MSc Management and Information Systems: Change and Development / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course unit details:
Public Sector Reform and Management

Unit code MGDI60081
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Global Development Institute
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

The course aims to rovide an historical review of various approaches to public sector reform and provide an extensive number of public sector reform examples from around the world, but with a bias towards sub-Saharan Africa; an to provide students with a critical understanding of the theoretical perspectives and concepts that underpin the field of the public sector, with a particular focus on issues of new public management, governance, the process of forming policy, and extensive examples of how to evaluate reforms.

The course will critically assess the new approaches to public management, and examine these from different disciplinary perspectives. Overall, the course will also aim to provide a solid development foundation for understanding key public sector reform theories whilst providing ‘real world’ examples of public sector reform.

 

Aims

The unit aims to:

  • Provide an historical review of various approaches to public sector reform and provide an extensive number of public sector reform examples from around the world, but with a bias towards sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Provide students with a critical understanding of the theoretical perspectives and concepts that underpin the field of the public sector, with a particular focus on issues of new public management, governance, the process of forming policy, and extensive examples of how to evaluate reforms. Examples will be drawn across (sub) sectors but include, amongst others, Social Protection and Health sector examples.
  • To critically assess the new approaches to public management, and examine these from different disciplinary perspectives. It is hoped that special guest lectures will be provided on several issues including ‘Public Sector Restructuring’ by Professor Jean Shaoul.
  • Develop analytical skills – with a bias towards development economics - in relation to analysing public policy at the national and international level.
  • Overall, the course will also aim to provide a solid development foundation for understanding key public sector reform theories whilst providing ‘real world’ examples of public sector reform.

 

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, Tutorials and Blackboard

The course unit will be delivered via weekly 2 hour lectures from Dr David Lawson, who has more than 25 years of applied development experience, having worked and lived in several developing countries, and advised more than a dozen developing country governments on issues of public policy.

Seminars/tutorials which will require reading and preparation beforehand.

A high level of student participation will be required from students throughout the course. This will be essential for the preparation of the assignments.

All lecture slides and video support file containing a wealth of case material covering the syllabus will be on Blackboard to support learning.

 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Understand the historical development of different approaches to public sector reform.
  • Analyse the different disciplinary roots to ideas embodied in recent approaches to public management
  • Compare and contrast country experiences and cross sector experiences of public sector reform activities and issues.
  • Evaluate the outcome of different approaches to public sector reform

Intellectual skills

  • To appreciate the intellectual origins of public sector reform theory and be able to explore and critique debates in development theory, public management policy and practice

Practical skills

  • To gain a critical appreciation of a range of approaches to public sector reform and the management of policy, and to help develop practical tools and techniques in devising, implementing and assessing the impact of policy.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

The course will help you develop the following skills

  • General research skills
  • Planning and evaluation skills – allowing student understand processes that underpin the public policy processes and impact evaluation
  • Critical problem solving skills
  • Motivation and self-directed learning.
  • Communication skills and self-development and awareness

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

There will be many opportunities for formative feedback in seminar discussions. Oral feedback will be provided in response to class discussions. Summative feedback will be provided on assessed coursework via Blackboard.

Practice Essay to be undertaken half way through the module and to be discussed in tutorials.

Recommended reading

Reading to be provided at the commencement of each lecture: Further reading of note includes:

Grindle M and J Thomas (1994) Public Choices and Policy Changes: The Political Economy of Reform in Developing Countries

Pollitt C (1990) Managerialism and the Public Services, Blackwell

Specific readings will be provided at the start of each lecture, but notable reading includes:

Lawson, David, David Hulme and Lawrence Ado-Kofie (2017) , “What Works for Africa’s Poorest”, Practical Action https://youtu.be/pOovarF203s

Available on Open Access www.bit.ly/WhatWorksOA

Or to buy http://developmentbookshop.com/what-works-for-africa-s-poorest

Lawson, David, David Hulme, Imran Matin and Karen Moore (2010) .What Works for the Poorest – Reduction Programmes for the World's Extreme Poor, Practical Action **one free copy of this book will be awarded to the most interactive student in the class**

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 124

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
David Lawson Unit coordinator

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