By M. Gustavson
This booklet provides a accomplished evaluation of the literature on improvement in Sub-Saharan Africa, and demanding situations the notions of African public officers offered there. It makes a speciality of public audit associations and gives wealthy empirical study effects, which contradicts many assumptions made within the literature on improvement in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Extra resources for Auditing Good Government in Africa: Public Sector Reform, Professional Norms and the Development Discourse
Chapter 5 presents the case studies of the Supreme Audit Institutions in Botswana and Namibia. The chapter starts with introductions of the countries and their audit offices and how these have developed over the years. The main results from the discussions with auditors (at the offices) about the international standards and the country context are then presented, as well as the results for each criterion in the Supreme Audit Institution model. In the main the results demonstrate that the auditors in both Botswana and Namibia believed their work would be of better quality if they followed international standards, as the standards give them guidance to recognize the appropriate level for how the work should be done.
Obviously, the aim here is not to give a full description of African societies, but rather to discuss what in the literature is referred to as specific features which have major consequences for politics and administration in contemporary Africa. Discussing societies’ ‘typical features’ may be problematic as it could become dogmatic and prejudiced, there is of course a width of variety. Likewise, those features are not to be regarded as static, as Bayart (2009) nicely puts it: ‘This is not to say that this form of “governmentality” belongs to a traditional culture whose contours cannot possibly be avoided, nor that it avoids the critique The Dynamics of Public Sector Reform 43 of a growing number of African citizens’ (p.
The expressed desire to build on a society’s own values rather than imported ones, would today be endorsed by both the political left and right. (p. 49) In Abrahamsen’s (2000) critique, she claims that this approach is problematic since it decouples the new agenda from earlier efforts to introduce foreign structures in African societies. She argues that the international community believes it now has discovered ‘the real solution to Africa’s problems’ and, despite previous mistakes, it continues to claim the ‘moral right’ of developing African societies.