CHAPTER private sector, the public sector has to

                       CHAPTER ONE

1.   
INTRODCTION

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 This chapter presents
background of the study, background of the study area, statement of problem,
basic research questions, objectives, significance, delimitation, definition of
basic terms and finally, will end up with organization of the study.

1.1 
Background of the
Study

 Public services are important to every society
in general and to our vulnerable and disadvantaged ones of our societies in
particular. They are central to achieving the fair and just society to which we
aspire. They are also crucial in helping many to achieve the skills they need
to be part of the labor market and thus are vitally important in improving our
economic performance. As a result, the issue of service delivery is becoming a
global concern that demands continuous reform to fit the turbulent environment
and changing customer needs. Public sector in most of the countries lack
appropriate customer service policies, the institutional capacity and resources
to cope with customer service challenges (Kerry et al., 2000). To this end,
governments are under continual pressure to improve the delivery of public
services. Instead of focusing on a specific set of services for targeted
customer segments, as is common for organizations in the private sector, the
public sector has to deal with a large, heterogeneous portfolio of different
services to be offered to all citizens (Humphreys, 1998). The problem of wide
spread poverty in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries is not related to
unavailability of resources but in large due to the problem of lack of good
governance. In Africa, Public Administration is characterized by expansion,
patronage and authoritarian rule (Miller, 2005, pp: 68). To alleviate good
governance related problems, most developing countries have commenced political
and economic reforms since 1980s that aim at promoting economic growth, reduce
poverty and encourage popular participation in development (Mugerwa, 2003).
However, these recent public administration reforms in sub-Saharan African
countries are inspired by or have parallel in the public administration reform
experience of other countries (Adamolekun, 2002: 159). The civil service reform
packages first introduced to Africa were accompanied by the SAP, which mainly
aimed at increasing the public sector efficiency by reducing the cost of public
sector employment through downsizing civil service size (Ayee, 2001).This was
followed by the NPM-like reforms, which involved much more ambitious attempts
to restructure the total civil service (ibid). Both CSR packages uphold
assumptions of neo-liberal economic policies, and are thus aimed at reducing
the role of the state in economic development. (ibid). According to Edigheji
(2008), New Public Management (NPM) refers to “a practice whereby the public
sector is shaped and driven by private sector ethos, and it is run along
corporate sector techniques.” There is general agreement that components of NPM
include deregulation of line management, decentralization, conversion of civil
service departments into free-standing agencies or establishment of autonomous
agencies, performance-based accountability, outsourcing of government services,
devolution of budgets and financial control, and use of market competition in
the provision of public services, as well as increasing focus on efficiency,
outputs and customer orientation Edigheji (2008), Other key elements of NPM are
commercialization and privatization (Polidano, 1999; Edigheji, 2008). The
driving force behind most of the recent public service reforms under the
influence of the New Public Management (NPM) is the need of governments to
respond to changes caused by economic, social, political, and technological
factors, which made the old ways of public sector management irrelevant. The
ever increasing change in economic, social, political, and technological
environment has demanded more efficient and effective management systems. An
additional factor that necessitated implementation of civil service reform,
particularly in the case of Africa in general, is lending conditionalities of
world financial institutions, including the World Bank and IMF (ECA, 2004).
Another main justification for NPM-style PSR is developmentalism (Monteiro,
2002; Edigheji, 2008). Accordingly, many research works in the past opined that
African countries could not achieve economic development mainly because of the
capacity limitations and unnecessary bureaucracies of their civil service
(Paulos, 2001; Getachew & Common, 2006). Cognizant of this fact over the
last two decades many African countries have embarked on multiple public
management reforms with a view to realizing fundamental changes in the
institutional structures and operations of the civil service, thereby improving
public service delivery with a banner of “Civil Service Reform” (Paulos, 2001;
ECA, 2004; Getachew & Common, 2006). In the case of Ethiopia, it was widely
believed that a new breed of civil servant, who could no longer have patience
with the old traditional, highly hierarchical, and inefficient management
systems, began to emerge. The civil servants began to demand for public sector
efficiency, institutional capacity, improved service delivery, wider
democratization, transparency, and accountability by the end of the 1980s.
Therefore, with a view toward realizing comprehensive “state transformation,”
the Ethiopian government has embarked on NPM-style multiple public
administration reforms from the early 1990s (Paulos, 2001; Getachew &
Common, 2006; ECA, 2004). The reforms were of two types: administrative
(structural reforms which introduced new institutions and restructured the
existing institutions and procedural reforms that introduced new
procedures/legislations) and political (processes of decentralization of
government that devolved power to regional states as well as various forms of state
directives, economic and social processes including a transition from a
single-party system to multi-party system). The success of such comprehensive
reforms in the case of developing countries depends on six success factors as
prescribed by Corkery et al. (1998): Explicit political support and commitment,
a clearly defined goal and strategy for its achievement, a leadership agency
responsible for the implementation of the strategy with intellectual and
tactical capacity required for the execution of its tasks, involvement of the
ministries and agencies in the identification of issues to be addressed, and
the development and implementation of programs to address these, and an
effective feedback, monitoring, and evaluation mechanism. It is well known that
the successes registered by sub-Saharan countries in terms of civil service
reform are minimal and Ethiopia is no exception (ECA, 2004). Ethiopia has not
yet come close to its goal of developing and transforming the nation, bringing
its people to the same standards as developed countries. One of the major
problems that held the country back was the inability of the successive
governments to lay down strong public machinery, which can facilitate the
development efforts of the country (Getachew & Common, 2006). Without
having a strong management of the public sector, it would be wishful thinking
to pursue any strategies and policies aimed at rapid economic development. It
is widely believed that efficient and effective public service has always been
the tool available to developing countries like Ethiopia to realize
developmental goals and objectives through creating an appropriate and
conducive environment in which all sectors of the economy can perform optimally
(ECA, 2004). In connection, after many years of civil war, the Ethiopian
People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) overthrew the Dergue regime in
1991. The victorious EPRDF formed a Transitional Government of Ethiopia
(1991–1994) and in December 1995 a Federal Democratic Government consisting of
a broadly based appointed Council of Representatives and Council of Ministers
(Kassahun, 2000; Alemayehu, 2001; Taube & Patz, 2008). Since then, economic
development and reforming Ethiopia’s public administration have been given a
high priority and the country has begun to undertake multi-dimensional
political and economic reforms. In general, the EPRDF’s civil service reform
program can be classified in to three phases. The focus during the first phase
(from 1991 to 1996) of reform was essentially on structural adjustment, with
economic liberalization and structural reforms in the public sector. As
Kassahun (2000) and Taube and Patz (2008) indicated, the EPRDF introduced a
macro-economic policy reform and institutional reform which included a Civil
Service Reform Program dictated by the demands of the Structural Adjustment
Program (SAP) to bring in new arrangements in accordance with policy
preferences. The second phase of the reform (1996–2003) was launched following
a comprehensive assessment of the civil service system. A Task Force set up by
government reviewed the civil service and reported its findings in February
1996. This review exposed the attitude and work practices of the bureaucratic
machinery inability to implement the new policy of the country. To this end,
(see Paulos, 2001; Mohammed, 2008; Tilaye, 2008) the Civil Service Reform
Program (CSRP) focused on the following five major sub-programs (Note: these
sub- programs are under implementation process in the third phase too). They
are: Top management system reform; Human resource management reform;
Expenditure management and control reform; Civil service ethics reform; Public
service delivery reform. Following the second stage, in May 2003, the
government designed and began implementing a consolidated five year federal
program of public sector capacity building (PSCAP) that includes the CSRP as
one of its six sub-programs components. The government commenced the third
phase of its reform agenda in the form of the Five-Year public Service Delivery
Capacity Building Program following the launch of the Public Sector Capacity
Building Program (Mohammed, 2008). Some of the objectives of this program
included:building the capacity of the Civil Service to enable the successful
execution of the government policies and programs;enhancing transparency and
accountability of the Civil Service, building a Civil service that is ethical
and free of corruption and facilitating the Civil Service’s provision of
efficient and fair services to the public (Getachew & Common, 2006). To
this end, various management tools such as Business Process Engineering (BPR),
Strategic Planning and Management (SPM), and Performance-Based Management
System (PBMS) were introduced (Tilaye, 2007). To this end, the aim of this
study is to examine the implementation practice and challenges of civil service
delivery system in lights of civil service reform programs in Fedis Woreda
Administration of Oromia National Regional State. 

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