- Veröffentlicht: 19. März 2017
The impact of today’s rapidly changing economic and technological landscape has made government’s task of delivering public service more complex. More than ever before, governments all over the world have increasingly come under serious public scrutiny and fiscal pressure to deliver better outcomes to citizens, and to do so more efficiently. As is evident, Nigeria has not been spared from this in recent times. On the one hand, the dynamism presented by the impact of the interaction of economic, technological and other superintending elements in these scenarios have no doubt made governments’ public service delivery duties onerous. On the other hand, however, it has also opened up opportunities for the exploration of out-of-the-box strategies that governments can adopt if found to better the lot of their citizens.
Dealing with the ongoing fiscal crises in Nigeria requires the ability of our government to predict demand for services through a thorough understanding of gaps in the efficiency and effectiveness of existing policies and programmes as administered by relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and other arms of government. The implication, therefore, is that using its existing machinery of personnel and resources, government can do more with less. And this may not require the slashing or trimming down budgets, or the intuitive transference of funds from one project to another.
On a more pragmatic note, there are private-sector-inspired systems, strategies, know-how, processes and measures that can be learned and applied in ways that are adaptive to the public sector environment. These models and principles are generic and adaptive to different scenarios that pursue an end of effective and efficient service delivery. This is a shift from the old style wherein one lone technocrat is plucked from the private sector and planted as head of a government project. This write-up proposes a full-scale adoption of whole models, not persons. These models will drive public sector initiatives that progressively meet up with public expectations.
Such strategies include value creation and delivery, incentive structures that drive change and results, operational re-engineering and organisational efficiency through technology, government analytics.
In an age of time and resource constraints, government needs ways of broadening the conversation about the services they deliver and the value they create, not only to meet short term demands but for the longer term. The Nigerian public at all levels is demanding better quality service that promotes value creation and delivery. This places the need to improve work ethics, propose value orientation and facilitate value-added services on the renderers of public service. Some ways to achieve this include initiating an overarching mental shift that would reposition government service. This is imperative, bearing in mind that future generations of citizens are entitled to an heirloom of well-mannered services and well-managed public utilities, putting in place robust and time-saving decision making mechanisms that ensure the timely achievement of defined outcomes and provides the best trade-offs between available resources and the consequences, being increasingly and more broadly transparent, particularly with respect to how and by whom decisions are taken, being strategic in thinking, looking and clearly envisioning the distant future by envisaging and managing expectations about the services provided using the available resources.
In a nutshell, to create public value, all public services must have clear objectives. And the public must be involved in the process of formulating what these objectives should be.
Recognising that humans are at the centre of innovation raises questions about what could motivate people to be innovators in the public sector; what skills they require for success, and how public institutions can inspire and maintain these. To drive change and achieve desired results among public servants, there must be careful consideration of the range, measure and timing of incentives, as well as the disincentives that operate simultaneously within the system. Answers to these questions also require an understanding of the way incentive structures interact with public servants’ values that in turn motivate learning and engagement.
Government needs to conscientiously look for new ways to drive efficiency and effectiveness while it seeks to fulfill its public mandate. An operations re-engineering process: the e-Government phenomenon, is rapidly emerging. The trend reflects the recognition that some of the traditional approaches to addressing public policy challenges may not provide solutions to the complex challenges that government grapples with today.
It is, therefore, important to note that technological progress is advancing at a speed never seen before, and this opens great opportunities for the MDAs to incorporate new tools and approaches, while placing on them the pressure to keep in pace with dynamic world of technology. To take on this advantage, government needs to build capacity to innovate and invent solutions (especially tech-solutions) to the complex and intractable processes that have fostered unnecessary bottlenecks and inefficiencies in public service.
Government runs on information; as such, this resource must be properly managed through innovative governance. One of the major challenges in the governance of this resource is dealing with the continuous growing volume of data, and how to sort out what data is most valuable in delivering efficient, high-quality government services. With this unprecedented growth, a new terminology - government analytics - is gradually and steadily coming up, which arms of government can use to create, understand, reach conclusions and make decisions.
Government analytics is the extensive use of data, statistical and quantitative analysis, explanatory and predictive models, and fact-based management to drive decisions and actions. With this tool, public sector institutions will be able to achieve the following deliverables: operate and deliver services efficiently and effectively; detect and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse; anticipate future demands and opportunities in realistic ways; develop more integration across government enterprise; achieve smart decision-making and accurate prediction of future outcomes.
In conclusion, innovation in governance and the public service domain will help drive efficiency, which in the long-run would ensure effectiveness of programmes and policies, thereby resulting in citizens’ satisfaction and wellbeing.
Autor(en)/Author(s): Daniel Egbunu
Quelle/Source: Daily Trust, 12.03.2017