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The politics of civil service reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo*

  • Stylianos Moshonas (a1)

Abstract

Civil service reform is an important element of governance reforms, but has received limited attention in the literature pertaining to the Democratic Republic of Congo. This article examines Congo's aborted CSR process from 2003 to 2008. Through a detailed exploration of some of the project's components (the design phase, the census, and the workings of the structures charged with implementation), analysed through a framework attentive to the tensions between democratisation and liberalisation, the political logics that have pervaded and affected implementation outcomes are reconstituted. These logics, it is argued, are deeply embedded in the context of democratic transition/post-2006 elections, which donors have played no small part in shaping. The ambiguity of donors towards CSR, bemoaning the absence of governmental commitment but all too prone to tolerate administrative neglect, suggests that it may have been irrelevant for the disbursement of aid, and ultimately accommodating for the Congolese authorities.

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The author would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions.

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Congolese public sector syndicalist, Kinshasa, 7.6.2011

World Bank official, Kinshasa, 20.7.2010 (a)

MPS official, Kinshasa, 18.6.2010 (a)

MPS official, Kinshasa, 30.5.2011 (a)

BTC official, Kinshasa, 21.6.2010

UNDP official, Kinshasa, 17.5.2011

UNDP official, Kinshasa, 27.7.2010

MPS official, Kinshasa, 7.7.2010 (b)

Consultant, Kinshasa, 4.8.2010

MPS official, Kinshasa, 20.4.2011 (b)

Bilateral cooperation official, Kinshasa, 5.7.2010 (a)

Bilateral cooperation official, Kinshasa, 10.6.2010 (b)

MPS official, Kinshasa, 16.7.2010 (c)

MPS official, Kinshasa, 26.5.2011 (c)

MPS official, Kinshasa, 1.6.2011 (d)

World Bank official, Kinshasa, 21.7.2010 (b)

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