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Bureaucracy Lab


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The World Bank’s Bureaucracy Lab is joint effort of the Governance Global Practice (GGP) and the Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) unit of the World Bank Research Group which seeks to promote the use of evidence and technology in civil service reform.

The Lab is creating improved administrative and survey data on the characteristics of public officials and their organizations to inform the operational design of the public sector. In addition, the Lab is undertaking experimental work to generate an evidence base on reforms that improve the productivity of the public sector.  The Lab is also improving our knowledge of how to measure public service characteristics through survey experiments and working with academic anthropologists and sociologists to create a detailed picture of civil services across the world.

The Lab recently launched Worldwide Bureaucracy Indicators (WWBI), a dataset on public sector employment and wages. This dataset is designed to help researchers and development practitioners gain a better understanding of the personnel dimensions of state capability, the footprint of the public sector on the overall labor market, and the fiscal implications of the government wage bill. The WWBI aim is to fill the gap in information on the personnel of the state by providing more objective measures drawing on administrative data and household surveys, thereby complementing existing, expert perception-based approaches.