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International Journal of Public Administration
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Challenges of Making Donor-Driven Public Sector Reform in Sub-Saharan Africa Sustainable: Some Experiences from Ghana
Antwi Kwabena Barima & Analoui Farhad
a a b
Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
Department of Development and Economic Studies, University of Bradford, Bradford, United Kingdom Available online: 20 Oct 2010
To cite this article: Antwi Kwabena Barima & Analoui Farhad (2010): Challenges of Making Donor-Driven Public Sector Reform in Sub-Saharan Africa Sustainable: Some Experiences from Ghana, International Journal of Public Administration, 33:12-13, 635-647 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01900692.2010.514463
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and Taylor’s (1911) scientiﬁc management model of work organization. since the mechanistic donor-driven reform agenda tends to affect the quality of service delivery. capacity building. Bradford. 2006). Stoker. BD7 1DP. sustainability. . University of Bradford. The article ﬁnds that donor funded public sector reform initiatives can either facilitate or constrain the expected improvement promised by reform due to the ﬁnancial and technical resource inadequacies experienced in Ghana. and reinventing government (Aucion. 1995).514463 Challenges of Making Donor-Driven Public Sector Reform in Sub-Saharan Africa Sustainable: Some Experiences from Ghana Antwi Kwabena Barima Department of Geography and Regional Planning. a post-bureaucratic paradigm of public management was ﬁrmly entrenched in many countries. Observations gathered from opponents and proponents are. public sector reform. These primary sources were complemented with relevant secondary documents. that though a loaded concept new public management generally implies a change that should be beneﬁcial – “a deliberate move from a less desirable past to a more desirable future” (Ayeni. In this respect. human and institutional capacity. Cape Coast. and it encompassed a “critique of monopolistic forms of service provision and an argument for a wider range of service providers together with a more market-oriented approach to public sector management” (Stoker. a new development paradigm to modernize governments.ac. UK.1080/01900692. Department of Development and Economic Studies (DES).analoui@ bradford. 2007. 2004). Pollit & Bouchart. University of Cape Coast.International Journal of Public Administration. Employing self-completing questionnaire and interview schedule tools it covered 105 local government employees from national. Keywords: Ghana. 2002). innovation and improvement in government. reﬂecting the outcome of the myriad of reforms intended to enact a break from the traditional model of public administration underpinned by Weber’s (1946) bureaucracy. LLC ISSN: 0190-0692 print / 1532-4265 online DOI: 10. 2006: 45). Wilson’s (1887) policy-administration divide. As has been alluded to in the introductory paragraph. Correspondence should be addressed to Analoui Farhad. United Kingdom This article investigates the difﬁculties associated with the sustainability of implementing donor supported public sector reform respecting human and institutional capacity building interventions in Ghana. scholars and practitioners have referred to the reforms of the last two decades of the 20th century as the “new public management” (NPM). Bradford. University of Bradford. organizational. In this regard. public sector reformers have to become innovative and adaptive in delivering public services. 2010 Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group. donors BACKGROUND At the end of the 20th century. 33: 635–647. E-mail: f. Ghana Downloaded by [City University of Hong Kong Library] at 04:55 14 March 2012 Analoui Farhad Department of Development and Economic Studies. and managerial changes in the public sector.uk In the literature. public sector reform (PSR) has been a common experience across the globe despite its different focus and foci (O’Flynn.2010. 2007. and district levels as well as interviewed 16 senior public ofﬁcers in 9 public and quasi-public organizations. In other words. West Yorkshire. NPM was a reaction of the perceived weaknesses of the traditional model of public administration (O’Flynn. It is based on an exploratory case study design. it triangulates both secondary and primary sources of data. regional. the NPM has been described variously as: structural.
illustrated in Figure 1. which new public sector management acknowledge. MEASURING & REWARDING BOTH ORGANISATIONAL & INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE PROVIDING HUMAN & TECHNOLOGICAL RESOURCES THAT MANAGERS NEED TO MEET THEIR PERFORMANACE TARGETS FIGURE 1 Five Interrelated Meanings of the New Public Management. an international agenda in public sector reforms. and d. and social achievements (World Bank. in part to address the supposed weaknesses of new public management (O’Flynn. slowing down or reversing government growth. no one can deny the reality that cracks have occurred and the search for a new way of thinking about. For instance. while the business world legitimately focuses on proﬁt maximization. transparency. in the 2000/2001 World Development Report. It is from this conceptual background that Borins (1998).636 BARIMA AND FARHAD In articulating the new public management paradigm in the early 1990’s. and reenacting public management practice has begun. Source: Adapted from Borins (1998). NPM will continue to occupy the attention of development thinking because of renewed appreciation of the public sector’s role in recent years. automation in the production and distribution of public services. Thus. new public management critics have questioned the use of business techniques within the public sphere and thereby confuse the most basic requirements of any state. attempted to provide what new public management represents from the perspective of Commonwealth countries experiences as an integral part of the global public sector reform agenda suggested by Hood (1991). 2005. its purpose. the World Bank concluded that new public management has great potential to reduce poverty and that good government institutions are associated with higher income growth. Based on the experiences of over 23 Commonwealth countries. and coercion on the one hand and its orientation towards the public good. From the Commonwealth countries’ experiences. and the Commonwealth on the other. Contributing to the post-bureaucratic and postcompetitive conceptualization of new public management. This paradigmatic change is an attempt to redeﬁne a new way of thinking about the state. 2007). Borins (1998:38–39) summarized what new public management paradigm represents as basically having ﬁve complementary themes. 2001). 2004). operating. particularly in a democracy. Explicit standards and measures of performance. but also the issues of “human” and “institutional” capacity building. Arguing that the state is devoted primarily to its monopoly of power. Notwithstanding the support NPM enjoyed in the last two decades of the 20th century. This innovative thinking is both “post-bureaucratic” and “post-competitive” allowing us to move beyond the narrow market versus government failure approaches which were so dominant in the new public management era. Decentralized management. and not recognizing that due process are simply much more important than low costs and speed. and ultimately ways of functioning. with a liability: regularity. national wealth. (Hood. Greater competition in the public sector. . and managing. Disaggregation of units in the public sector. force. (Dreschler. Hefetz & Warner. in both public and private sector organizations has become critical in an increasingly PROVIDING HIGH QUALITY SERVICES THAT CITIZENS VALUE INCREASING MANAGERIAL AUTONOMY BY REDUCING CENTRAL AGENCYCONTROL BEING RECEPTIVE TO COMPETITION & OPEN MINDEDNESS ABOUT WHAT PUBLIC SERVICES SHOULD BE PERFORMED BY PUBLIC SERVANTS/PRIVATE SECTOR NPM DEMANDING. Dreshler (2010) posits that new public management ignores the fundamental difference between the public and private spheres. c. b. The general consensus is that. Borins’ (1998) description of new public management (see Figure 1) seems to amply capture the subject of not only the signiﬁcance of decentralized management. privatization and quasi-privatization. Downloaded by [City University of Hong Kong Library] at 04:55 14 March 2012 According to Hood (1991) the doctrinal elements tend to deﬁne four reinforcing megatrends: a. 1991: 4–5) set out its key doctrinal components to include: • • • • • • • Heads-on professional management. Private sector styles of management practice. Greater emphasis on output controls. and Greater discipline and parsimony in resource use.
Pollit. the key systemic constraints in the public sector identiﬁed before the launching of her Economic Recovery Program (ERP) in April 1984. and service delivery especially donor supported public sector reform in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the aftermath of their exit. technical proﬁciency. According to the United Nations publication on Capacity Assessment and Development (UNDP. training.g. commitment. According to Enemark (2003).. 1998:37). et al. ensures that human resources and the way in which they are utilized are central to capacity development. In Ghana. Implying that capacity is task performance i. and emerging economies. and developing economies under the notion of the public sector reform (PSR). World Bank projects. However. The question this article seeks to answer is. “capacity is deﬁned as the ability of individuals and organizations or organizational units to perform functions effectively. under-development. Grindle and Hildebrand (1995:100) deﬁne capacity simply as “the ability to perform appropriate tasks. “capacity building has become a “buzz word. This conventional concept has changed over recent years towards a broader and more holistic view. processes. 1994:7. levels and dimensions of capacity building. 2001. In particular. especially as it occurs in the local government ministry. what is required to achieve purposes THE CONCEPT OF CAPACITY AND CAPACITY BUILDING Generally. describe the lack of capacity and the need for capacity building.. one critical issue of concern under the new post-bureaucratic thinking is about the “sustainability” of government reform initiatives. efﬁciently and sustainably. 1998). an organization. and iii. and human resource development.” and is increasingly seen as a key component of donor supported projects in developing and transition countries e. the human and institutional capacity arrangements governing its implementation (Kahkonen & Lynya. in most developing and transition countries there is a lack of human and institutional capacity to .. how has the public sector reform in Ghana been funded and what implications has the source of funding had for sustainable “human” and “institutional” capacity building initiatives? The rest of the article is organized as follows. and the lack of an effective management information system (World Bank. and look at the broad areas in which donors provide capacity building in PSR. it requires that the overall context within which organizations undertake their functions will also be a key consideration in strategies for capacity development. manage and sustain the development process of their economies and societies. Section ﬁve discusses the key ﬁndings in the context of the literature. cited by Larbi. Given that state administrative capacity rests on human resources to the issue of motivation. transition. The third section presents the methodology. transition. To address these challenges. Meaning of Capacity: Capacity is the power or ability of something—a system.. ii. the Government of Ghana (GoG) has for nearly two decades been reforming the public sector. and in keeping with the aspirations and potential of their respective countries people” (ECDPM. under-utilization and management of human resources. 2003: 2). In an attempt to look at the concept more effectively the discussion will attempt to deﬁne what capacity is. Lane and Wolf (1990) have deﬁned capacity as the ability to govern. The purpose of this article is to contribute to the literature and practice of public sector management reform by sharing the Ghanaian donor-driven reform experience and its sustainability implications. human and institutional capacity building for effective and efﬁcient public service delivery has been supported by developed. and program competence. The term capacity has many different meanings and interpretations depending on who uses it and in what context. which rests on the human resources of governmental agencies—the people who participate in and enable the process of governance i. to perform and produce or deliver an activity properly or effectively. These reform efforts have resulted in major changes in policy. attitudes and performance are critical components of capacity building. it indicates that capacity is not a passive state but is part of a continuing process. It is generally maintained by most commentators that the effective and successful initiation of most decentralized management program largely depends on its design. 1998). Section two places the article in theoretical context by brieﬂy explaining the concept of capacity building and the general public sector reform policies supported by donors. a person.e. but most importantly. whilst section four presents some evidence of how donor supported public sector reform projects worked in Ghana and their sustainability challenges..” In the view of Enemark (2002: 3) this conception of capacity has three important aspects: i. Larbi (1998) cites the Asian Development Bank deﬁnition of capacity in the context of public sector as the “abilities of governments to plan. with the concluding section examining the implications of the ﬁndings for policy and public sector reform practice in developing. 1999). Downloaded by [City University of Hong Kong Library] at 04:55 14 March 2012 address the multifaceted problems in the public sector in an adequate and sustainable way. covering both institutional and country-based initiatives (Enemark.e. and practices with the aim of strengthening the capacity of her public administrative system.GHANA: DONOR-DRIVEN PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM 637 knowledge-based globalizing economy. poor performance management and incentives systems. their collective memory. include: institutional weaknesses. Generally speaking capacity building as a notion is closely related to education. policy-making.
the process by which individuals. comprising the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) at the national level in the national capital. Therefore. It has been argued by Enemark (2003:4) that the different deﬁnitions of capacity building adopted by various donors and commentators largely support the United Nations (UN) conception of deﬁnition of capacity presented earlier. Self-completing questionnaire and interview schedule tools were used to elicit data from 105 local government employees selected from the main targeted organizations at national. determining a lack of capacity and ultimately developing capacity. and the Komenda Edina Eguafo District Assembly (KEEA-DA) in Elmina. mean. the need to seek external (donor) support becomes inevitable. In conclusion. Accra. percentages. it is useful to acknowledge that capacity building should be seen as a comprehensive methodology aimed at providing a sustainable outcome through assessing and addressing a whole range of relevant issues and their inter-relationships. community. which was carried out in Ghana in 2003. Triangulating sources and data. For example. The data were collected from the Local Government Service. and district levels. the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (1998) has deﬁned Capacity Development as “. Levels and Dimensions of Capacity Building: According to the UNDP (1998). reaching 16 individuals in all. A semi-structured interview guide was also employed to seek the views of “key persons” in 9 public and quasi-public organizations. efﬁciently. deﬁne and achieve objectives. and societies operate and interact. capacity is seen as a development outcome in itself and distinct from other program outcomes such as technical and professional competence in certain ﬁelds. Capacity Development: This concept is broader than institutional development since it includes an emphasis on the overall system. institutions and societies increase their abilities to: i. as well as evaluated for speciﬁc entities and individuals within the system. Measures such as education and training become a means to an end while the end itself is the capacity to achieve the identiﬁed development objectives over time—such as to establish and maintain national public institutional infrastructures for sustainable development (Enemark. and ii. . Thus capacity assessment represents a structured and analytical process whereby the various dimensions of capacity are examined within the broader systems context. rather it includes retaining and strengthening the existing capacities of people and organizations to perform their tasks. Both primary and secondary data sources were employed for the study. It is also important to be cautious not to suggest that capacity development implies that there is no capacity in existence. 1998). . regional. Available data suggest that by the end of the second Economic Recovery Program (ERP II) in . Given that developing the capacities of public services requires technical and ﬁnancial resources that many developing economies lack. hence effective capacity building must be preceded by assessment of existing capacity (Larbi. solve problems. PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM CAPACITY BUILDING CHALLENGES: SOME EVIDENCE FROM GHANA Introducing the System-wide Public Sector Reform Initiative The evidence emerging from the study suggests that the genesis of public service reforms in Ghana has an historical antecedent to the well reported Economic Recovery Program launched in April 1983. understand and deal with their development needs in a broad context and in a sustainable manner. the Central Regional Coordinating Council (CRCC) in Cape Coast. Relevant secondary documents complemented the two primary data sources. qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyze the data. whilst quantitative analysis took the form of descriptive statistics such as frequencies. groups. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY This article is drawn from an exploratory case study. 2002). especially in the public sector. three levels and dimensions have been identiﬁed as presented in Box 1.” Rather the absence of capacity necessitates capacity building. and context within which individuals. and sustainably either at individual. within the context of how to deﬁne capacity. and median standard deviation supported by relevant charts and graphs where appropriate. group. perform core functions. organizations. organizations. (iii) institutional reform. and (iv) public service downsizing. environment. The Public Sector Reform literature from the UNDP. mode. A few speciﬁc deﬁnitions may sufﬁce. organization or governmental level. Capacity Assessment: Capacity” is not the same as “capacity-building. which are illustrated in Box 2. Thus by following this approach. Qualitative analysis took the form of transcribing recorded tapes and content analysis of interviews and documents. capacity assessment or diagnosis is an essential basis for the formulation of capacity development. the World Bank and other commentators tends to suggest that donors have over the past two decades supported developing and transition countries in four areas: (i) administrative capacity building.638 BARIMA AND FARHAD Downloaded by [City University of Hong Kong Library] at 04:55 14 March 2012 effectively. (ii) strengthening policy capacity.
management and accountability perspective. and the resources available. . The entity/organizational level: An entity may be a formal organization such as government or one of its departments or agencies. the system would include only those components that are relevant. or an informal organization such as a community based or volunteer organization. culture and competencies. BOX 1 Levels and Dimensions of Capacity Building. Source: Adapted from Enemark (2003: 4–5). and Economic Recovery Program II (1987–1999) periods. Findings from the Ghana Capacity Development and Utilization Initiative working paper (World Bank. indicate the urgent action was required to address a number of national capacity issues that had constrained Ghana’s post independent development efforts. The dimensions of capacity at systems level may include a number of areas such as policies. The dimension of capacity at the individual level will include the design of educational and training programs and courses to meet the identified gaps within the skills base and number of qualified staff to operate the systems. Capacity assessment and development at this third level is considered the most critical. largely de-motivated by low pay. The dimension of capacity at the entity level should include areas such as mission and strategy. inadequate incentives. 1987b). over extended and inefﬁcient public sector. 1987a. which The broader system/societal level: The highest level within which capacity initiatives may be cast is the system or enabling environment level. • Over-reliance on long-term expatriate technical assistance.GHANA: DONOR-DRIVEN PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM 639 Downloaded by [City University of Hong Kong Library] at 04:55 14 March 2012 1987. resources (human. legal/regulatory framework. • Under-utilization of existing national capacity. and infrastructure. Human Resource Development is about assessing the capacity needs and addressing the gaps through adequate measures of education and training. the country needed to enter into a phase of accelerated export-led growth inﬂuenced by a strong social equity that would deliver a modern economy in the 21st century (Government of Ghana. and clients. including its interactions within the system. • A bottom-heavy. • Weaknesses in policy analysis and research capacity as well as in translating policy into practice. The issues identiﬁed above are indicative of the enormous development challenges that had been superﬁcially tackled earlier through sector-based reform measures throughout the Economic Recovery Program I (1983–1986). but continued to be multi-faceted in character manifesting as: • Lack of adequate human and institutional capacity. and coordination between these instructions. For initiatives at a sectoral level. other entities. stakeholders. • Under-performing civil service. successful methodologies examine all dimensions of capacity. 1999). complemented by numerous reports and policy documents published by the Government of Ghana (GoG) under the auspices of the national institutional renewal program. processes. For development initiatives that are national in context the system would cover the entire country or society and all subcomponents that are involved. and perceived corruption. Admittedly. a private sector operation. The group-of-people/individual level: This level addresses the need for individuals to function efficiently and effectively within the entity and within the broader system. and • An ill-equipped private sector expected to be the engine of growth for Ghana’s economic development effort. At this level. • Lack of clear policies and mandates to guide government institutions. financial and information resources). Ghana’s development capacity constraints had not changed at the beginning of the 1980s.
The continuous and systematic documentation of information provided the necessary resource material and deﬁned an agenda for a national capacity development workshop. a holistic long-term process approach to systematically remove the recognized institutional bottlenecks was recommended. BOX 2 Donor-Supported Public Sector Reform Policies by Developing Countries. 2005. They include: • civil service codes of conduct and safeguard concerning pubic procurement. 1999). The optimal approach then was to go for a strategy that would be participatory in principle and would consider the concerns and interests of all stakeholders in national economic development. • strengthening institutions and procedures that act as an accountability check on the executive. Source: Adapted from Schacter (2001: 2–3). • staff training and recruitment. INSTITUTIONAL REFORM These measures are aimed at making the state more open and accountable. • strengthening capacity for policy-analysis. such as the judiciary. It was during that workshop that previously separate sector-bound projects and initiatives converged. job classification systems and payroll and personnel systems. strengthening of capacity to be more responsive to citizens. • wage reforms such as wage-bill caps. . 2002). to create greater synergy and better coordination of Ghana’s Public Sector Reform. 2001.). wage and non-wage incentives. by addressing the core processes through which government and the private sector can partner with the momentum for any initiative that must be internally directed. enforcement of the retirement age. attrition. The World Bank and the UNDP were invited to contribute technical and ﬁnancial support for an analytic study on capacity issues in Ghana (World Bank. Documented evidence from the national institutional renewal program publications suggests that on the government’s own initiative. • employee performance management. hiring freezes. and thus emerged the “capacity development and utilization project. The preliminary assessment recommended that priority attention be given to the utilization of existing capacity. implemented through voluntary early retirement. This is a system-wide program subsuming previous capacity building initiatives and breaking new ground in the area of Public Sector Reform. The eventual outcome of the 1994 workshop led to the launching of the National Institutional Renewal Program (NIRP). PUBLIC SERVICE DOWNSIZING Downsizing has been motivated by fiscal restraint and a desire to move toward a more market-oriented economy. a National Capacity Building Steering Committee was established in 1993. Sachs. They include: • rationalizing and standardizing the decisionmaking process. be they in the public or in the private sector (Government of Ghana. improving the flow of policy-relevant information. Downloaded by [City University of Hong Kong Library] at 04:55 14 March 2012 STRENGTHENING POLICY CAPACITY These measures are aimed at building capacity to develop public policy. 1998. Activities covered include: • οrganizational restructuring and renewal including. Interventions have included: • workforce reductions involving compensation schemes. The GoG came to the conclusion that the fundamental problem in the public service was systemic failure to utilize available human resources. rather than the lack of trained people. etc.” Given the “systemic nature” of the capacity problems in Ghana.640 BARIMA AND FARHAD ADMINISTRATIVE CAPACITY BUILDING Measures under this heading respond to management and organizational problems in the public service. • strengthening of coordination between government agencies. in the same year. independent oversight bodies and rules related to public access to information. etc. wage freezes and monetization of non-cash allowances and benefits. is a “direct consequence of the early experiences of structural adjustment” (Kiggundu.
e. the introduction of a new performance appraisal system based on the setting of objectives and targets. One signiﬁcant impact of this initial reform was the reduction in the number of civil service employees from 140. but had limited consultation and participatory management principles involved. departments. undergoing reforms in nearly all spheres of the public sector. DECENTRALIZED LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM INITIATIVE Regarding the decentralized local government service reform. The project however. 2001. 2001). The Integrated Payroll Personnel Database project was aimed at providing comprehensive and accurate personnel and establishment data for improving human resource management. appears to have been an afterthought. which was a component of the structural adjustment reforms. coupled with the acquisition of equipment and logistics.e. including among others.000 to 91. Information gathered from the Ofﬁce of the Head of the Ghana Civil Service (Government of Ghana. For example. To address the shortcomings in the ﬁrst civil service reform therefore. Municipal. the decentralized local government service has for nearly a decade been implementing a number of reforms. 1999) suggests that the project was adjudged to have made a fairly significant attempt at reforming the Ghana civil service. which was executed over a period of ﬁve-years i. An assessment of the Civil Service Performance Improvement Program indicates that this is in line with its program goals and therefore. Given that reforms take time and require ﬁnancial and technical support in the context of building human and institutional capacity. further in-depth investigation led to the discovery that the planning and implementation processes were not only imposed top-down. and agencies that had completed a performance improvement plan increased from 29 in 1997 to 154 by the end of 2000 (i. 85 percent of all ministries.” The full operational phase of the Civil Service Performance Improvement Program. was funded by the DFID. bears testimony to the effectiveness of the program implementation methodology and technique which had an in-built mechanism that generates employee and organizational commitment and ownership to improve the performance of the ministries. departments. rather than the quantum of funds provided by donors. As illustrated in Tables 3 and 4. in the form of technical and ﬁnancial assistance and funding. the program had bi-focal objectives as reﬂected in “institutional strengthening” and “enhanced service delivery” projects. when the Civil Service Performance Improvement Program was being designed and tested. 180 Ministry Departments and Agencies under the umbrella Ofﬁce of the Head of Civil Service. For instance. Information gathered from the Ghana ofﬁce of the Head of Civil Service and conﬁrmed by various annual reports produced by the National Institutional Renewal Program Secretariat indicated that modest progress had been made by the end of December 2001 within the context of the benchmarks and objectives set under the operational phase of the reforms agenda.. Broadly speaking. The evidence showed that nearly all civil service organizations had gone through the initial phases of the process indicated in Table 2 above.000 (Government of Ghana. 2002). the reform merely focused on the core activities of the Ghana civil service at the national level. the design and implementation process of the present Civil Service Performance Improvement Program factored in the principles of participation. and 110 Metropolitan. departments. the various workshops and sensitization and brieﬁng sessions that needed to be organized were provided for by a World Bank grant and the Downloaded by [City University of Hong Kong Library] at 04:55 14 March 2012 Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK. Additionally. the number of ministries. September 1996–August 2001 and costing £5 million.GHANA: DONOR-DRIVEN PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM 641 The Civil Service Performance Improvement Program (CSPIP) It is appropriate to recognize that the World Bank sponsored the ﬁrst civil service reform program in Ghana from 1987–1993. implying that it had some implicit strategic and methodological weaknesses. Table 2 summarizes aspects of the reform funded by some of Ghana’s international development partners (donors) supporting the reform effort and the speciﬁc component of the broader Civil Service Performance Improvement Program in which they were interested when the current reform took off. in the context of projects. and organizational ownership to achieve sustainability. which was linked with an Integrated Payroll Personnel Database. available evidence gathered indicates that within the same framework of the system-wide Public Sector Reform. 41 departments and agencies. made up of 21 ministries (including the Local Government Ministry). and District assemblies participated in the reform program as indicated in Table one. consensus-building. with the collaborative support of many international donors. 10 Regional Coordinating Councils. when it was discovered that an economic reform without civil service reform was bound to fail. Documentary data analyzed showed that under the Civil Service Performance Improvement Program. the local government ministry implemented “human” and “institutional” capacity building interventions in the form of projects. what these outcomes seek to underscore are the apparent difﬁculties faced by many developing countries. However. especially Sub-Saharan Africa. and agencies (Government of Ghana. Key among these development partners are the International Development Association (IDA) of . and agencies). Arguably.. the Civil Service Performance Improvement Program also had some donor funding. The objective of that particular reform project was to contribute to improving the management of resources in the public sector. It was discovered that a World Bank grant was used to test and conduct “beneﬁciary surveys.
because some people even engage MMDAs as partners so that the ministry itself is not aware that these kinds of trainings are going. MTEF –Medium Term Expenditure Framework. with all manner of materials in all manner of ways”. European Union/GoG Human Resource Development Implementation Project. A commentary by a number of the key persons’ interviewed and summarized in Box 3 tends to support the concern about the apparent inﬂuence of donors and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the development of human and institutional capacity building courses.00 £2.642 BARIMA AND FARHAD TABLE 1 Summary of CSPIP Achievements (1997–2001) Institution Ministries Departments & Agencies RCCs MMDAs Total Target 21 41 10 110 180 CDT’s Formed 21 41 10 82 154 Beneﬁciary Survey SAI complete 21 33 10 65 129 Started Completed 17 25 10 18 70 16 14 7 7 44 Diagnostic Workshop Completed 17 12 6 5 40 PIP PIP Discussed PIP Implementation Produced & Validated Started 15 6 4 4 29 10 5 3 4 22 10 4 3 3 20 (Key: CDTs -Capacity Development Teams. while some districts barely receive any.000.00 C$1501.800. CIDA.00 Disbursement (up to December 2001 $7800612.949.Performance Improvement Plan). Some sometimes you ﬁnd that some MMDAs are mandated with program.100. Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom. such that the MLGRD has not been able to regulate what gets taught for a number of reasons: First. Source: NIRP Annual Report. but implemented locally by the Metropolitan.00 C$1501. Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) of Denmark. it goes to enhance the richness of the soup so most of the time it goes that way. BPEMS . Again.531. Thirdly.00 £2.000.100. DFID-Department for International Development. Source: NIRP 2002 Annual Report and CSPIP.00 Reform Component BPEMS MTEF Fiscal Decentralization Audit Service Implementation Period 1997–2002 1997–2002 1998–2002 1999–2002 KEY: IDA-International Development Association of the World Bank. ii. such as the ministry of health. Downloaded by [City University of Hong Kong Library] at 04:55 14 March 2012 TABLE 2 Source and Type of Donor Funding to Ghana’s Public Sector Reforms Source IDA DFID CIDA EU Amount Provided (in Donor Nation Currency) $20. EU –European Union. PIP. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) etc. and iv. Local Government Project Support.000. Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) of Canada. education.100.317.Budget and Public Expenditure Management System. GoG/German Promoting District Capitals Project. On the merits side of this ﬁnding is the argument “The ﬁrst difﬁculty is the multiplicity of people offering all sorts of program from all manner of perspectives. For instance. the ministry is not even aware.00 E4. Municipal District Assemblies. the European Union (EU). German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau (KW) of Germany. Source: Key Persons’ Interviewed or Contacted (KPIC). iii. the World Bank. a lot of the sponsorship for these kinds of training comes from development-partners (donors) that you can’t tell them where and how they should apply their money. It is perhaps appropriate to state that at the decentralized local government ministry the presence and inﬂuence of development partners was demonstrated in its organizational structure. and workshops for decentralize local government personnel in Ghana.365. Multiplicity of Human and Institutional Capacity Building Interventions. 2000. including i. 2002.00 E750. I think that part of it has been a lack of centralized data base system at the ministerial level” BOX 3.Canadian International Development Association. some of the programs come from other sister ministries. Second. SAIs -Self Appraisal Instrument. . under the prereform structure there were four-donor funded project units. and technical and ﬁnancial assistance sought internationally. Developing and Strengthening District Assemblies II Project Implementation. seminars. The projects are invariably nationally formulated. sometimes when there is the kind of training going on. and UNDP of the United Nations. feeder roads.
Cape-Coast. biogas plants. provision of sanitation facilities for schools. Sekyere-West in Ashanti region & Kintampo. Nkoranza Wenchi.IDA Credit KFW loan US$ 55. ﬁnancial and management capacities of 23 beneﬁciary DAs to improve level and quality of service delivery and enhance access to basic infrastructure in low income areas -Improving and sustainable maintenance of infrastructural and institutional base of selected district capitals in GhanaEjura-Sekyedumase. Atebubu.8m -Investment and construction of work made in markets. MLGRD. implemented Type of Project Local Government Development Project Urban Environnemental Sanitation Project -September 1996– December 2002 US$ 100.3 m -Planned investment in infrastructure development completed Promotion of District Capitals I. Tecchiman. expand urban services by strengthening ﬁnancial. Tema. AFD grant. public and households. markets. and Techiman in Brong-Ahafo region -February 1996– December 2003 -KFW loan. Anloga.5 m Duration Source Amount Comment -Investment made in town roads. Bolgatanga. and Tamale. -Planned investment made in community upgrading. NDF loan. Swedru. Wa. lorry parks and waste management facilities & has enhanced DA’s revenue mobilization efforts.ENHANCED SERVICE DELIVERY Source of Funding Objective & Key Components -July 1994– September 2002 . AFD credit US$ 22. Koforidua. lorry parks.3 m -IDA credit. Sekondi-Takoradi. AFD credit & NAM Urban V -January 2001– December 2003 -IDA credit. II & III -Improve basic infrastructure and urban services in 12 secondary cities – Bawku. Sunyani. 2002. NDF credit. Keta. GTZ grant -DM 51. Oﬁnso. Kumasi. 643 . -Improve drainage. pipe water supply systems.Downloaded by [City University of Hong Kong Library] at 04:55 14 March 2012 TABLE 3 Performance Improvement Interventions by the MLGRD in Ghana . Sekyere-East. technical and managerial capacities of DAs. -Build capacities of Metropolitan & Municipal Assemblies to manage environmental sanitation services -Strengthen technical. household sanitation facilities. Elmina. sanitation and solid waste services in Ghana’s major cities of Accra. Ho. Source: Adapted from 2001 Annual Report. and abattoirs.
some of their functional activities have been found not only to duplicate efforts and waste scarce resources. 2001. strengthening policy capacity. DFID. CIDA. 2002). under the Civil Service Performance Improvement Program. Not surprisingly though understandably. EU. Schacter. Second. Thirdly. 2001. World Bank. but also tend to take a number of technical and professional frontline personnel of the local governments at all levels away from their position (ofﬁces) to the detriment of their core functions. Hohoe. DANIDA. through the design of the Civil Service Performance Improvement Program. which argues that much of the Public Sector Reform supported by donors over the past two decades or so has broadly covered four areas: administrative capacity building. . and civil service reform (Hope. it emerged that the current position of the Institute for Local Government Studies as an enviable local government institute in the West-Africa sub-region is largely dependent on the largesse of some donors. and strengthen HRD capacity of RCCs in Volta & Upper-West Regions. DANIDA etc. Kiggundu. Planning & Monitoring of decentralization reform process Duration . The evidence gathered shows that from the conception of the system-wide reform agenda that established the National Institutional Renewal Program.7NLG Grant -EU-EDF -3. etc. have all been implemented with funds and technical support largely from Ghana’s international development partners such as the World Bank. -Support MLGRD in policy analysis in HRD. we ﬁnd that the bureaucratic extensions and structures start with the donors themselves (development partners) in what is usually referred to as the establishment of country support ofﬁces’ such as that of the World Bank. another organizational structure surfaced to manage the reform within the Civil Service at the macro level. that. -Training in participatory development planning done to equip communities in West Gonja. 2002. First. In the context of decentralization reform for instance. These notable areas have been found to be in line with the NPM literature.May 1998– April 2002 -February 1997– February 2001 -July 1995– June 2003 Source Amount Comment -ILGS in place with two campusesAccra in the South and Tamale in the North -Over 300 local & 20 overseas training done for MMDCEs. Atebubu. However. a National Overview Committee also emerged at the Ofﬁce of the Vice President.644 BARIMA AND FARHAD TABLE 4 PSR Performance Improvement Interventions by the MLGRD in Ghana . Kintampo. and at the Regional Coordinating Councils (Regions) in the .24M DKK Source: Adapted from NIRP 2001 Annual Report. However.INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING Source of Funding Type of Project Capacity Building For Decentralization in Ghana.8 m Euro -GTZ -10 m DM Downloaded by [City University of Hong Kong Library] at 04:55 14 March 2012 Capacity Building For DA’s – DSDA II -June 1999– June 2004 -DANIDA -27. speciﬁc Public Sector Reform initiatives by various ministry departments and agencies. and human resource capacity building” (Government of Ghana. institutional strengthening. & other ofﬁcials of MMDAs. DISCUSSION Generally this article found that the ubiquitous presence of donors (development partners) is apparently shaping Ghana’s public service reform agenda in the areas of “enhanced service delivery. institutional reform. 1999. and management for projects at 63 districts -Strengthen district and sub-district actors in decision making & Improve service delivery and self-help activities of beneﬁciary communities -Improving democratic decision making. MLGRD. not only was the National Institutional Renewal Program Secretariat created (as a mandated organization in the public service) to coordinate the reform efforts. this ﬁnding tends to contradict the debureaucratization argument of New Public Management proponents. -Wide range of training and other capacity building measures done for a large number of people. the EU. Nkoranza.EU-Dutch -7. from Ghana’s Public Sector Reform Program for instance. resource management. the development partners are undoubtedly contributing to the human and institutional capacity building efforts of both the central and local governments concurrently. IDA. implementation. Human Resource Development program for Rural Action II Objective & Key Components -Development and Institutional embedding if the ILGS -Improving planning. This was extended in the form of mini-structures to all ministry departments and agencies. the establishment of the Institute for Local Government Studies as the main human resource capacity building institution for the decentralized local government might not have been a reality without donor support. as the following examples might demonstrate. & Ejura-Sekyedumase districts. DCDs. 2001. since the evidence based on Ghana’s experience shows that the reform has rather extended the bureaucratic structures. 2000). 1998. DFID.
under the pre-reform organizational structure of the local government ministry.to medium-term measure to keep the reform interventions in Ghana going. CONCLUSION AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS The ﬁndings and discussions thus far suggest that there are both “positive” and “negative” implications for policy in respect of future reforms. there were 4-Project Units. Identify stakeholders and institutional actors REFLECTING Evaluate and review progress against agreed goals and strategies. however. Another ﬁnding which tended to be shared by many of the respondents (employees). knowledge and values development CO-LEARNING ANALYZING Analyse social. consensus-building. Negotiate the learning agenda. The expected relationship between the partners should. . Gather data on results and processes ORGANIZING Clarify roles and responsibilities. 1998. reform interventions do not appear to work well or in a fair manner (Kiggundu. especially at the district and regional levels. of which the local government personnel in the civil service were aware. Reflect on current skills. For example. in many developing countries where the “norms of bureaucratic behavior” have not been internalized within the organization or its external environment. Reschenthaler & Thompson. 1994). an aspect of human resource capacity building intervention which was in practice not open to all staff. This revelation tends to support the view in the public sector reform literature that. These projects units happened to be staffed mainly by expatriates of the particular development partner supporting speciﬁc projects in the ministry. Consider useful alliances and social networks IMPLEMENTING Implement strategies and plans. rules and processes Source: Keen & Mahanty (2005: 104). 1998). and effective communication and in a sense of collaborative-learning. SCOPING Clarify goals and objectives. This observation has very serious performance motivation implications for the career civil servants who have to work in much poorer quality conditions. especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. rest on cooperation. The positive note arises out of the need to recognize and sustain the interest and support of both international and local development partners. economic context.GHANA: DONOR-DRIVEN PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM 645 Downloaded by [City University of Hong Kong Library] at 04:55 14 March 2012 form of Capacity Building Development Teams ofﬁces. including NGOs as a short. given the managerial emphasis of NPM reform the education and training interventions have disproportionately favored public sector managers. NEGOTIATING Develop a common vision and strategy. including supportive institutional linkages FIGURE 2 Co-learning: Collaborative and Adaptive Management with a Learning Focus. who have human resource under-development and under-utilization problems (Politt. The collaborative-learning framework suggested by Keen and Mahanty (2005:106) and presented as Figure 2 could be adopted in maintaining that type of relationship. It was also revealed that. was the perception of a lack of fairness or opportunity for training. The project units are also staffed with nationally recruited project personnel who are far from separate and better working conditions. ecological.
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