CHAPTER private sector, the public sector has to

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Last updated: September 22, 2019

                       CHAPTER ONE 1.

   INTRODCTION This chapter presentsbackground of the study, background of the study area, statement of problem,basic research questions, objectives, significance, delimitation, definition ofbasic terms and finally, will end up with organization of the study.1.1 Background of theStudy Public services are important to every societyin general and to our vulnerable and disadvantaged ones of our societies inparticular.

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They are central to achieving the fair and just society to which weaspire. They are also crucial in helping many to achieve the skills they needto be part of the labor market and thus are vitally important in improving oureconomic performance. As a result, the issue of service delivery is becoming aglobal concern that demands continuous reform to fit the turbulent environmentand changing customer needs. Public sector in most of the countries lackappropriate customer service policies, the institutional capacity and resourcesto cope with customer service challenges (Kerry et al., 2000).

To this end,governments are under continual pressure to improve the delivery of publicservices. Instead of focusing on a specific set of services for targetedcustomer segments, as is common for organizations in the private sector, thepublic sector has to deal with a large, heterogeneous portfolio of differentservices to be offered to all citizens (Humphreys, 1998). The problem of widespread poverty in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries is not related tounavailability of resources but in large due to the problem of lack of goodgovernance.

In Africa, Public Administration is characterized by expansion,patronage and authoritarian rule (Miller, 2005, pp: 68). To alleviate goodgovernance related problems, most developing countries have commenced politicaland economic reforms since 1980s that aim at promoting economic growth, reducepoverty and encourage popular participation in development (Mugerwa, 2003).However, these recent public administration reforms in sub-Saharan Africancountries are inspired by or have parallel in the public administration reformexperience of other countries (Adamolekun, 2002: 159). The civil service reformpackages first introduced to Africa were accompanied by the SAP, which mainlyaimed at increasing the public sector efficiency by reducing the cost of publicsector employment through downsizing civil service size (Ayee, 2001).

This wasfollowed by the NPM-like reforms, which involved much more ambitious attemptsto restructure the total civil service (ibid). Both CSR packages upholdassumptions of neo-liberal economic policies, and are thus aimed at reducingthe role of the state in economic development. (ibid). According to Edigheji(2008), New Public Management (NPM) refers to “a practice whereby the publicsector is shaped and driven by private sector ethos, and it is run alongcorporate sector techniques.” There is general agreement that components of NPMinclude deregulation of line management, decentralization, conversion of civilservice departments into free-standing agencies or establishment of autonomousagencies, performance-based accountability, outsourcing of government services,devolution of budgets and financial control, and use of market competition inthe provision of public services, as well as increasing focus on efficiency,outputs and customer orientation Edigheji (2008), Other key elements of NPM arecommercialization and privatization (Polidano, 1999; Edigheji, 2008).

Thedriving force behind most of the recent public service reforms under theinfluence of the New Public Management (NPM) is the need of governments torespond to changes caused by economic, social, political, and technologicalfactors, which made the old ways of public sector management irrelevant. Theever increasing change in economic, social, political, and technologicalenvironment has demanded more efficient and effective management systems. Anadditional factor that necessitated implementation of civil service reform,particularly in the case of Africa in general, is lending conditionalities ofworld 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 thatAfrican countries could not achieve economic development mainly because of thecapacity limitations and unnecessary bureaucracies of their civil service(Paulos, 2001; Getachew & Common, 2006). Cognizant of this fact over thelast two decades many African countries have embarked on multiple publicmanagement reforms with a view to realizing fundamental changes in theinstitutional structures and operations of the civil service, thereby improvingpublic service delivery with a banner of “Civil Service Reform” (Paulos, 2001;ECA, 2004; Getachew & Common, 2006). In the case of Ethiopia, it was widelybelieved that a new breed of civil servant, who could no longer have patiencewith the old traditional, highly hierarchical, and inefficient managementsystems, began to emerge. The civil servants began to demand for public sectorefficiency, institutional capacity, improved service delivery, widerdemocratization, 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 publicadministration 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 theexisting institutions and procedural reforms that introduced newprocedures/legislations) and political (processes of decentralization ofgovernment that devolved power to regional states as well as various forms of statedirectives, economic and social processes including a transition from asingle-party system to multi-party system). The success of such comprehensivereforms in the case of developing countries depends on six success factors asprescribed by Corkery et al. (1998): Explicit political support and commitment,a clearly defined goal and strategy for its achievement, a leadership agencyresponsible for the implementation of the strategy with intellectual andtactical capacity required for the execution of its tasks, involvement of theministries and agencies in the identification of issues to be addressed, andthe development and implementation of programs to address these, and aneffective feedback, monitoring, and evaluation mechanism. It is well known thatthe successes registered by sub-Saharan countries in terms of civil servicereform are minimal and Ethiopia is no exception (ECA, 2004).

Ethiopia has notyet come close to its goal of developing and transforming the nation, bringingits people to the same standards as developed countries. One of the majorproblems that held the country back was the inability of the successivegovernments to lay down strong public machinery, which can facilitate thedevelopment efforts of the country (Getachew & Common, 2006). Withouthaving a strong management of the public sector, it would be wishful thinkingto pursue any strategies and policies aimed at rapid economic development. Itis widely believed that efficient and effective public service has always beenthe tool available to developing countries like Ethiopia to realizedevelopmental goals and objectives through creating an appropriate andconducive environment in which all sectors of the economy can perform optimally(ECA, 2004). In connection, after many years of civil war, the EthiopianPeople’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) overthrew the Dergue regime in1991.

The victorious EPRDF formed a Transitional Government of Ethiopia(1991–1994) and in December 1995 a Federal Democratic Government consisting ofa broadly based appointed Council of Representatives and Council of Ministers(Kassahun, 2000; Alemayehu, 2001; Taube & Patz, 2008). Since then, economicdevelopment and reforming Ethiopia’s public administration have been given ahigh priority and the country has begun to undertake multi-dimensionalpolitical and economic reforms. In general, the EPRDF’s civil service reformprogram can be classified in to three phases. The focus during the first phase(from 1991 to 1996) of reform was essentially on structural adjustment, witheconomic liberalization and structural reforms in the public sector. AsKassahun (2000) and Taube and Patz (2008) indicated, the EPRDF introduced amacro-economic policy reform and institutional reform which included a CivilService Reform Program dictated by the demands of the Structural AdjustmentProgram (SAP) to bring in new arrangements in accordance with policypreferences. The second phase of the reform (1996–2003) was launched followinga comprehensive assessment of the civil service system.

A Task Force set up bygovernment reviewed the civil service and reported its findings in February1996. This review exposed the attitude and work practices of the bureaucraticmachinery inability to implement the new policy of the country. To this end,(see Paulos, 2001; Mohammed, 2008; Tilaye, 2008) the Civil Service ReformProgram (CSRP) focused on the following five major sub-programs (Note: thesesub- programs are under implementation process in the third phase too). Theyare: Top management system reform; Human resource management reform;Expenditure management and control reform; Civil service ethics reform; Publicservice delivery reform. Following the second stage, in May 2003, thegovernment designed and began implementing a consolidated five year federalprogram of public sector capacity building (PSCAP) that includes the CSRP asone of its six sub-programs components. The government commenced the thirdphase of its reform agenda in the form of the Five-Year public Service DeliveryCapacity Building Program following the launch of the Public Sector CapacityBuilding Program (Mohammed, 2008).

Some of the objectives of this programincluded:building the capacity of the Civil Service to enable the successfulexecution of the government policies and programs;enhancing transparency andaccountability of the Civil Service, building a Civil service that is ethicaland free of corruption and facilitating the Civil Service’s provision ofefficient and fair services to the public (Getachew & Common, 2006). Tothis end, various management tools such as Business Process Engineering (BPR),Strategic Planning and Management (SPM), and Performance-Based ManagementSystem (PBMS) were introduced (Tilaye, 2007). To this end, the aim of thisstudy is to examine the implementation practice and challenges of civil servicedelivery system in lights of civil service reform programs in Fedis WoredaAdministration of Oromia National Regional State. 

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