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INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO REFORMING PUBLIC SERVICES IN TANZANIA. By Hon. Dr. Mary Nagu (MP) Minister of State, President’s Office, Public Service Management. Global Public Service Reform Movement:. The Drivers of Reform:

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INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO REFORMING PUBLIC SERVICES IN TANZANIA

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INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO REFORMING PUBLIC SERVICES IN TANZANIA

By

Hon. Dr. Mary Nagu (MP)

Minister of State, President’s Office, Public Service Management


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Global Public Service Reform Movement:

The Drivers of Reform:

  • While there are specific pressures making Governments to adopt public service reforms;

  • Globally there are generic pressures that make the adoption of the reform an imperative by all countries, these are:

    • Budgetary pressures

    • Lack of responsiveness to public demands

    • Ineffective programmes

    • Need to compete in the world economy

    • Internationalisation of many issues that previously were solely domestic concerns; and

    • The over expansion of the scale of government and its intervention all spheres of society

Innovative Approaches to Reforming Public Services in Tanzania


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Responses to Drivers/Pressures:

  • To a large measure there are commonalities in the responses adopted by most countries. The most common measures include:

    • Re-examination of what government should do and not do;

    • Re-examination of the costs of running government business, followed by cost cutting measures as necessary;

    • Decentralisation and devolution of authority within government;

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  • Consideration of more cost-effective ways of service delivery including privatisation or corporatisation of activities

  • Introduction of management ideas from the private sector into public sector including;

    • Giving responsibility to public service managers to manage and become accountable using tools derived from the private sector including strategic planning etc;

    • Partnership between the government and the private sector in the provision of services to the public

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Focus on Reform in Tanzania

  • Reform of public service in Tanzania is not new.

  • Soon after independence major efforts to build capacity of Government machinery to take on new responsibilities resulting from independent statehood and contribute to social economic development were taken.

  • These efforts contributed significantly to some of the positive elements of the Tanzania state including the fact that the country is an island of peace and security in this part of the world.

  • On the negative side the reform measures contributed, in some measure, to the problems of public administration which have had to be addressed in the period between the early 80s and today.

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The Civil Service Reform Phase:

  • The present Public Service Reform Programme (PSRP) originates from the Civil Service Reform Programme (CSRP) 1991-1998.

  • The CSRP focused on:

    • Redefining the role of the state

    • Rightsizing Government , and

    • Controlling public expenditure including the wagebill.

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The Civil Service Reform Phase (Continued)

  • It also focused on:

    • Motivating public service employees

    • Enhancing public service pay levels

    • Introducing initial measures to a return to meritocratic principles

    • Capacity building, and

    • Improving the policy and legislative environment for managing the public service.

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The Civil Service Reform Phase (Continued)

  • The results of those measures included:

    • Reducing public service employment levels from 355,000 in 1992 to 264,000 in 1998.

    • Effective controls on new Hiring and Wagebill expenditure.

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The Public Service Reform Phase:

CSRP Drawbacks:

  • While CSRP helped to redefine the role and functions of the state and share responsibilities with the private sector, NGOs and decentralised delivery of services to Local Government by 1998 it was apparent that its effectiveness would remain limited for a number of reasons:

    • There was limited political support for the reforms both at the level of the politicians and the general public;

    • It was not sufficiently owned by public service organisations including ministries, departments and agencies;

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CSRP Drawbacks (Continued)

  • It was not adequately linked to other public service reform programme;

  • The support from development partners was not well harmonised and coordinated.

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Addressing the Drawbacks:

  • In recognition of the foregoing, Government adopted a new strategy to reform its public service called: the Public Service Reform Programme (PSRP)

  • PSRP had the following features:

    • Recognised that reform is a long term phenomenon, therefore, PSRP was planned to be implemented under three phases, over an 11 year period, from 2002-2011.

    • The reform entailed going beyond structural and process changes in the operation of public service organisations to a cultural orientation of the public servants as well as the general public in Tanzania.

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Addressing the Drawbacks (Continued):

  • It was to be comprehensive and cover all aspects over public service management

  • It shifted primary responsibility for implementation of the reforms to ministries, departments and agencies

  • It ensured it is linked with other public sector reforms

  • It recognised the importance of incentives by addressing seriously pay reform and

  • It had a strong focus on service delivery improvements

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Review of PSRP Experience: The First 3 Years

  • Two years into the implementation of PSRP internal and external reviews revealed the need to improve the implementation strategy.

  • In July 2003 a Revised PSRP Strategy and Action Plan covering the period 2003/4 – 2005/6 was adopted with the following features:

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Review of Experience: The First 3 Years (Continued)

  • Took stronger measures to integrate and coordinate PSRP with other public sector reforms

  • Link the reform measures to support poverty reduction strategies

  • Develop and adopt a more robust monitoring and evaluation system and

  • Encourage development partners to coordinate their actions in supporting PSRP.

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Review of Experience: The First 3 Years (Continued)

  • It is too early to comment on whether the Revised Strategy is addressing the problems which led to the review of the PSRP. Already internal reviews and an anecdotal evidence suggest that while implementation may be slower than anticipated good and sure progress is being made.

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  • Ladies and Gentlement,

  • I found it necessary to describe the context and content of Tanzania’s recent reforms to give a backdrop to the subject of my contribution to this forum.

  • I will now focus on the main thrust of my paper which is: INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO REFORMING PUBLIC SERVICE IN TANZANIA

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A Decade of Transformation and Innovation in Tanzania

  • A decade ago, Tanzania economic situation was pathetic, in both absolute and comparative terms.

    • Per capita income was low, about $180

    • Economic growth was stagnant

    • Budget deficit were huge

    • Inflation was 60% and above

    • Macro and fiscal instability were the norm

    • Supply of goods and services was tight and inaccessible for the majority of people, and

    • The regulatory framework was chaotic although formerly it was tight

    • Political and social order was tightly controlled through the one party political system.

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  • The economy is growing at more than 6% (last year it grew at 6.2%)

  • Per capita income has nearly doubled

  • Budget deficits are minimal

  • Inflation has fallen to about 5% per annum; and

  • Pluralistic political and social institution are thriving.

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  • In terms of public institutions we had:

    • A bloated public sector;

    • No reliable systems and guidelines;

    • Indiscipline in its many facets was common;

    • Ghost workers on Government Payroll were regular

    • Wagebill and other public expenditure were out of control;

    • Ministries could not produce accounts on timely basis.

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  • To day the public service has turned the above problems around and in some respects we hear we are market leaders in approaches to managing state functions.

  • We have a clear vision and mission to propel Tanzania to prosperity in the 21st century.

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Innovations:

“You miss 100% of the shots which you do not take”.

  • Ladies and Gentlemen those are words of a wise person.

  • I do not want to go into the definition of innovation but I subscribe fully to the above saying. Innovation involves daring and not fearing to fail and always trying new things.

  • In this conceptual context I will discuss six areas in which Tanzania has approached public service reform in an innovative manner:

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Innovations (continued)

These include:

  • Indigenising and mainstreaming program leadership and management

  • Building an Incentive framework under severe budgetary constraints

  • Integrating public sector reform processes

  • Service delivery re-engineering

  • Radical reorganization of Government, and

  • Building smart partnerships with a variety of stakeholders.

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Indigenising and Mainstreaming Program Leadership and Management

  • Today our PSRP:

    • is a “home-grown” and locally driven effort;

    • it is managed by Tanzanian public service team with some technical assistance from both local and international consultants;

    • it has no enclave secretariat;

    • it is mainstreamed into regular PSM management systems, and

    • it is increasingly mainstreamed into regular management systems of MDAs.

      For that reason it facilitates capacity building and ownership and sustainability

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Building an Incentive Framework under Severe Budgetary Constraints

  • Our approach to reform recognises the critically of incentives in mobilising the energies of institutions and managers to support reform;

  • The reform has adopted a Medium Term Pay Policy aimed at:

    • achieving competitive pay for technical and professional civil servants

    • achieving a “living wage” for all civil servants

  • It has also adopted a Selective Accelerated Salary Enhancement Scheme (SASE) consisting of top-up of salaries of critical managerial and professional personnel, based on the difference between current pay and the Medium Term Pay Targets. THIS IS OUR INNOVATION NUMBER TWO.

  • While this scheme is politically controversial given the legacy of egaritarianism in Tanzania it is contributing to a greater motivation and better performance for the staff involved.

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Integrating Public Sector Reform Processes

  • As our Innovation number three an Integrated approach to Public Service Reform using a uniquely Tanzanian Performance Improvement Model (PIM) has been adopted (see Figure 1). The Model is a process that links Strategic Planning with Performance Budgeting, Staff Appraisal, Client Service Charters, Monitoring and Evaluation, the installation of the scheme is well advanced in our Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

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Figure 1: Integrated Performance Improvement Model

ANNUAL PLANNING

& PERFORMANCE

BUDGET ING

STRATEGIC PLANNING

Services Delivery Options

Decentralization & Private

Sector Participation Plans

Mission

Vision

Gap analysis

  • Implementation of

  • restructuring and

  • Decentralization

  • Capacity Building

  • Incentives for Performance

  • Proposal for PIF support

Efficiency Improvement

Capacity Building Plan

New Policy Environment

National and Sectoral

Goals and Priorities

Performance Benchmarks

Strategic Plan & Budget

Medium Term

Expenditure Framework

EVALUATION OF

PLANS

MONITORING,

EVALUATION

AND

REPORTING

Review and

endorsement of

plans and budgets

EXECUTION OF PLANS

Reviews

Repeat Client

Surveys

Audits Staff

Performance

Appraisals

Deploy resources from PIF and appropriations

Take action, track status and

communicate progress

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Service Delivery Re-engineering:

  • We have approached this by what we describe as “Quick-Wins”.

  • We have concentrated on dealing with “red-tape” and bureaucratic attitude. This has transformed a number of organisations that were the worst performers, including the immigration service. THIS IS OUR INNOVATION NUMBER FOUR.

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Radical Reorganization of Government:

  • This has entailed;

  • the rationalisation of Government roles, functions and institutions;

  • Decentralisation and embracing institutional pluralism in service delivery

  • Undertaking this pragmatically and objectively exploring all feasible options available given our conditions.

  • In this regard we have launched 20 Executive Agencies using a home grown framework which we created for the concept and we regard this as our innovation number five.

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Building Smart Partnerships with a Variety of Stakeholders

  • Using the same pragmatic perspective we developed a home grown policy framework and implementation strategy in outsourcing non-core activities in MDAs to the private sector.

  • As part of this my own ministry has outsourced Cleaning, Security, Reception and Ground Maintenance functions and we have since helped other ministries to do the same.

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Challenges

  • Leading innovations in public services has many challenges. These include:

  • First, the broadness of its range of clients which include the general public. Their expectations are rising, they are becoming more aware of their rights and more able to demand them.

  • Reforms are of course increasing awareness even more and leaders have to decided how to manage the situation.

  • Second, the private sector which we now recognise to be the engine of growth has its needs and wants.

  • Skillful leadership is required when deciding on the balance between freedom to do business and state responsibility to regulate their activities.

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Challenges (continued)

  • Public Sector leaders need to develop their skills to match their business sector counterparts, and to have the capacity to distinguish between real “red-tape” issues and bids for excessive license.

  • Third, there is a group that was dormant but it is growing first and tends to be skeptical of government and its reform efforts, and often believe in their causes with passion. This is yet another area that requires competent leadership.

  • Finally, but not least, are our development partners. Given the scarcity of financial resources on our part we can only make significant progress with their assistance.

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Challenges (continued)

  • In doing so however, the leadership of the recipient countries should:

    • set their agenda

    • build trust and encourage flexible approaches

  • In this regard, we have been able to work with our partners through dialogue to increasingly move away from the project mode which made it difficult to plan implementation reforms in an integrated manner to sector-wide approaches. This is our Innovation Number Six.

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Challenges (continued)

  • I am glad to say that we have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a number of development partners undertaking to provide their support to the PSRP using this mode.

  • I am informed that the host of this meeting is also taking steps to move to the same arrangement.

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The Imperatives

  • Leading change that is based on innovations requires a difference mind-set, additional technical skills, and a lot of concentration.

  • The role of the leader is:

    • Sale the reforms by promoting them at every opportunity

    • Deal with the difficult and controversial issues

    • Provide their people with some stability when they are surrounded by certainties

    • Know the limit of their people’s abilities and respect them

    • Realise the skill and resource limitations and take these into account

  • Leaders need to be ambitious while remaining realistic and pragmatic.

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Conclusion

  • A lot of resources have gone into financing reform in Tanzania over the last 20 years and a significant proportion has been deployed on reforming the public service.

  • Questions that are being asked and rightfully are

    • Where is the return on that investment?

    • Are those reforms contributing to improvement in service delivery and poverty reduction?

    • Why should reform be treated as a priority in the allocation of budgetary resources by both the Government and our development partners.

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Conclusion (continued)

  • My response to these is that while many of the sector reform measures could have a direct impact on service delivery improvement and poverty reduction the public service reform measures may not have a direct impact on the same.

  • However, a well functioning public service and therefore is reformed is a necessary condition and prerequisite for achieving improvements in service delivery and reducing poverty.

  • That is why my Government and I are prepared to devote resources to fund PSRP and related activities.

  • For the same reason we encourage and urge our development partners to do the same.

Innovative Approaches to Reforming Public Services in Tanzania


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