New Public Management popularly abbreviated as NPM, refers to an approach of governance used in the public sector at subnational and national stages. NPM governance techniques are mainly borrowed from the private sector. NPM approach was developed with the primary objective of streamlining the public sector in a bid to improve efficiency. Christensen and Laegreid (2016) define New Public Management (NPM) as a global wave that marked administrative reforms in the public sector for the past twenty-five years. The New Public Management approaches aimed at transforming the public service face by using private sector management models. The approach would help in improving efficiency, enhance customer service delivery as well as reduce spending in public institutions.
According to economists, the New Public Management wave occurred in the late 1970s. Christensen and Laegreid (2016) assert that the first reform ideas were initiated in the United Kingdom and the United States. Later, New Zealand and Australia introduced the reforms. Over the last twenty-five years, the reforms have spread across the world like wildfire. The rapid spread of these reforms could be partly attributed to the dominance of the same countries in the international market. The most interesting fact about NPM is that it offers solutions to issues encountered in the management thus improving both efficiency and productivity.
For the past two decades, public management has undergone rapid transformations which have been experienced in both developed and developing countries. In most countries, the NPM approaches are used to highlight the faults in the public sector. Before the introduction of the New Public Management (NPM), there was no accountability and corruption in the public sector was alarmingly high. However, when the NPM was introduced in the late 1970s, a new effective approach of running the public sector was realized. The benefits of this approach included; improved efficiency, accountability, reduction of costs as well as a new model of interaction between the government and the public was introduced.
New Public Management focuses on increasing output and reducing wastefulness. A good example of how NPM has shaped the public sector is the adoption of technology. Technology is arguably the largest utilized resource in every organization in the world. Technology has played a significant role in reshaping the way public sector operates. Governments have realized that the solution to common challenges facing the public service is to adopt strategies that would prevent the occurrence of problems before they happen. Another way the NPM approach has helped the government is by reducing costs. The NPM strategy of management has helped countries in realizing the best ways of cutting costs while improving productivity.
One of the key components of New Public Management is program evaluation. All program managers understand the need for program evaluation for a better and successful performance of the organization. Evaluation refers to the process of examining all the programs in place and how they operate. Evaluation is critical for every organization because helps the organization prepare for the future. According to Posavac (2015), program evaluation refers to as a methodology used to evaluate service worth and ability to address both identified and unidentified need. Every organization has a mission. The mission helps the organization works towards achieving the set goals. Program evaluation plays a significant role in ensuring the objectives are achieved.
Christensen, T., & Laegreid, P. (2016). The Ashgate research companion to new public management. Routledge.
Posavac, E. J. (2015). Program evaluation: Methods and case studies. Routledge.
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