, without really taking into account cultural balance or harmony, but rather for political reasons or as a result of a military conquest. This debatable demarcation of national boundaries is most evident today in Africa and the Middle East. Another problem with over-reliance on cultural variables in benchmarking which has become apparent that there is no reliable method for measuring cultural influence on organization and management. Some argue that culture determines managerial practices because culture is "the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes members of one human group from members of another" (Hofstede, 1980: 25). This cultural determinism actually reduces human choice and breed stereotypes, and does not explain why the same person behaves differently in different environments. Others present culture as a fluid and changing behavior, which varies according to the instruction and the global interactions.
Togo is a country where the situation of administrative knowledge evolved, from a relatively confined situation to an unprecedented openness and consideration of their context. This is especially true for many African countries, during and after the colonial period, when administrative and political structures were deeply shaped by institutional attributes and experiences, such as politics, economics, social interactions and colonialism. Comparative research has taken public administration out of its narrow ethnocentric and provincial mode to open it to a broader global horizon that transcends cultural boundaries without ignoring features that emanate from a given context. Despite its weaknesses, comparative administration is at the forefront of the social sciences when it comes to examining and analyzing governance issues and practices in developing societies. With regard to Togo, awareness, knowledge of administration, and development problems have not made it possible to transform abstractions and generalizations into effective reform strategies and operational skills.
The analysis of public administration in Togo reveals many difficult situations, as well as various conceptual and practical challenges. Togo today is composed of about 21 ethnic groups with different culture and social background. Togo State population vary in terms of culture, size, and economic resources. Considering these divisions can be misleading because the differences are often obvious, even remarkable. Yet, "by the time Togo State gained independence, these 21 ethnic groups had many things in common" (Tordoff, 2002: 1). Togolese State had been subjected to the authority of one or the other colonial power: Great Britain and French. Public administration in Togo State is an essential element of governance as it administrative practices are essentially defined during colonial rule (Agbese and Kieh, 2007; Fonge, 1997; Mamdani, 1996; Adu, 1965). This reality complicates the analysis of the Togolese public administration, where the general tendency in literature is to adopt sometimes a Eurocentric perspective, sometimes an Africanist perspective (Mamdani, 1996; Adu, 1965). The Eurocentric administrative tradition has not always been consistent or compatible in practice. The division of Togo into French and British administrative zones systems in 1916 illustrates this, since they only managed to conclude that there were fragile compromises for the experiment to work (Fonge, 1997: 11). Given the profound influence of colonialism on Togolese mainland governance, the colonial and post-colonial periods should be considered separately in the analysis of administrative issues.
Legacy of the colonial rule
The colonial regime has not implemented effective human resource development policy in Togo State and they did not propose any positive or political initiative to create indigenous civil service systems, adapted to the needs of the population (Adu, 1965: 11). It is not surprising that "the Togolese country's human resources have been, and are still, under-exploited or poorly managed" (Fonge, 1997: 2). The basic functions of the civil service were entrusted to local residents (Europeans and Asians in East and West Africa included). In some countries,  where  the  British were their colonial master, the policy were dictated on the basis of which the Colonial Office and Crown agents managed recruitment policies, including the staffing of all administrative positions at "senior, professional, and technical levels" supervision (Adu, 1965: 11). Since senior positions were generally reserved for Europeans, future African states lacked qualified and trained managers and leaders who could effectively manage new states as they gained independence.
Until recently, the literature on Togo's development problems has had little interest in public services. "Yet, in Togo nations, the public service remains the pillar of the state" (Fonge, 1997: 5). The country Zaire was officially called Zaire since 1971. Gould (1980: xiii) concludes that the analyses carried out by different sources during the crisis in Zaire in 70s and the institutional reform proposals that followed pointed to "mismanagement as one of the main causes of the crisis".
The work of Togo’s leaders, at the national and local levels, was particularly important for the successful completion of the reform projects advocated with the advent of independence. The building of the nation and the promotion of development in the state required political and administrative leaders with essential attributes: competence, integrity, vision and the ability to put in place public policies that respond to the needs and circumstances of this country. At the dawn of independence, this type of leadership was a rare. In the absence of competent and ethical leadership, as well as public administrative institutions with the capacity to implement public policy, Gould (1980: xiii) concludes that national socioeconomic development initiatives in Togo were condemned to fail. For many states, independence has not produced the expected result of prosperity and effective, stable and constitutionally defined governance systems. Faced with this inability to take steps to develop the necessary human resources, and the sudden exodus of expatriate agents, the new states found themselves with a void difficult to fill by African managers (Adu, 1965: 19).
Togo leaders of pro-independence movements have, with few exceptions, not emphasized or given priority to reconstruction and development policies after the collapse of the colonial order (Adu, 1965: 22). The task of reforming public institutions, that were in a sorry state when the colonial leaders left, proved to be problematic in a number of ways. "The Westernized African elite saw independence simply as a means of gaining access to positions formerly reserved for Europeans, and the desire to belong to this privileged class has grown stronger over time" (Fonge, 1997: 5) . As Gould (1980: xiii) writes about Zaire "The ruling class in Zaire has indeed" privatized "the public bureaucracy and turned it into a tool of personal enrichment." Many of these elites continued to blindly identify with their former colonizers and saw themselves more as Francophone or Anglophone than as Africans representing the African people (Fonge,  1997:  6).  In addition, towards the end of the colonial period, Togolese bureaucracies still radically subordinated to politics, so much in some cases the public service can be seen as an instrument of the ruling political party" (Fonge, 1997: 6).
Between the 1950s and the 1980s, the literature on comparative administration showed high levels of awareness and knowledge of the problems faced in Togo (Morgan, 1974; Gould, 1980). Clearly, the comparative perspective highlighted the administrative evolution and the general contextual consequences for institutions and structures under development to facilitate administrative functions (Riggs, 1964; Esman, 1974; Waldo, 1974). Again, the CPA has never looked like a road map to navigate the political, economic and social terrain of Togo before or after independence.
The Togolese reform strategies did not advocate accountability and democratization as one of their objectives. This criticism is based on what has been called "the anti-democratic tradition of development theories, especially the administration for development, and the enormous problems faced by the public administration in new or reconstructed democracies of Togo "(Baaklini, 2001: 57). The principle mentioned here is that the operating environment of newly independent systems has not developed the necessary legislation and institutions to make public administration accountable. Reform strategies in Togo today recommend that greater priority be given to developing institutional capacity in a system with constitutional weaknesses, defined through a process involving multiple consultations with citizens (Agbese and Kieh, 2007: 282).
The complex relationship between bureaucracy and political authority has long attracted interest and debate among advocates of comparative studies. As Heady (2001: 192) points out, when "the bureaucracy and its rival institutions in the political system develop more or less simultaneously over a long period of time," then political growth is more likely to be balanced. In case of imbalance, bureaucracy is likely to have the advantage among all political institutions in developing countries due to its size, technical expertise, continuity and access to information. As a result, Riggs emphasizes the imposition of effective positive strategic control over bureaucracy, which the country leader sees as a "necessary condition for ensuring positive political development" (Heady, 2001: 192; Riggs, 2001).
Overall, the colonial administration built a public service at the service of imperial policies in Togo. The public service was primarily focused on revenue collection and policing, which lacked institutional structure or tradition of professional competence. Despite their so-called bene- volence, the applications of Eurocentric administrative notions to the Togolese scene were globally despotic, discriminatory and abusive (Adu, 1965; Mamdani, 1996; Fonge, 1997). Faced with their new responsibilities for national development, ruling leaders in Togo State are unprepared or under-qualified. They  have  often  been suddenly propelled into a complex and tumultuous phase in the history of the country, for instance Faure Gnassingbé who is currently on his third mandate has succeeded his father, Gnassingbé Eyadéma, who ruled the Togolese country for 38 years under the dictatorial regime of RPT/UNIR party.
Although, Togo is an independent state, she is still a victim of a governance crisis that raises many dilemmas (such as dictatorship, legitimacy of governance, institutional competence, and ethics of leadership and management). Observers of the Togo scene often make a black picture of the situation. "The colossal human tragedies unfolded in Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Liberia, Angola and other countries make a mockery of more than thirty years of flag independence," as stated by UN (2007: 11). In the same Vein, Agbese and Kieh (2007: xi) described the dilemmas facing Togo in the following way.
Everyone recognizes that the postcolonial state, Togo, has failed to meet the needs and aspirations of the citizens. As a result, the Togolese State has become obsolete and has moved away from its own citizens. In reality, the Togolese masses are so tired of the postcolonial state failure that they try to avoid it, to dodge it and to betray it at every opportunity.
There is no single explanation for the dysfunction of the Togolese State even though, since the 1992s, "a remarkable movement to reform public management has swept the globe" (Kettl, 2005: 1). Many indicators illustrate the state's inability to serve citizens and institutionalize legitimate governance processes. International transparency indicates that in Togo, "poverty has increased in the last 25 years, and half of the country's population, 4 million people, live on less than US $ 1 a day. In addition to corruption and protracted armed conflict, the country is experiencing declining terms of trade for its non-mineral primary products accordingly. Moreover, as Gibson (2008: 6) points out, while Togo "is among countries with the fastest urbanization on the planet, it also has the sad privilege of presenting the highest share of urban population living in huts (56%)". The situation is not improving with regard to democratization. "Freedom declined in 2015". 
According to Fonge (1997: 3): "Togo is bleeding; the citizens are dying of hunger; they is on the verge of self-destruction.” The reason given for this pessimism is not so much the existence of a shortage of human and natural resources, but rather the mismanagement of these resources. Strengthening institutional capacity involves basic education and training, as well as the ability to adapt in a given environment. Many African states today realize that they have neither invested sufficiently in administrative education and training nor empirically studied and diagnosed their governance  problems  and experiences. The idea that there is common knowledge and administrative skills that can be imported and installed, as would be done with new machines in a factory, is fundamentally flawed. Practices in Togo have confirmed the lingering doubt about the consequences of the unconditional transfers proposed in the Togolese context. Mavima and Chackerian (2002: 91) took the case of the 1991 civil service reforms adopted by the Government of Zimbabwe and conclude that "the adoption and implementation of these standards and global rules have been hampered by local institutions that are associated with the unpublished history of the country". They point out that conceptually, their "observations challenge the simplistic notions of global integration and transcendence in public administration". They stress that "reform measures are needed to achieve synergy between international rules and standards as well as local institutions (Mavima and Chackerian, 2002: 91).
The Togolese State has admittedly introduced a greater complexity in the field of public policy management, calling into question conventional ideas and prescriptions in the literature on administration for development. Nevertheless, there is a continuous search for explanatory factors and evaluative opinions on the products and results of current Togolese governance systems. Most indicators lead to the following key factors.
First, the issue of power succession has destructive consequences on Togo governance, such as the power continues to be assured by autocratic leaders regardless of their outcome, the lack of trust of citizens or the growing political opposition. Currently, Togo is the only African country where the power is on the dynasty of one family who has been ruling the country since 1967. This situation creates not only political instability, but also complicates management and development, widens the gap between leaders and citizens and destroys any claim for democratic representation.
Secondly, the problem of corruption is endemic and has incalculable harmful consequences. Corruption breeds mistrust of government, fosters many negative institutional characteristics, wastes resources and intensifies the deterioration of public services. Corruption and underdevelopment seem to be happening again. In his description of Zaire, Gould (1980) discusses the devastating consequences of corruption in the postcolonial period. "Zaire is potentially the richest country in Africa, but ended with a poor development strategy" (Gould, 1980: xi). In addition to poor results and the lack of consideration of the needs of the population, bureaucrats had perfected fraud, bribes and theft in public finances (Gould, 1980: xiv). Those who occupy the upper echelons seem to have institutionalized corruption and locked up their subordinates in these practices.
In Togo context, diagnostic data on corruption and governance are essential to facilitate in-depth analysis and inform policy formulation. Clustered indicators, such as those from Transparency International or  the World Bank's governance indicators, are used to compare and rank countries and have proven to be valuable advocacy tools. Their ability to inform policy processes, however, is limited since they are not designed to identify areas for reform or to recommend strategies for improvement. Tools for measuring governance and corruption facilitate the assessment of progress or lack thereof. These initiatives however would be more valuable if they were developed to produce operational recommendations on how to produce attributes that lead to sustainable development, poverty reduction, and improved accountability and accountability of equity.
Third, the complexity of the Togo context poses a problem for CPA researchers. The disorder of Togolese governance in the postcolonial period has often been described and analyzed in case studies. The conclusions of these studies were often stifled, generalized or rationalized. Issues of reform, freedom, democratization or the fight against corruption lead to the political regime and political philosophy of the country.
The colonial regime brought authoritarian and despotic institutions to Togolese societies. The following attributes characterize the postcolonial state: priority given to nation building by hegemonic elite, rivalry within the elite for state domination as a source of wealth and power, exclusion and marginalization of certain social groups, interests of Togolese elites linked to those of regional and international powers, and formation of authoritarian political systems (Grawert, 2008: 596).
Fourth, the simultaneous need to manage development and deliver public services in Togo State has proven particularly difficult. In the face of growing economic difficulties and debt problems, Togo governments "have been forced by international financial institutions and Western bilateral agencies to redefine the role of the state in the economy" (Tordoff, 2002: 153). This has led to more entrenchment than to public enterprise reform. In reality, the transition to "democratic and market reform" was not a deliberate choice, but a condition "imposed by the dominant players" in the context of global governance (UN, 2007: 1). Reform in Togo has resulted in deregulation, privatization and commercialization. The direct consequences for public administration were downsizing and sale of public enterprises.
The management of this policy has some common points, even ironies, as stated by UN (2007). (1) This policy has been imposed by local politicians and external economic actors, without taking into account the preferences of citizens. (2) Policies and downsizing measures were adopted without recognizing the limitations of privatization and without knowing the best practices of economic governance. (3) The privatization cases "eventually provoked objections and resistance, even among early supporters, who felt that privatization created serious risks in certain contexts" (UN, 2007: 2). (4) The state, however, remained responsible for essential services  such  as  taxes collection for the use of road construction, policing, education, and health care.
Confronted with a public policy being privatized in Togo, the development administration was caught off guard, unprepared for being relegated to a smaller emergency. Autocratic government downsizing policies, at a time of growing demand for public services, strong population growth and an underdeveloped and poorly regulated private sector, have only strengthened mistrust of governments and, as a result, instability and violence in some cities.
The "New Public Management" (NPM) attempted in some developed countries, such as Australia, New Zealand and the UK, "has resulted in the creation of a bewildering number of new autonomous or semi- autonomous public bodies in place of relatively homogeneous and integrated ones"(Manning and Parison, 2004: 27-28). The principles and claims of the NPM are numerous they include issues and themes such as governance, outsourcing, markets, transparency, performance management and accountability (Kaboulian, 1998; Kettl, 1997). In many African countries including Togo, the overall context and limited experience with some elements of the NPM, such as transparency, accountability and results-based management, have made the NMP approach inoperable.

This analysis focuses on the contributions of the early supporters of comparative analysis and the recom- mendations they made or failed to make regarding the development of the Togolese State during the early years of independence. In general, contemporary scholars paint a grim picture of development and governance in Togo. Similar situations are, however, found in many developing countries. In fact, the cases of successful development in Togo less known than the examples of failure.
At present, the comparative administration and development is completely reviewing its priorities to meet the challenge of change. The CPA must produce evidence-based, empirical and objective knowledge of the real situation in Togo, while overcoming some conceptual and practical obstacles. The administrative knowledge produced in intercultural studies, particularly with regard to the civil service and the management of national development, needs to consider more and better understand the operational dimension of management. In order to respond to the growing importance of what Ryan (1994) called "the anti-parochial, anti-ethnocentric factor," the CPA must build reliable models of application and administrative practices, derived from global comparisons. The various comparative perspectives therefore compete for relevance and seek flexibility. Three illustrations were chose to emphasize the adaptability of the comparative approach and the constant search for valid explanatory and prescriptive generalizations. These perspectives do not claim to "reinvent" comparative administration and they do not represent all the approaches of this type, but they try to reorient and animate the analysis.
The first perspective seeks to advance administrative knowledge through a comparative analysis closely related to the attributes of the immediate state context. In a comparative study of management reform in twelve developed countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, UK and US), Pollitt and Bouckaert (2004: 39) "underlined the characteristics of existing political and administrative systems with regard to their influence on change management processes". These systems, they say, constitute "the existing terrain, the topography that the reformers have to go through. Different countries have different topographical characteristics, and therefore different problems for those who wish to implement a reform".
Similarly, Manning and Parison (2004: xiii - xiv) analyzed the cases of public administrative reform in fourteen countries, in view of their desire to reduce public expenditure, improve the flexibility of policies, improve the state as an employer and improve service delivery. Many of these countries also appear on the Pollitt and Bouckaert country list. By the way, Togo was not on any of the lists. The reform model applied by Pollitt and Bouckaert (2004: 40) relies on comparative literature to define the "main characteristics" of their model:
(1) The structure of the state, including the constitution.
(2) The nature of the central executive government, including the type of political system.
(3) Functional elements, including relations between political leaders and senior officials.
(4) The dominant administrative culture.
(5) The diverse ways in which ideas come to stimulate public management reform.
The second perspective can be described as "globalist" or "internationalist". This perspective encourages the CPA to take into account the growing global needs and the inten- sification of international imperatives. The globalization of our planet, says Riggs (1991, 473), "forces us to rethink the context of what we call Public Administration." Ongoing globalization processes have significantly reduced geographical distance and deepened economic interdependence; the public administration cannot be spared indefinitely. Despite the contributions of old-world comparative administration, development administration, and NPM, the future of public administration, Klingner (2009) concluded that "computational international practice." in the service of what he calls the "millennium goals". This public administration is essentially driven by purpose, data-driven, performance-based and partisan of smart practices (Klingner, 2009: 8). The global link is so accentuated in this perspective that the professionalization of public administration is seen as a  response to  the challenges of globalization (Farazmand, 1999).


In a world characterized by growing interdependence between the economic regions, the Togolese State is under pressure to strengthen her administrative capacity and improve her overall governance. The following studies are important for future actions.
Inclusive and relevant
The development of comparative research and the expansion of its mission are essential, not only to enrich intellectual capital, but also to enhance its relevance and to provide a foundation for the so-called universality of administrative generalizations in Togo. This development is also necessary because of the intensification of relations between public organizations and a whole series of other governance structures. This proposed enlargement involves decentralization and modernization of modes of interaction within and outside Togolese State. Public organizations have regular relationships with a series of complex networks and deal with autonomous actors, such as political groups, local institutions and private organizations. Appropriate knowledge about the internal or operational aspect of Togo public organizations is rare or inaccessible. As a result, it is not easy to check the level of administrative accountability in the absence of performance information. An in-depth analysis of the operational sphere could enlighten those who participate in the system and others about how technical, behavioral, financial, cultural, and global realities interact and converge in defining the decision-making process.
Respect the values of fairness and justice
Comparative administrative research must invest in the discovery of knowledge about the issues of equity and justice of public policy actions in society. In Togo State, it is still difficult to identify those who benefit from different public policies.
The recruitment of public servant is mainly grounded on political connection, bureaucrats and family connection. As a result, declining productivity, increasing poverty, and a growing sense of social injustice have led to greater resentment of the regime. Comparative analysis in such cases can elevate the debate by examining recruitment policy objectively and comparatively, and making observations that can inform future actions.
Comparative administrative research must therefore redefine links with the political order and determine the conditions and variables that determine relationships through empirical evidence. Political authority determines the boundaries of administrative change and defines bureaucratic attitudes towards citizens. Conversely, the political distortion of relationship between citizens and their governments undermines conventional notions of "public service" and encourages actions to limit the role of the public administration and to promote policies of downsizing and privatization.
Fight against corruption
The literature constantly evokes the delaying effects of corruption on development and society (Cremer, 2008). However, there are two aspects of reform strategies that need to be emphasized. First, education and training are ways for Togolese society to recognize that the impact of unethical and criminal practices in the public sector is unjustifiable and leads to a loss of trust in public institutions and a weakening of the rule of law itself (UNDP, 2001: 1). In addition, continuous action is essential, such as the use of measurement and comparison tools to inform and educate the public about the seriousness of corruption and its consequences, in order to identify effective measures in the fight against corruption. Second, the prevention and policing reform policies need to be highlighted. CAP can be useful at both levels, determining what worked or not and why. Empirical knowledge of how to fight corruption could also influence bilateral and multilateral aid agreements for Togo State on the path to change.
Focus on local and community contexts
The CPA is primarily interested in national political and administrative institutions. The enormous potential influence of local authorities and communities on national development must now be taken into account. In Togo, Aloki (1989: 430) concludes "family structures, village groups, ethnic groups and spontaneous associations are the only authentic, experiential and generally accepted institutions. To stimulate economic development, public authorities as well as administrative research must look at these communities and local authorities and consider them as essential structures in the development of countries. Dynamic comparative administrations need to boost their quest for knowledge development at the global and local levels.
In general, even though "improved governance and conflict resolution are seen as key prerequisites for sustainable development" (UNDP, 2001: 1), Togo State management remains a major issue. For the relevance and adaptability of modern administrative concepts and practices, only an empirical, experiential and case-based approach can enable the human capital of public administration to develop the capacity to make its theory and practice more relevant and useful. This requires a conceptual and methodological reorientation of priorities (Jreisat, 2005). Comparative public administration may be essential for a reorientation of objectives that allows for the integration of new perspectives, new experiences and new knowledge at the global level. Comparative research methods should be based more on empirical interdisciplinary analysis and case studies that focus on multiple cases rather than single examples. It is also essential that local institutions and the needs and preferences of the community be a primary consideration in the design, definition and implementation of change strategies.


The authors have not declared any conflict of interests.



Adu AL (1965). The Civil Service in New African States. New York: Praeger Publishers.


Agbese PO, Kieh GK Jr. (2007). Reconstituting the State in Africa. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.


Aloki AO (1989). Le développement rural en Afrique-subsaharienne : une autre organisation politico-administrative décentralisée. Revue internationale des Sciences administratives 55(3):481-517.


Baaklini A (2001). Administration in Developing Countries and the Democratic Challenge. Journal of Developing Societies 17(2):57-70.


Bannister F (2007). Les évaluations comparatives: un fléau. Analyse de la validité et de l'utilité des comparaisons dans le domaine du gouvernement électronique. Revue internationale des Sciences administratives 73(2):187-206.


Barzelay M (1997). Researching the Politics of New Public Management: Changing the Question, not the Subject. Paper delivered at the Summer Workshop of the International Public Management Network, Berlin: Germany (June 25-27).


Baum J (1996). Organizational Ecology. In Clegg SR, Hardy S, Nord WR (eds.). Handbook of Organization Studies. London: Sage Publications.


Brans M, Pattyn V (2017). Validating Methods for Comparing Public Policy: Perspectives from Academics and "Pracademics. Introduction to the Special Issue Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 19(4):303-312.


Cremer G (2008) Corruption and Development Aid. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner.


Deutsch KW (1987). Prologue: Achievements and Challenges in 2000 Years of Comparative Research. In Dierkes M, Weiler HN, Antal AB (eds.). Comparative Policy Research: Learning from Experience. New York: St. Martin's Press.


Esman MJ (1991). Management Dimensions of Development. West Hartford, CT: Kumarian Press.


Esman MJ (1974). Administrative Doctrine and Developmental Needs. In E. P. Morgan. (ed.) The Administration of Change in Africa. New York: Dunellen.


Farazmand A (1999). Globalization and Public Administration. Public Administration Review 59(6).


Fonge FP (1997). Modernization Without Development in Africa. Asmara, Eritrea: Africa World Press.


Gibson NC (2008). Introduction: A New Politics of the Poor Emerges from South Africa's Shantytowns. Journal of Asian and African Studies 43(1):5-18.


Gould DJ (1980). Bureaucratic Corruption and Underdevelopment in the Third World: The Case of Zaire. New York: Pergamon Press.


Grawert E (2008). Cross-Border Dynamics of Violent Conflict: The Case of Sudan and Chad. Journal of Asian and Africa Studies 43(6):595-614.


Hammerschmid G, Van de Walle S, Andrews R, Bezes P (2016). Public administration reforms in Europe. The view from the top. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.


Haroon AK (2008). An Introduction to Public Administration. Available at 



Heady F (2001). Public Administration: A Comparative Perspective. 6th ed. NY: Marcel Dekker.


Hofstede G (1980). Culture's Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.


Jabbra JG, Jreisat JE (2009). Administration of the Arab State: Synthesizing Diverse Traditions. In Pagaza IP, Argyriades D (eds.). Winning the Needed Change. Amsterdam: IOS Press.


Jreisat JE (2005). Comparative Public Administration Is back In, Prudently. Public Administration Review 65(2):211-222.


Jreisat JE (1997). Public Organization Management: The Development of Theory and Process. London and West Port, CT: Quorum.


Jreisat JE (1975). Synthesis and Relevance in Comparative Public Administration. Public Administration Review 35(6):663-672.


Kaboulian L (1998). The New Public Management: Challenging the Boundaries of the Management vs. Administration Debate. Public Administration Review 58(3):189-193.


Kettl DF (2005). The Global Public Management Revolution. 2nd ed. Washington, D. C: Brookings Institution Press.


Kettl DF (1997). The Global Revolution in Public Management: Driving Themes, Missing Links. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 16(3):446-462.


Klingner DE (2009). Using US Public Administration to Support Global Development. Journal of Regional Studies and Development 18(2):1-30.


Manning N, Parison N (2004). International Public Administration Reform: Implications for the Russian Federation. Washington, D. C: The World Bank.


Mamdani M (1996). Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.


Mavima P, Chackerian R (2002). Administrative Reform Adoption and Implementation: The Influence of Global and Local Institutional Forces. In Jreisat JE (ed.) Governance in Developing Countries. Leiden. The Netherlands: Brill: 91-110.


Montgomery JD (1974). A Behavioral Approach to Development Administration. In Morgan EP (ed.) The Administration of Change in Africa. NY: Dunellen.


Morgan EP (1974). Introduction. In Morgan EP Ed. The Administration of Change in Africa.NY: Dunellen.


Otenyo EE, Nancy SL (2015). "Part I: Comparative Public Administration: Growth, Method, and Ecology" In Comparative Public Administration. Published online: 09 Mar 2015; 1-7.


Otenyo E, Lind NS (2006). Comparative Public Administration: the essential Readings. NY: Elsevier.


Pattyn V (2014). why organization (do not) evaluate? Explaining evaluation activity through the lens of configuration comparative method. Evaluation 20(3):348-367.


Pal LA, Clark ID (2016). Teaching public policy: Global convergence or difference? Policy and Society 35(4):283-297.


Pollitt C (2008). Time, Policy, Management. Oxford, UK and NY: Oxford University Press.


Pollitt C, Bouckaert G (2004). Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis. 2nd ed., Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.


Riggs FW (1991). Public Administration: A Comparativist Framework. Public Administration Review 51(6).


Riggs FW (2001). Bureaucratic Links Between Administration and Politics. In Farazmand A. Ed. Handbook of Comparative and Development Administration. 2nd. ed. NY: Marcel Dekker: 815-837.


Riggs FW (1964). Administration of Developing Countries. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.


Ryan RW (1994). The Importance of Comparative Study in Educating the U.S. Public Service. In Baker R (ed.). Comparative Public Management. Westport, CT: Praeger.


Steven V, Marleen B (2018). Where Comparative Public Administration and Comparative Public Policy meet. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 20(1):101-113.


Teorell J, Dahlberg S, Holmberg S, Rothstein B, Khomenko A, Svensson R (2017). The Quality of Government Standard Dataset, version Jan17. University of Gothenburg: The Quality of Government Institute. 



Tordoff W (2002). Government and Politics in Africa. 4th ed. Bloomington, Indiana University Press.


Van de Walle S (2006). The state of the world's bureaucracies. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 8(4):439-450.


Verhoest K, Van TS, Bouckaert G, Lægreid P, Van TS (2016). Government agencies: practices and lessons from 30 countries. Series "Public Sector Organizations", Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, 480p.


Verhoest K, Vandenabeele W, Wynen J, Van de Walle S (2017). Challenges for large-scale international comparative survey-based research in public administration. In: Ongaro E and Van Thiel S. The Palgrave Handbook of Public Administration and Management in Europe. Houndmills: Palgrave. United Nations (UN) (2007). Privatization and Human Security in Nigeria. A paper presented at a workshop on Global Governance and the Globalizers, 27th International Congress of Administrative Sciences, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 9-14 July.


United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2001). Public Service Ethics in Africa. Vol. 1. New York: United Nations.



Waldo D (1974). Preface. In Morgan EP (ed.). The Administration of Change in Africa. NY: Dunellen.