Our Thoughts

Productivity, accountability and development of public institutions

Posted by David Manyanza on Dec 5 2018

Chances are that at least 90% of the staff and Management in most public institutions would not know exactly what results they expect to achieve at the end of a quarter or year. Often achievement is mistakenly translated as implementation of activities. In the true sense of results, most staff and Managers work without clarity of results to be achieved. It is like walking without knowing where one is going.

The tradition of working focused on implementing activities without clarity of results to be achieved is a major cause of inefficiency, poor staff motivation and poor service delivery. Consequently, return on budget, as expressed by achievement of results, remains unacceptably low.

To effectively deliver public service and rapidly achieve development goals, achievement of results and not merely performing tasks is necessary. Similarly, progress and performance reporting must be results based to ensure proper ongoing evaluation.

Unfortunately, focusing on results is more difficult than it is generally acknowledged. Addressing it starts with implementing results based planning, setting results based objectives, results based budgeting and ensuring results based performance monitoring and accountability.

Whatever the field of work, making positive change and impact to service beneficiaries or customers requires every employee to deliver results from what they do. Work is such that every employee has to satisfy someone’s needs. The question is, “Does every employee know what they are expected to achieve or what needs they are expected to satisfy?”

The answer is most likely “NO”. If clarity of results to be achieved hardly exists, how can change or development be expected or fast tracked? How can employees and organizations be held accountable where there is no prior setting of the right expectations? How can staff meaningfully grow in their careers? Although setting results based targets and goals is so crucial, it is amazing how little it is understood and practiced.

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