“Uganda’s current core development vision is “transform Uganda from a 3rd world to a middle income country”. Indeed, this vision is further explained in the National Development Plan (2010-2016).
The five-year Development Plan elaborates that Uganda desires to invest more in social infrastructure development, management and extraction of natural resources, and developing the capacity of civil servants, political leaders and the population to be able to align their personal duty and vision to the National Development Direction.
Lifting the world status of a country like Uganda requires sustainable commitment and consistent, comprehensive actions embedded in the constitutional and legal, political, and public service professional practices. The task to transform a country calls for an inevitable commitment and desire (political will) on the part of top political leadership to focus on strengthening institutions of government (which already exist) such as the civil service, and introduce new ones which might be necessary for vision achievement.
Human Resources Development and Capacity Building should be made top priority to ensure sustainable, able governance beyond a single regime (those in power now).
“When Human Resource Managers understand the development agenda and direction of the country, they are better placed to source relevant, competent personnel into Civil Service.”
In terms of sustainability, the Political Regimes change, but the Civil Service remains throughout successive regimes. Therefore, for sustainable governance and development of a country, leaders should focus on developing planning and management capacity of the civil servants.
Human Resources Capacity Development should not only focus on the Civil Servants, but also political leaders, of all active political parties, at all levels. This is because; political leaders are top policy makers, charged with legislation and monitoring government programs to ensure desired progress.
An ignorant Parliament for example is as good as a dead giant when it comes to strategic legislation and policy. Politicians cannot effectively legislate, and later alone supervise government programs unless they are aware of what government priorities are and are given the necessary skill and knowledge to objectively assess progress.
Institutions of Strategic learning and training, should not only be created, but also owned and effectively directed by government. These institutions should be for the sake of designing and delivering special, strategic, capacity building trainings for the public service and political leadership of the country. They should be designed to respond to and answer questions of capacity needs and knowledge development and coaching of new recruits in civil service.
Institutions already in place, such as Uganda Management Institute, National Civil College need to be re-aligned to respond to training needs of the current times. Issues like E-Governance, Corruption, Oil and Gas, Globalisation and Strategic Communication should priority-training areas by these institutions.
Sustainable specialised trainings for particular public servants and political leaders are needed. These should be aimed at addressing current and foreseen challenges that might hinder the development progress of the country. They could include regular anti-corruption trainings for officials working in corruption prone government ministries and departments such as defense and military, police and security, employment and pension and customs and tax services.
Public Service Human Resource Development and Capacity Building could greatly, in part be achieved through collaborations with other existing educational and training institutions, which might be able to organize and conduct specialised trainings for government workers and political leaders according to knowledge and capacity needs of the time.
Finally, it is important that government adopts and encourages innovation and flexible reform in public service such as non-monetary incentives and performance rewards as an alternative to rigid rules and procedures. This will encourage new ideas from new staff to flourish and deliver increased desired results. Public Private Partnership should continue to be an integral part of government human resource recruitment and capacity development. When hired to recruit employees, private firms do their best to get the best performers. Head hunting is a great tool for getting the best brains to serve in government, although motivation and incentive must be well put in place to retain best workers. On job trainings and refresher courses help keep staff on track.
“A farmer who wants more milk from the cow not only gives the cow more to eat, but also ensures a mutual friendship and relationship that makes the cow think that the tea that comes from the milk is also its own to drink.” ” – Ivan Atuyambe – Passau, Germany