Learner’s Submission: Potential Users of RBME System in Ethipoia

04/02/2014

“Currently I am not working for any organization starting from January, 01 2014. So, it is hard for me to answer this question in the way it is presented above. I will use general idea to answer the question. Or use my past organization project without naming the organization. For me the potential users of Results Based Monitoring and Evaluation system in any organization are all stakeholder’s involved in the programme or project.

1. Beneficiaries of the project are the one best benefited from RBME system. If there is good Monitoring and Evaluation system in any organization, resources planned for the project will be delivered for the intended activities. This is through tracking activities routinely whether they are going as planned and identifying gaps. If gaps are identified early, corrective measures will be taken and beneficiaries receive good quality services. Beneficiaries also used the service in timely manner if there is results based monitoring system.

2. Implementing Agency: – Results Based Monitoring and Evaluation system is useful for implementing agency. The result obtained from RBME can reveal how far and we the project is on progress. If there are deviations from initial planning, corrective measures will be taken before it further negatively affects the results that are expected from the project. It also can show the quality of the project staffs. If the staffs have no good quality or expertise in areas of the project, good quality deliverables will not be expected. So, after evaluation knowledge gaps can be identified and capacity building training can be given for staffs.

3. Government Bodies: – RBME system will also useful for government bodies. Policy makers can use to design policy options for real problems existed in community by using the results as input after monitoring and evaluation. They also use it for panning human resource. For instance the project in which I was worked constructed preparatory school at district level. After RBME the education sector planned to deploy teachers for the coming year in which they have no plan to employ teachers.

4. Donors: – Donors use RBME for a number of reasons. The result can show donor agency how well their money is used for the intended activities. They use the best learned for similar project implementing elsewhere. Furthermore, they can use as reason to increase future funds for the implementing agency for project extension or other projects to be implemented in the area. In the same project I worked before, the donor increased the amount of money from 8 million in ETB to 68 million after RBME.

5. Other Agencies: – Other agencies who are working in similar projects can use best earned from the project. The school that is constructed in my past organization has quality and to the standard set by the education sector. So, the government and other nongovernmental organizations who are working on construction can use it as mode.” – Bari Oljira Hunde – Batu, Oromia, Ethiopia

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Leaner’s Submission: Social Media Channels Used by Government in Ethiopia

12/11/2013

“It is a common understanding that social media refers to internet services and mobile phone applications used for the production, spreading, and exchange of information in textual, pictorial, audio or video formats.  Social Medias are tools used for digital interactions between people. Social media channels allow people to interact online in a ‘social’ manner, whether for personal and professional affairs or for official dealing.

The most common social media tools include, but are not limited to, social networking sites in Ethiopia includes Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Skype.

The Ethiopian Government has realized the power of social media though the infrastructure for information technology in the country is still in poor condition. Its widespread network and thousands of users has become an amazing stage to reach people and better understand what they do and how they think. It is clear that social media has the potential to open up conversations, distribute important information and (more recently) to empower government with the ability to even spy on its citizens and others. Therefore, social Medias are the key to create a new relationship between citizens and the state.

The Ethiopian Government uses social media mainly for two basic purposes. First, to open two-way communication between citizens and government to help drive conversation about relevant issues like corruption and terrorism and makes government more accessible. Second, to deliver a message that is crafted by the government to provide information or influence the perceptions of citizens on different issues like inflation and costly life.

Government of Ethiopia has different business agencies, thus, these agencies are using social media in a variety of ways: to deliver services, communicate information, coordinate resources in emergencies, and engage citizens and stakeholders in consultation processes and advertisement purpose.

Some government agencies in Ethiopia record information that provides evidence of key activities or decisions in a way that accurately preserves their context and significance, and store these records in a way that makes them easily accessible for people.

Why Social Media Channels are vital

Social Media Channels are central for the government specifically and the people in general since they are key instruments to access information and data from different sources including the government sectors. The people can provide and get timely services and feedback from government and other sources trough social media.  Therefore, any party can provide and get access with minimal cost. In this globalized world social Medias play significant role for different innovations and new ideas.

Both big and small companies use social Medias to monitor and build sentiment around their profile, products and services. On top of this, many government agencies also use social Medias to monitor public opinion on key topics.

In nut shell, the Ethiopian government uses social medias to gather information from the public and give feedback on various issues including services provided by the government, infrastructures and other necessary information, and to expand the culture of knowledge sharing among staff of the civil services and private businesses but highly limited due to the poor IT infrastructure in the country. ” –  Tadele Demissie – Amhara, Ethiopia


Learner’s Submission: Access to Data in Ethiopia

04/11/2013

“We are living in the age of information where information is power where data access is a key factor for its effect.  In light of this Ethiopia has legislation that anyone has the right to access data and some people in the country had expected that this condition would be favorable for the development of the free access for data.

From my experience and practical activities I have learned that as most people in Ethiopia are illiterate, there is no good culture to put data to access for the people. Even those who are educated do have poor tradition and system to store data and retrieve it to make it accessible for the community.  It is mostly, not always, attributed by poor information technology infrastructure of the country.

If someone goes to the government offices to access data, it is common to get a response of ‘no data’ or ‘it takes time to get it, come back another time’ as data are not stored in a scientific and systematic way.  On top of this, most government offices consider their office data as their sole property which do have no value for others. Therefore, someone has to pass lots of bureaucracies to access data in Ethiopia in government offices.

On the contrary, it is common to see the word ‘transparency’ displayed in office walls as one of the values of government offices. Government Medias also frequently talks about transparency and access to data in spite of the fact that the reality is to the opposite.

Most literate people do have better knowledge than the illiterates that everyone has the right to access data for a good purpose with limited restrictions in some cases.

It is undeniable that there is improvement in accessing data coupled with people’s awareness change on the right of accessing it in the country.

The situation is worse in private companies and organizations. Unless  someone is a part of that organization/institution, getting data in the private sectors is quite complex task in Ethiopia. In some cases people my also provide incorrect data thinking that they will be blamed.

Many researchers in Ethiopia complain that most people do not give reliable data due to low understanding of the value of it. However, it is clear that data determines people’s life as they are sources for every decision.

Therefore, it is really high time to say ‘there should be suite environment to access data in the country both in the private and government offices’, without which the achievement of good governance would be unthinkable since the fundamentals behind the implementation of access to data and information and bringing about good governance both principally and practically are of the same nature.

Many people including me were accessing data and information for some cases but many complain that it is very complicated to get data from government offices due to the bureaucracy and unwillingness of officials. Except some cases, getting the government offices’ data on internet on different issues is unthinkable due to different constraints like poor information communication infrastructures and unavailability of the data.

It is expected that media and government work closely together and cooperate in many if not in all areas of endeavor in the country for better receiving and disseminating of information. In turn, Medias in most aspects provide information for the people.

To the contrary, it is common  to see  private medias complaining that the press law has prohibited them to provide data and information for the people.

I tried my level best to use the country’s legislation on access to data. Particularly, I am an advocator and practitioner in applying laws data related to individuals needs to be handled carefully and in accordance with the Data Protection Act of the country.

I strongly believe that the data available in my government could not be safe. Though the constitution states that people’s data should always be maintained and the privacy of individuals/organizations/institutions should be protected, individual’s data and information are frequently appearing in different publication without getting permission from individuals. I believe that someone may need to consider if there are any economic, social, security or political risks associated with the release of the data.

The country has a law how to use data owned by a third party (copyright material, software or database). Someone needs to understand the terms under which these are obtained and the scope of use. However, it is common in the country using data without obtaining permission from the data owner for re-use of such material.

In general, there is good understanding among the people and the government in the country that access to data is vital for decisions though accessing it is complicated task which shows only little improvement due to poor information technology infrastructure and low number of literacy rate in the country.” – Tadele Demissie – Amhara, Ethiopia


Learner’s Submission: Social Media Channels in Ethiopia

18/10/2013

“First and foremost it is very important to define what is social media and Social media Channels? When we say social media, it is refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in electronic medias  like  internet services and mobile phone  applications used for the generation, dissemination, and discussion of information in textual, pictorial, audio or video formats. It includes all forms of current and future    tools used for digital interactions between people. Social media channels are instruments that allow people to interact online in a ‘social’ manner, whether for Personal and professional reasons, or for official business. Current examples of social media tools include, but are not limited to, social networking sites such as Face book, MySpace and LinkedIn; blogs and blog publication and others.

In case of Ethiopia, a lot of social media channels are used. For example, Government media, like National TV, Radio and mobile are all easily accessible by almost all citizens of the country. Moreover, internet like, blogs, YouTube, Skype and others are also the most used media channels used by the government to inform citizens about the overall activities and current issues in the country.

Social media presents government with a number of opportunities to engage with citizens using familiar and widely available technologies. This two-way form of communication enables government to be more active in relationships with citizens, partners and stakeholders – increasing the frequency and speed of public engagement. Thus, Social media is powerful tool to drive cultural, political, economic and social engagement. Moreover, it is also a key communications tool for local authorities and highlights their commitments to openness and transparency. Furthermore, it Increase citizens’ access to government and increase government’s access to audiences  and enable government to be more active in its relationships with citizens, partners and stakeholders

Therefore, it is  important for a government  to consider the active participation of all people if to bring and  preach democracy. For this purpose, media play a great role in keeping citizens engaged by providing information, educating and mobilizing the public. Thus, it is important for the Government to choose the cost effective social media channels that are easily accessible to all citizens equally.” – Hiwotie Walelign Alemu – Amhara, Ethiopia


Learner’s Submission: Media Channels in Ethiopia

29/04/2013

“There are different Medias in Ethiopia, which helps to provide different information’s about different issues. There are an e- government that helps the public sector organization to access information for the society. Thus, e-government can be used to provide access to government information and delivery of public services to citizens, and all other business partners and stakeholders including private sectors. E-government is citizen-centric.

According to the Institute for development Policy and Management (2008), “e-government is the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to improve the activities of public sector organizations”. Heeks (2008) explains that e-government covers the following three main areas:

  • Improving government process / e-Administration by making processes time and cost effective, managing process performance, making strategic connections in government, and creating empowerment;
  •  Connecting citizens (e-Citizens and e-Services) by providing citizens with public sector activities details, increasing citizen input into government decisions and actions and improving public services;
  • Building external interactions by creating an e-Society, that involves improved relationships between public agencies and other public and private companies, interaction between government and business (Heeks, 2008). E-government requires internet-based technologies to provide facilitated access to government information and services, and citizens and enterprises engagement through e-government portals as a collective vision of all government activities.

In our country, Ethiopia, there are a lot of government web sites that access data for various users. And there are rules and regulations in accessing these government portals. They are all subject to the different terms and conditions. For example, they may require our agreement to access and use the site only for lawful purpose.

And during my working and education life I used different government portals for research and general knowledge purpose. And as a legal user of the website, I accept and agree the terms and conditions of the site. As the same time I compelled my self to comment the real situations, which I believe contribute for the development of the country. And I respect an international copyright law.” – Hiwotie Walelign Alemu – Amhara Management Institute, Ethiopia


Learner’s Submission: The Civil Service Reform as HR Capacity Development Mechanism In Ethiopia

01/05/2012

“Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) (2010/11-2014/15) that Ethiopiais currently pursuing puts great emphasis on CapacityBuildingand Deepening Governance as key to the achievement of the plan. It mentions the country’s economic growth and social development to have been hampered because of weak organizational capacity. To alleviate the problems encountered by weak human capital, institutions, and organizations it has been recommended in this document that implementation of the Civil Service Reform Program and Good Governance packages to be strengthened.

Accordingly great emphasis has been given to strengthening the Civil Service Reform which began in 1994 and launched in 1996.

When viewed from HRCD approach CSRP inEthiopiais Holistic in its nature, and encompasses various dimensions of capacity development as opposed to the traditional approach which focuses only on individuals. One can say that its comprehensiveness in addressing various development and service delivery problems has impacted the already weakened public service delivery in a positive way.

Each element that indicates Holistic Approach nature of CSRP could be described as shown below.

Training- as it is known training is the means through which capabilities of employees as well of the managers is enhanced. Training also plays vital role in bringing about behavioral and attitudinal change, help to achieve superior performance and finally impact efficient, effective and quality service/product delivery to the customers. CSRP in the Ethiopian context, after its inception in 1996 has achieved significant outcome in conducting consecutive training programs, to  the public sector employees.  Various seminars and in house training programs had been conducted to create awareness among political leadership, public managers and civil servants at different levels of government tiers, namely the Federal, Regional and Local.  Some of the main areas where skills and knowledge development focused are SPM, HRM, Public Financial Management, and the like.

Institutional Systems- Particularly after the introduction of Business Process Re-Engineering to the public sector in 2003, studies show that public service delivery inEthiopia has improved in terms of quality  quantity and customer service. This could be ascribed to the fact that organizational re-inventing and process re-engineering took place in more than 82% of public sector organizations. In addition many of them have improved outdated legislations and their working manuals. Tasks of organizational restructuring and improving systems and procedures are also some of the efforts undertaken.

Logistics/Technology- Following the organizational re-structuring and process/systems improvement it had been realized by may public managers that the reform objectives could not be achieved without making use of information technology and build capacity in this area. As a result ICT departments have been established in many organizations. People were trained with the know how of using basic computer applications. Connections based on WAN and LAN had been expanded between many organization found at different levels of government,  the Federal, Regional and Local offices.

Incentives- The incentive system has not been institutionalized in line with the implementation of BPR, since it is more related to performance measurement which is usually related to organizational performance management system. The recent application of Balanced Score Card system in the public sector organizations has stressed the need for introducing incentive system in the public organizations.

Behavior and Attitude-  The legacy of the past regime, such  as unaccountability of the bureaucracy to the citizens, self serving and rent seeking behaviors, and the like had been identified as major obstacles for the public sector organizations to deliver services effectively and efficiently. So to overcome those maladies of the system various trainings had been conducted to different functionaries and managers all over the country.

Once I have tried to analyze the objectives of  CSRP in Ethiopia and its contribution  towards HRCD in  I want to conclude my analysis by suggesting following actions to be taken by top leadership  so that to ensure the implementation of GTP and eventually  Eradication of the Poverty.

  • GTP is large scale transformation program when it is compared to all development programs that the country has experienced so far, such as SAP, PASDEP and others. So it is advisable that the top leadership pursue HRCD strategies that is innovative, which is based on technological application, and makes intensive use of knowledge available.
  • Addressing  Governance issue is also  crucial  for this development plan  since it brings together multiple actors from different sectors, such as public sector institutions, private sector and the civil society organizations  in making important decisions.” – Shibeshi Kassa – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

References:

1.        Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) document (2010/11-2014/15)  volume I nov.2010 Mofed.
2.        Project Management Consultancy for Civil Service Reform:Ethiopia


Learner’s Submission: Potential User of RBME in Ethiopia

12/04/2012

“PMU (program management unit) is the potential user of RBME in our organization. Which includes the department of management unit, financial unit, human resource and more specifically or majorly the monitoring and evaluation department.

The system is used with regional government to identify the most important value chain and then finds the bottlenecks and missing links and identifies ways to fix these while increasing the value added business, to follow-up the progress of the program or project and to know the impact. Valuable use of the system (to understand the progress, weaknesses, expected output and impact of the project or programmer) forces the organization to use the system.

These are done most of the time directly communicating with stack holders by interviewing about generally – the good side and   problem side of the program. But when RBME is done all the necessary steps are given high value.

The e- learning  courses by UNPAN – develops and helps the knowledge of the experts and managers who undertake the responsibility of executing and managing the activities of the projects and programmes and the ultimate objective of the project or program will achieved through monitoring and evaluation. So such courses are very necessary especially for developing countries to fulfill the ultimate objective of MDG.” – Gurmesa Kibrat – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


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