Keith Sargent is an independent advisor who works in the field of state / peace building and specialises in the areas of economic development planning and institutional modernisation, capacity building and good governance in the public sector. In the course of his career he has advised at prime-ministerial and ministerial levels of Government, and sat on major government committees. His career is underpinned by substantive senior management experience in leading UK consultancy practices - including the Crown Agents’ Institutional Development Group, Economics and Finance Directorate - and university teaching experience. He is currently a Supervisor and member of an Expert Panel for the MSc in Security, Conflict and International Development, at the University of Leicester, and occasional guest speaker and seminar chair-person at the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies, London.
His professional experience spans some 41 years, during which time he has undertaken assignments in SE Europe, Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific Basin, the Caribbean and the UK, including for World Bank (IBRD), United Nations Agencies (inc. UN DESA, UNDP/DTCD, UNMIK, UNFPA), European Commission (EC) and European Development Fund (EDF), Inter American Development Bank, the UK Government’s DFID/ODA, FCO/Know How Fund and Treasury, Development Cooperation Ireland and Southern Africa Development Community.
He commenced his career specialising in socio-economic planning and demographic analysis. Over time an increasing proportion of his work has been in a technical assistance capacity to governments and donor agencies, advising in national development planning and budgeting processes, assisting develop local skills and guiding institutional strengthening. With increasingly senior posts, the nature and scope of his assignments have enlarged to embrace the wider concerns of public sector reform, good governance and integrity in public life, broader sectoral concerns (particularly in the areas of health and justice); and fragile state / post conflict transformation and development.
His economic development / strategic planning experience has been gained both in a traditional development context as well as that of post conflict reconstruction. In 1996, he was funded by the Overseas Development Administration as a direct Advisor to the State Prime Minister of Bosnia i Herzegovina, whom he advised on the economic reform and reconstruction programmes, and donor coordination for such, following the signing of the Dayton Peace Accord. He subsequently made frequent returns to Bosnia during the period 1997-1999 to direct a regional planning study for Tuzla Canton. In 2004, he was assigned to the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), in southern Iraq, where he assisted the re-establishment of government ministries responsible for municipal planning and housing. He was awarded a Service Citation for “distinguished and devoted service” by the CPA for his assignment and the Iraq Reconstruction Service Medal by the British Government. Earlier assignments included advising on planning matters relating to the implementation of a Medium Term Economic Framework (MTEF) for the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, (2006); a major new town development plan, (350,000 population) for the New Territories, Government of Hong Kong, 1981 and various urban studies for the Middle East.
Institutional development, capacity building and good governance experience covers three primary sectors: socio-economic development, health and justice, and also features fragile state work. Between mid 2009 and mid 2011 he was funded by the FCO to serve in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), first advising on governance and public sector reform as a member of the Governor’s Advisory Team / Interim Administration, and subsequently directing a new Integrity Commission (IC). Amongst other things during this time he was responsible for the restructuring of TCI’s government ministries, a review of the Attorney General’s Chambers and the establishment of an executive arm of the IC. In 2008 he served as the FCO funded Governance Advisor to Helmand Province, Afghanistan where he was involved in a wide ranging programme establishing provincial and district government, and standing-up line ministries. In 2006 he was a member of a two person UN DESA (Department of Economic and Social Affairs) Scoping Mission to North Korea to appraise economic management training needs of senior government and academic personnel, and formulate a medium term capacity building plan. In the area of health his various assignments have included but are not confined to, advising on institutional matters for a proposed joint donor (EC, DFID, CIDA, SIDA and AusAid) trust fund for health in Southern Sudan (2011); and, a contract with the Malaria Consortium East and Southern Africa in (2005), in which he was Team Leader, on a project to assist the rolling back of Malaria and other vector born disease in Ethiopia, (DFID / DCI funded). In the justice sector as well as undertaking work in the UK he co-directed an institutional appraisal and strategic review of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (1997) and project directed a World Bank funded 'Institutional Capacity Building Project' in support of a broadly defined 'legal and administration of justice' sector for the Government of Uganda, between 1998 and 2000.
He has gained substantial experience in project and programme appraisals. DFID funded assignments in the health sector – largely advising on institutional, governance and HR matters – include as: Governance Team Leader of a review of the ‘Partnership for Transforming Health Systems (PATHS 2)’ in Nigeria, (2009); member of a Joint Review Team for Kenya’s ‘First Health Sector Annual Joint Review Mission and Review Summit’, 2006; and member of the Annual Review of DFID Support to the National Reproductive Health Programme”, Malawi, 2002. Also DFID funded he appraised arrangements for the administration of payments to public sector workers on behalf of the UN Interim Administration in Kosovo, (1999); and reviewed policies and procedures for contracting by UNFPA Cambodia, 2001. In 2008, he was Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor on a review of an EC funded Legislature Support Programme for the Government of South Africa.
Past academic experience includes 4 years lecturing at the Development Planning Unit (DPU), University College London (UCL), during which time he taught primarily in the areas of project planning and urban management; and, a year managing the Warwick Development Group, Warwick University.