Global Experts to Gov’t: Move Away from Talking to Actions

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda (L) chats with Dato' Sri Idris Jala the CEO Malaysia Government Performance Management and Delivery Unit (2nd L), Minister for Public Service Muluri Mukasa (2nd R) and former Finance Minister Dr. Ezra Suruma (R) at Serena Hotel on Thursday

Government has been advised to move from too much repetitive talk to actual implementation of programs if it is to achieve its development agenda.

The call was made by Sir. Michael Barber, page former Head of UK Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit in the Tony Blair administration and Dato’ Sri Idris Jala the CEO Malaysia Government’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit.

The two leadership and service delivery experts were Tuesday meeting Ministers and Permanent Secretaries in the different sectors at Kampala Serena Hotel to share best practices that have worked globally.

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“Delivery of services is not about handing over reports to donors or the President but citizens noticing and experiencing the difference created by the leadership, ” Sir. Barber told the Ministers.

“It’s time for government to shift from talk to action. It (government) isn’t short of what should be done but how to do it,” he noted, adding that Ministers must identify what they intend to achieve, do adequate planning and evaluating progress.

Sir Barber was critical of the ‘essay and prose’ model of planning common among civil servants which he said isn’t the case in the UK. He urged the leadership in Uganda to set plans with specific actions, timelines and the persons responsible for fulfilling them.

In his remarks, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda urged Ministers to create a strong working relationship with their Permanent Secretaries so as to accomplish their mandate.

“There’s no excuse for not making gigantic steps in service delivery in the coming years. We can’t continue doing business as usual and we hope such interaction will enable us to fix the existing barriers,” Rugunda said.

Idris Jala challenged government technocrats to do away with lamenting build capacity to translate the plans into concrete specific actions. He further stressed the need to invest in data to be able to track the progress of implementation.

Some of the barriers to implementation raised by the Ministers included; inadequate human resource, corruption, low remuneration, poor planning and communication as well as poor inter-sectoral collaboration.

For long, government has been faced with sluggish delivery of services across the board despite the good policy frameworks.


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