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A National Assessment Project of Public Administration: Theoretical Framework and Preliminary Findings from Israel

Author: ERAN VIGODA and FANY YUVAL
Published in PAQ, Vol. 28 No. 4

This paper reports on a new venture for the study of public sector
performance and on its implementation in Israel. The Israeli study is part
of the “European Assessment Project of Public Administration” (EAPPA)
that is aimed at a cross-cultural and cross-sectional examination of public
administration agencies in various European countries using attitudinalbehavioralmethods
and tools. A sample of 345 citizens was used to assess
the performance of the Israeli public administration and to draw
conclusions about the levels of satisfaction with, trust in, and general
attitudes towards public policies and personnel. The main findings of the
study indicate that Israeli citizens are deeply critical of public institutions
and governmental agencies. A correlation analysis further shows a strong
and stable relationship between satisfaction and three separate constructs
of citizens’ trust: (1) trust in administrative and governmental institutions,
(2) trust in civil servants, and (3) faith in citizenship involvement.
Significant relationshipswere also found between citizens’ satisfaction and
most of the other indicators of performance. Finally, the paper presents a
socio-economic and demographic analysis of the data. The paper ends
with a discussion about the centrality of public opinion studies in the field
of public sector performance. It is our expectation that this initiative will
lead to more extensive studies throughout other European states that are
struggling for improvement in their public service systems.

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