Seeking a diverse and effective civil service for multicultural countries

Can a federal country’s bureaucracy reflect its diversity and also be effective in delivering services to citizens and residents? That was the question discussed with consultant Luc Turgeon of the University of Toronto at an armchair dialogue of the Forum of Federations and the Canada School of Public Service in Ottawa, Canada, on Oct. 11.

Creating a ‘representative bureaucracy’ to reflect the diversity in multinational countries such as Canada, Turkey, Belgium and Nigeria is a difficult task, Mr. Turgeon noted. Canada’s experience in creating a representative bureaucracy may come close to creating a balance between representation and effectiveness. This balanced approach could provide an example for other multiethnic countries, he told the group.

Mr. Turgeon, a fellow of the Club of Rome and a consultant to the Gorbachev Foundation, is also a member of the Research Group on Ethnicity and Democratic Governance and the Groupe de recherche sur la diversité au Québec. Mr. Turgeon is a PhD student at the University of Toronto.

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