One consistent area of demand for UK funding and expertise is for the support of public sector reform and improvement in the effectiveness of government. Yet there is general consensus in the development literature that, in terms of impact, efforts to improve the effectiveness of governments and to reform public services largely have a patchy record. And efforts to strengthen the centre of governments have the patchiest record of all.

This InsideOUT report explores how far and under what conditions more than 40 years of public sectors reforms in the UK can help other countries in their own efforts to improve policymaking.

The authors used a stocktake of progress to explore the parallel lessons from their respective experience of reforms in the UK and overseas more systematically, drawing on a mix of their experiences, practitioner reflection, case studies drawn from the NSGI portfolio, research by the Institute for Government and lessons from research into aid interventions in developing countries (especially centre-of-government reforms) to provide a model approach as well as key questions and recommendations that should be applied throughout an engagement with a recipient government.