Working Papers

Do Parallel Structures Resolve the Problems of the Egyptian Government Bureaucracy?

Publication Number: ECESWP112-E

July, 2006

Author : Laila El Baradei

Type : Working Papers

This paper investigates the proliferation of parallel structures—also known as project implementation units (PIUs) and technical offices—within the Egyptian public administration system. To determine whether these structures are a viable tool for the implementation of reform, the paper examines international experience, analyses the literature, and assesses the results of a brief survey of staff working in the traditional bureaucracy and those in parallel structures. The paper concludes that while PIUs may be necessary for initiating reform in the short run, it is important to continue building the capacity of the traditional administration. It also stresses the importance of improving human resource management, rightsizing the Egyptian public administration and adopting alternative mechanisms for the implementation of development projects, such as sector-wide assistance programs (SWAPs) and general budget support.