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Measurement of Public-sector Productivity

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Experts Biography

Dean Parham

Mr. Dean Parham is a productivity analyst from Australia. For a long time, Dean worked at Australia’s Productivity Commission where he developed and led a flagship program of research on Australia’s productivity performance. The research was designed to monitor and understand productivity trends

Full Biography

Course Description

Public-sector productivity is an important part of the economic performance of a country. Yet measuring productivity in the sector, especially of public services, is not a simple task. It requires an appropriate framework and robust calculations of various basic inputs. As the government’s function is not to maximize profits but people’s welfare, performance measures in the public sector must therefore be addressed differently. In the long run, productivity measures for the public sector are vital in understanding the success of governments in using their resources to improve living standards and community well-being, giving warning signs to take policy action to improve productivity performance, providing feedback on the effectiveness of productivity-related measures taken, alerting policymakers to adverse productivity consequences that may result from actions taken in other areas, etc.

While determining the productivity of a specific service has proved to be challenging, the APO must increasingly recognize the important role of the public sector and examine how it can produce results of higher value to society. Hence, it must continue efforts to equip member country governments to apply the theories, concepts, and tools to improve the motivation and skill levels of public officials, strengthen management systems, enhance performance in the changing environment, and better understand productivity within their public agencies. This course will therefore provide a fundamental understanding of public-sector productivity by introducing some basic measurement techniques and applying them using examples provided in the course.


The course will cover the following modules:

Module 1: Why does measurement of public-sector productivity matter?

Module 2: The basics of productivity measurement

Module 3: Outputs and outcomes in the public sector

Module 4: How to measure output

Module 5: How to measure input

Module 6: Formulating productivity measures

Module 7: Dealing with quality

Module 8: How to interpret productivity trends

Final examination



Module study, additional study material for participants, short quizzes for self-assessment, and a final examination to qualify for the APO e-certificate for eligible participants.



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