Journal of
Public Administration and Policy Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Adm. Policy Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2480
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPAPR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 151

Full Length Research Paper

Reforms of the public sector in the light of the new public management: A cases of Sub-Saharan Africa

Tadesse Getacher Engida
  • Tadesse Getacher Engida
  • College of Business and Economics, Mekelle University, Ethiopia.
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John Bardill
  • John Bardill
  • School of Government, University of the Western Cape, South Africa.
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  •  Accepted: 10 April 2012
  •  Published: 31 January 2013



The aim of this paper is to talk about reforms of the public sector in the light of the new public management (NPM) with special emphasis of some selected Sub-Saharan African countries. The origin, rationale and chief characteristic of the ‘new public management’ was explained. Thereafter, a discussion was made on the trends, rationales and principal characteristics of the public sector reform program of the past two decades and the extent to which these reforms were influenced by the principles of new public management. Finally, the successes, challenges, limitations and constraints of the reforms and reform processes were highlighted. The paper is based archival research, where secondary data sources have been used. Reform programs through NPM is not only aim at ensuring the adequate management of machineries of government, but also effective public service delivery through the building and strengthening institutional capacity, and by introducing results-oriented management techniques. The paper demonstrated the variants of the new public management approach being introduced in the public sector reforms of developing countries, with special attention on Sub-Saharan Africa. However, it needs to be noted that the new public management approach may not be a cure to the problems of public administration. Hence, a wise selection and adoption of some elements of the NPM may be beneficial.


Key words: Public sector reform, new publish management, public administration, Sub-Saharan Africa.