MSc Management and Information Systems: Change and Development / Course details
Year of entry: 2022
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Course unit details:
Public Sector Reform and Management
|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|
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.
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
- 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
- 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
|Written assignment (inc essay)||100%|
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.
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:
What Works for Africa's Poorest Children: From Measurement to Action https://practicalactionpublishing.com/book/2366/what-works-for-africas-poorest-children
Gender, Poverty and Access to Justice: Policy Implementation in SSA https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781315407104
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|David Lawson||Unit coordinator|