Learner’s Submission: Current Capacity of Public Service in Kenya

“There exist various definitions as to what the phrase ‘Human capital’ is. Since scholars do not necessarily seek to stand out from the rest for matters of glorifying themselves but refining the phrase for purposes of clarity whenever the phrase is used, I use Westphalem’s definition in this article. Westphalem defines Human capital as a combination of persons or groups’ knowledge, skills, competitiveness plus other desirable attributes that they acquire during their life and consequently use them to produce goods, services or ideas as desirable in a market situation (Westphalem, 1999). The phrase is often used interchangeably to imply the same as human resource, enterprise or ‘entrepreneurship’. It is the handling of human resource so as to make the best out of it that is termed as its management. Again, various scholars provide a lot of insight as far as human resource management is concerned.  According to Bana, human resource is a paramount asset of every organisation (Bana, 2009). The corporate goals, Bana argues are as a result of a well designed Human resource plan (HRP). He further argues that it is the role of specialists in policy initiation to monitor and evaluate the corporate plan until its maturity. How creative the specialists are in assessing both the internal and external factors influencing performance of the institution is what determines by what extent that the corporate goals will be achieved. Thus, human capital is a vital asset in organisations and indeed in the public sector where various development activities are entrusted to public administrators. Success of the public institutions is thus directly depended on performance of its public administrators.

The ability of the public service to coordinate activities given its human resource load such that the public service does not forfeit on its development agenda depends on the competitiveness and innovativeness of the entire human resource management. That is why quality is more desirable over quantity human resource. Nevertheless, quality human resource can serve as a saviour of competitiveness; create a pathway to reducing high levels of unemployment and economic frustrations (Westphalem, 1999). Though, a good blend of the two will lead to wealth creation.

To conclude, while least developed countries boast for an abundance of human resource, a large proportion is unskilled or suffers from having a capacity to innovate. This is a major economic constraint that has a direct effect on public service sectors across African states and indeed Kenya bearing in mind that it is the human resource factor that ought to be a high-level decision-taker with a mandate to transform factors of production into new kinds of enterprise.” – Obed Nyangena – Narok, Kenya



Bana, Benson A. “The Role of Human Resource Managers in Transforming the Public Service in Africa.” Capacity Building for Human Resource. Dar es Salaam: Republic of Tanzania, 2009.

Economics for Eastern Africa. 2nd. Nairobi.

Network, United Nations Public Administration. The Role of HR Managers in Transforming the public Service in Africa. Arusha, Tanzania, February 23rd-27th, 2009.

Westphalen, Sven-Age. “Measuring and Reporting Intellectual Capital: Experience, Issues, and Prospects.” Reporting On Human Capital; Objectives and Trends. Amsterdam, 1999. 10.


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