CAPACITY ASSESSMENT GUIDELINES
THE PROGRAMME APPROACH:
ASSESSMENT LEVELS AND METHODS
Prepared for: United Nations Development Programme
Management Development and Governance Division
Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins
13 January 1996
Table of Contents
I. Why Do We Need and How To Use The Guidelines 1
II. The Conceptual Framework 6
III. How To Operationalize The Framework 14
IV. Capacity Monitoring and Evaluation 30
1. Organizational Change 1
2. Strrategic Level Questionnaire 17
3. Operational Level Questionnaire 29
CAPACITY ASSESSMENT GUIDELINES
AND THE PROGRAMME APPROACH: ASSESSMENT LEVELS AND METHODS
I. WHY DO WE NEED AND HOW TO USE THE GUIDELINES
Target Guidelines Users
This guide to capacity assessment within the programme approach is intended to be relevant and useful to:
- those who are engaged in programme/project design, planning and implementation at the country office and headquarters level;
- thoseofficials who are engaged in programme/project design, planning and implementation within relevant national ministries and departments; and
- those persons within the NGO and Private Sector who are engaged in national programme/project design, planning and implementation.
Organization of the Guideline
This Guide is organized into four successive sections:
Section I: Why do we need and How to Use the Guidelines
Section II: The Conceptual Framework
Section III: How to Operationalize the Framework
Section IV: Capacity Monitoring and Evaluation, which demonstrates that capacity assessment should be an on-going activity that generates a practical data base for future reference.
The basic concept behind this guide is that programme/project planning requires fairly clear knowledge regarding the state of the target action environment (i.e. economic, political and social factors and the current functioning of the institutional and organizational context), including pro-jections regarding their change ability).
Given the above challenge an important question requiring a focused answer is; Capacity Assessment for What and How? This question has seldom been addressed, or even asked. Most discussions and papers tend to focus on "the need for capacity building", "the need for sustainability", "the desire for self-reliance", and "the need for new approaches and models". These are issues that find a broad agreement. However, after thirty years of relative discouraging results there is a need to revisit and rethink technical cooperation and capacity building in general, methodological (how to) concerns in particular. Methodology is defined as -- a body of practices, procedures, and rules used by those who work in a discipline or engage in an inquiry; a set of working methods. It is the methodology aspects that adds substance to policy initiatives.
Therefore, capacity assessment guidelines should outline fundamental tasks such as: entry points strategies, data collection methods and capacity monitoring. The need for reliable contextual and institutional profiles based on fairly rigorous data has never been more self-evident. The most simple planning approach "...one must know what is before, he/she can determine what should be" is still appropriate. Capacity Assessment for what? For the design of better capacity development strategies and programmes. How? Through the use of fairly rigorous assessment strategies, data collection and dissemination methods.
How the Guidelines Should be Used
This Guide can be approached in a linear fashion, from cover to cover, or by locating the stage of your country programming efforts and focusing on relevant assessment strategies and data needs i.e. if your country is at the Administrative/Operational level this should be your take-off point, likewise, if your programming effort is more on the Strategic Level your take off point should be there. However, should your programming require a comprehensive effort and time and resources are available the total guidelines will be relevant.
The location of country programming efforts may or may not be a simple task. Every country programme is somewhere within a programme cycle. Through observation, review of documents and discussions with informed persons it is possible to plot your country on the programming cycle. Next simply ask yourself and informed others the question; "Where do we go from here, Strategic, Administrative/Operational or comprehensive?" The answer should help you focus on your country programming assessment needs and the guidelines should be used accordingly to design a capacity assessment strategy and plan.
The capacity assessment guidelines are by nature orderly, analytical processes, the logic of which sometimes runs counter to the immediacy of day-to-day organizational life. Merely attempting to do fairly rigorous assessments may require an organization to change some of its most time-honored traditions and practices. But it is becoming increasingly clear that organizations and individuals must change merely to cope with the many demands made on them. Capacity assessment approaches such as the one described here will do more than merely help organizations produce better programmes/projects. In the long run, organizations which incorporate a rational capacity assessment routine into their institutional lives will do a better job of accomplishing their organizational purpose.
This guide in not meant to be an exhaustive or in-depth treatment of the capacity assessment process. Rather, it has been developed as a basic primer alerting the user to potential data sources and strategic possibilities. Each country situation is complex and demands knowledge, sensitivity and adaptability, therefore, the user(s) must place the guidance and information offered in context and "cut and past" at will.
Among the components of the capacity development process, the capacity assessment is the least well developed or understood. Most technical assistance programmes and projects focus on meeting capacity needs, without undertaking the analysis that would normally be required to ensure that the solution is the most appropriate one in the circumstances. At the same time, the UNDP has come to recognize the need for sharpening the concept of and improving techniques for capacity building. Several initiatives have been carried out during the past few years.
In order to pursue, target and prioritize sustainable human development UNDP has established the following focus areas:
1. Poverty elimination;
2. Creation of employment and sustainable livelihoods;
3. Advancement of women and other disadvantaged groups;
4. Protection and regeneration of the environment; and
5. Sound Governance and management development.
Logically, as a next step, capacity assessment methodologies should be integrated into the same framework, priorities and context. This guide attempts to integrate capacity assessment methodologies into programming cycle and pay special attention to UNDP focus areas. The rational is that different programming levels require that different areas, functions and tasks be assessed from different perspectives. This, in turn, has implications for the monitoring and evaluation system.
Capacity -- The ability to perform appropriate tasks effectively, efficiently, and sustainable.
Capacity Building -- Improvements in the ability of institutions and organizations (public, private and NGO's) to either singly or in cooperation with other organizations, to perform appropriate tasks. Appropriate Task -- Beyond a basic set of irreducible functions, establishing law and order and setting the rules of the game for economic and political interaction. It is impossible to develop a universal list of what such tasks are. Appropriate tasks are those defined by necessity, history, or situation in specific contexts.
Institution -- An entity (or group or related entities) having a legal framework, an organizational structure, operating systems, staff, and resources and constituted to fulfill a set of related functions valued by a client or constituent group. To fulfill these functions, an institution incorporates, fosters, and protects normative relationships, rules, and action patterns. To the extent that an organization succeeds in demonstrating the value of its functions and has them accepted by others as important and significant, the organization acquires the status of an institution. The key factor is a recognized, continuing, and valued role at some level of the society.
Measuring Institutional Capacity -- Capacity is the extent of competence that institutions have to perform effectively the functions for which they exist, with self-reliance as the ultimate goal. Broad elements of this competence include the ability to anticipate, influence, and make change, to make informed decisions, to attract and absorb resources, and to manage resources to achieve objectives.
Environment -- The sum of factors found outside the immediate confines of the institution/organization that have a significant bearing on it. It includes policy considerations, cultural values, and donor assistance, among other factors.
Strategic Planning and Management -- There is a degree of confusion regarding these terms. Strategic planning places more emphasis on the development of the strategic plan and often "assumes" implementation. Strategic management specifically includes and emphasizes implementation. This does not mean that the planning element is any less important, rather, implementation is regarded as just as important.
National Execution -- A cooperative operational arrangement where-by the nation assumes responsibility for the management of all aspects of its' UNDP financed technical assistance projects and programmes as requested by it and agreed to by UNDP.
NEX delineates the difference between Execution and Implementation:
Execution -- the overall management, by national authorities, by a United Nations Agency, of the programme/project, along with the assumption of responsibility and accountability for the production of outputs. Implementation -- the procurement and delivery of inputs and their conversion into outputs.
PSD and PSIA -- Required UNDP documentation that describe, justify and obtain agreement by the relevant parties to authorize expenditures.
System Approach -- An analytical model that describes a collection of interdependent parts each of which is essential for the whole.
Process Consultation -- A process by which the system redesigns itself to become effective in expressing stated principles and achieving stated goals. A practice of management consultation in which the consultant assists the client management group to initiate and sustain a process of change and continuous learning for systemic improvement.
II. THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
Programming Levels for Capacity Assessment
UNDP's programming strategy is a logical and natural framework for the design of a capacity assessment strategies. The programme approach, involving a country strategy, national programmes, programme support documents, and specific programme implementation arrangements provides the practical framework within which capacity assessment methodologies can be applied and practical results achieved.
However, the Programme Approach assumes that each country would have a capacity development policy framework and strategy. That the strategy would identify priority areas for capacity development in all sectors and at all levels, in government as well as in civil society and the private sector, relating directly to the implementation of the national development programmes. It also assumes the ability to identify areas in which capacity is unlikely to be sustainable and in which the country might continue to buy capacity from abroad, rather than making major capacity development investments that might be unsustainable, and so on. These are fundamental assumptions that in many, if not most situations, does not prove to be true. However, an analysis of the "current status" of national goals, priories and strategies is a necessary capacity assessment beginning.
Table 1 presents a modified UNDP programming cycle (excludes External Resources Mobilization and UN Country Strategy levels) and five (5) analytical dimensions. These assessment levels and information dimensions will provide important base line data. In essence, it is argued that once the Programme Approach (including capacity assessments) is fully implemented, capacity development would be an integral and central part of the UNDP's role in support of the country's national programme(s).
Capacity development should always starts with an assessment of the current situation. The nature of the assessment required will vary from situation to situation. In many cases the situation will be relatively well known in general, if not in specifics. In some cases an informal, rapid assessment might meet the requirements of a relatively minor investment in capacity development. For any significant investment in capacity development, however, a formal assessment that meet certain criteria would be indicated. The purposes of a capacity assessment are:
- To assess whether national development goals, priorities and strategies have been defined and which societal capacities are required.
- To define what capacities are in existence, where, in what quantity, what strengths, weaknesses and identify any important gaps;
TABLE 1: Levels for Capacity Assessment and Development in the Programming Approach
- To assess how adequate and appropriate the capacities are to a given task, function or objective and to define weaknesses, deficits and gaps and quantify these by type, as far as possible;
- To suggest capacity targets that must be met for a stated task, function or objective to be pursued effectively; and
- To recommend capacity development strategies, policies and programmes to meet the identified capacity requirements.
National Goal(s), the Programme Approach and Beneficiaries
Figure 1 is a systematic view of national goal(s), the programme approach, and the importance of the beneficiaries. Briefly, national goals are goals that are inclusive not simply those of the government. Other sectors, civil society and the private, are included. The beneficiaries are viewed as the most important stakeholder in the system and the government, civil society and the private sector are providing necessary and desired services. Therefore, beneficiaries involvement is advocated and should be maximized.
All elements of the system function within an enabling environment comprising of the following:
- Social values & culture,
- Rules & Procedures (governance),
- Information & Knowledge,
- Political & Social Structure. and
- Economic & Markets
The role of the various institutions and organizations, within the system, is to provide efficient and effective service to the beneficiaries and, therefore, achieve the desired national goal. Figure 1 identifies the various elements that may require a capacity assessment i.e. the statue of the enabling environment and the role of national goal(s), priorities and strategies and the operational and administrative capacity of the various institutions and organizations.
The Harvard Framework
Harvard University, under contract with UNDP, designed an analytical framework composed of five dimensions, and correspondingly, five levels of analysis, that affect capacity and capacity building interventions. It is argued that organizations do not exist in a vacuum, they are embedded in complex environments that affect their ability to carry out tasks effectively and efficiently. These Guidelines follow The Harvard Framework with approp-riate modifications.
FIGURE 1: An Institutional Systematic View of National Goal and the Programme Approach
The framework is designed to be a tool for decision-makers and managers. It can be used to assess constraints, capacity gaps, and opportunities and also as the basis for developing intervention strategies to build more effective capacity. The assessment can be focused on any level --contextual, institutional, inter-organizational, organizational, or individual. The Five Dimensions are described below and schematically presented in Figure 2:
1. The Action Environment -- The economic, social, and political milieu in which organizations attempt to carry out their activities and the extent to which conditions in the action environment facilitate or constrain performance. Within this dimension, a broad set of factors must be considered regarding their impact on the ability to carry out particular tasks at the organizational level such as the following:
a. Broad Economic Factors -- the level and growth rate of GNP, conditions in international markets for commodities and capital, conditions in the labor market, the level of development of the private sector, and the nature and extent of development assistance impinge on virtually all activities carried out by government.
b. Political Factors -- task performance is affected by factors e.g. the degree of leadership support it has, the extent to which civic society is mobilized politically, the degree to which the government enjoys widespread legitimacy or faces significant threats to its stability, and the nature and development of political institutions such as political parties, elections, representative institutions, and interest groups.
c. Social Factors -- the level of human resource development, the degree of tolerance and tension among social groups, the extent of social mobilization and needs, the development of non-governmental organizations, and the degree of participation in economic, social, and political life at national, regional, and local levels.
d. SHD Priority Areas -- Assessment of the conditions of the most vulnerable and excluded people in the country. This relates to the above factors but is more focused and relevant to UNDP's mission.
2. The Public Sector Institutional Context -- A second dimension of capacity is the institutional environment within the public sector that facilitates or constrains organizational activities and affects their performance and the performance of other sectors (private, NGO and CO). This dimension of capacity includes the following:
a. The laws and regulations affecting the civil service and the operation of government i.e. hiring, promotion, and remuneration policies, general operating procedures, and standards of performance.
FIGURE 2: Dimensions of Capacity
b. The financial and budgetary support that allows organization to carry out particular tasks.
c. The policies in effect that constrain or hinder the achievement of particular development tasks for example the encouragement and enhancement of national participation (the private sector and the involvement of the NGO's and other civil organizations).
d. Also, the laws and regulations defining responsibilities and power relationships among organizations as well as the informal power relationships that often mean that some ministries or agencies are more able to acquire resources than others or to influence policy more effectively than others.
3. The Task Network--The coordinated activities of several organizations that are required to accomplish tasks. Organization are not created and endowed equally. For example they have different bureaucratic support, influence, forecasting ability, input control, access to technologies, etc.. The interactions of organizations within this network can facilitate or constrain performance. This factor is not restricted to the Public Sector, an assessment of the Private Sector, NGO's and other Civil Organizations should be included.
a. Primary organizations--Those organizations that are more central to the accomplishment of a given task that others or that are more effective carrying it out that other.
b. Secondary organizations -- these may have a less central role in accomplishing the task but are nevertheless essential to it.
c. Supporting organizations--provide services that enables a task to be performed, such as institutes that provide specialized training or those that provide communications or computer services, etc.
d. The nature of institutional linkage and coordination can help determine influence, role and endowment.
How these networks function and the nature of formal and informal interactions among them are important aspects of performance for particular
tasks. Organizations within a task network can be public or private and can represent diverse levels of government, and belong to several task networks.
NOTE -- The remaining dimensions relate to both the Strategic and Operational/Administrative levels. Strategic in terms of policy initiatives and guidelines; Operational/Administrative in terms of policy interpretation and implementation.
4. Organizations -- The fourth and fifth dimensions of capacity are the organization and the human resource based the organization has to work with are closely intertwined. The fourth, organizations, focuses on organizational structures, processes, resources, and management styles that affect how individual talents and skills are used to accomplish particular tasks. This is an important dimension because organizations:
a. Establish goals, structure work, define authority relations, and provide incentives and disincentives that shape the behavior.
b. Define and encourage management practices that increase or decrease the productivity of officials and component units.
c. Provide the environment within which officials are able or unable to develop their skills and careers and the physical resources that enable or deter people from carrying out their duties.
d. Provide formal and informal forms of communications and behavior that facilitate or obstruct effective action.
e. Distribute scarce resources
5. Human Resources -- This dimension relates to the training, recruitment, utilization, and retention of managerial, professional, and technical talent that contribute to task performance at the organizational level.
a. The focus is on the training and recruitment of skilled personnel to fill middle and upper level positions.
b. Training means higher and specialized professional education required for particular roles, as well as in-service training activities required for the performance of role specific activities.
c. Recruitment refers to the process of locating and attracting skilled individuals for critical public sector positions. Also, this dimension focuses on how talents are used within organization -- how well positions and responsibilities are matched with skills.
III. HOW TO OPERATIONALIZE THE FRAMEWORK
Section Two provided a conceptual framework for the integration of capacity assessment methodologies into the programming cycle, the importance of an systematic approach to identify national goals, priorities and strategies and the "capacity assessment framework" that provides realistic "baseline" data of the current state of affairs. This section will present and discuss ways of "How To" operationalize the framework.
Programme Cycle Levels
The programme cycle levels are Country Strategy, National Programmes, External Resource Mobilization Framework, UN Country Strategy Note or Programme Framework, Programme Support Document (PSD), Programme Support Implementation Arrangements, and National Execution (NEX). These levels are further delineated into two assessment categories (i) Country-Oriented Assessments and (ii) Donor-Oriented Assessments. Country-Oriented Assessments are -- Country Strategy, National Programme, Programme Support, Management and Implementation (NEX); and the two Donor-Oriented assessments are -- External Resource Mobilization and UN Country Strategy.
The country-oriented level is conducive to rational assessment methodologies, from "quick assessment" to fairly rigorous comprehensive assessments. The Donor-Oriented level is more difficult due to the elusiveness of conceptual clarity, donor motivation, donor leadership and personalities, resource leverage, and so forth. An assessment, at this level, would require political science methodologies premised on power/influence theory. While interesting it is felt that the utility of a fairly rigorous capacity assessment, at this level, is not practical. This is not to negate the importance of the donor-oriented level but to argue that the assessment methods, skills and resources would be difficult to acquire, justify and sustain.
The country-oriented level is further delineated into two broad categories; (i) Strategic, and (ii) Administrative/Operational. The scope of capacity assessment can vary from narrowly focused too comprehensive. The comprehensives of an assessment relates to many factors such as: assessment resources (time, funds, staff,) assessment rigor (primary and secondary data sources, data collection, data reliability and validity).
It is noteworthy that the more comprehensive, the more resources needed and the less rigorous; the more focused the fewer resources needed and the more rigorous. However, the more comprehensive the more likelihood causative factors will have been assessed. The more focused the more chance causative factors were not assessed. Likewise, the feasibility and relevancy of the "comprehensive" assessment is questionable. In determining a capacity assessment strategy one should be cognizant of the assessment focus and the potential "gaps" to make informed "trade-offs".
Sustainable Capacity and The "Ownership" Process
Ownership, Partnership, Programme Approach, and National Execution are interrelated concepts which promote sustainability. Each concept articulates a process not a specific product.
The best way to achieve sustainable systemic change is to involve individuals and/or organizations in the redesign of the system and their roles in it. An immediate benefit for this organizational learning process is the infusion of local understanding, experience and sensitivity. The ownership process means the involvement of those who understand the context and must live with the change, therefore, they should be responsible for its design, implementation and evaluation.
The UNDP document "Systemic Improvement of Public Sector Management: Process Consultation" presents an approach for achieving "ownership". In brief Process Consultation requires top management support for the suspension of bureaucratic command compliance behavior in favor of organizational learning. It is argued that:
"The role of the consultant is not that of a typical business consultant or technical expert, who analyses the client's situation and prescribes his or her recommended course of action. It is, instead, to engage the client group in the.....implementation of its own organizational learning process. The consultant plays a temporary leadership role in facilitating a sequence of meetings to provide proposals for redesign and change. Key managers take responsibility for designing and managing the process of change -- developing their own capabilities by drawing on the expertise of the consultant....."
The results of the Ownership Process are that Key Actors:
- will have clear understanding of the tasks and obligations incurred;
- will have clear understanding and acceptance of role of consultant;
- will sees consultant's service role as valuable;
- will accepts responsibility for task and meeting own obligations;
- will sees task as properly his/her own;
- will takes active role in design of work plan;
- will shows commitment by devoting resources & assigning priority;
- will wants and uses the output of the task;
- will have an essential understanding of the context;
- as designers will take responsibility for making changes work well;
- will understand the rationale for the design;
- being party to compromises enhances efforts to make things work.
The ownership concept is at the heart of "process consultation". The central task of the process consultant is to secure the participant's ownership of the responsibility for doing what needs to be done.
Obviously, of equal importance, is "ownership" of the capacity assessment process since an assessment, becomes the baseline for a strategy, which becomes a target, project and/or programme. Therefore, the design, implementation and utilization of a capacity assessment, to be sustainable, must include and advocate an ownership process.
Country-Oriented Programming Level & Process Consultation
The country-oriented programming functions is the focus of these capacity assessment guidelines, first the Strategic and later the Operational level. Likewise, "Ownership" by the nation and/or those accountable to the nation is the process vehicle through which the capacity assessment is conducted. The following presentation format will be used: purpose, scope, applying the framework and data collection. The objective is to be informative not proscriptive, therefore, the capacity assessment methodology be viewed as an informed guide.
STRATEGIC LEVEL ASSESSMENT -- Country Strategy and National Programme Levels
The primary mandate of UNDP is to support the building of national capacity for self-reliant development. Specifically, this means to promote self-reliance in developing countries in terms of the managerial, technical,
administrative, and research capabilities required to formulate, implement and manage development plans and policies.
There is the need for an analytical framework to assess the status of national capacity which is clear and operational. An analytical framework for measuring institutional capacity to perform valued functions and to determine an institution's own policies, need, and relationships. The framework should describes how to undertake diagnostic work to acquire data and insight.
A diagnostic Strategic Level Capacity Assessment is proposed as the point of departure. The goal is to provide the basis for designing programmes/projects intended to achieve the required and feasible adjustments.
The Strategic Level Assessment focus is on decision-making and institutional relationships in the government and its effects on the bureaucracy and other sectors (private, NGO and COS's).
This approach, while institutionally based, focuses it's analytical attention on both external and internal factors. In essence it is concerned about public sector institutions, their systems resources, internal operations, external relations and impact, including impact on the private sector and NGO's. While the framework was designed to be generic; that is, to be applicable to institutions across the spectrums of size, locale, level, and function, institutional analysis always must be bound to context.
Applying the Framework
Using the Harvard Framework described in Section II as the guide the following are proposed ways and means to conduct the assessment.
The Harvard Framework is inadequate unless careful consideration is given to its application. There are various application modalities from the single consultant one shot approach, to broad base participation through focused workshops. Since "National Ownership" is an important goal, we recommend the Capacity Assessment Framework be applied through the Process Consultation (see page 15) and the strategic planning/management approach described below.
The strategic planning and management approach is critical for an effective strategic level capacity assessment. This approach assists developing country managers with the implementation of policies by looking at the changes in the internal and external environment that they must confront. The strategic approach consists of four main elements:
1. It is oriented toward the future. It recognizes that the environment will change. It is a long range orientation, one that tries to anticipate events rather than react as they occur. The manager asks where the organization wants to be after a certain period, what it will need to get there, and how to develop the means to get there, and finally, how to manage those strategies to achieve the organization's goals and objectives. It is recognized that the future cannot be controlled, but argues that by anticipating the future, organizations can help to shape and modify the impact of environmental change.
2. It has an external emphasis. It takes into account several external environment components e.g. technology, politics, economics and the social dimension. Strategic thinking recognizes that each of these can either constrain or facilitate on organization as it seeks to implement policy. Politics will determine the policies that are to be implemented, economics will determine the organization's level of resources, and social factors might well determine who the organization's beneficiaries will be. Strategic thinking recognizes and takes into account politics and authority. Managers are not free to do anything they decide. Managers must be sensitive to the needs and respond to demands on constituents over whom they have little or no control.
3. It concentrates on assuring a good fit between the environment and the organization and attempts to anticipate what will be required to assure a continued fit. Under conditions of rapid political economic and social change, strategies can quickly become outmoded or no longer serve useful purposes; or the resources traditionally required by the organization to produce its goods and services may suddenly become unavailable. The strategic approach recognizes that to maintain a close fit with the environment, the different elements of the organization will need to be continuously reassessed and modified.
4. Finally, the strategic approach is a process. It is continuous and recognizes the need to be open to changing goals and activities related to shifting circumstances. It requires monitoring and review mechan-isms capable of feeding information to manager continuously.
The Harvard Framework describes a broad set of factors that affect organizational capacity. These range across five dimensions of analysis, from the characteristics of individual public officials to those of the economic, political, and social context within which these individuals carry out their activities. Each of the five dimensions of capacity is important in explaining performance. However, the framework presents a daunting array of possibilities for action to support capacity development. Under most conditions, it is not feasible for capacity building interventions to attack constraints at all levels. Given limited resources, a series of questions must be asked:
- What should be the priorities for capacity building action and investment of time, resources, and energy? What is Feasible?
- Where should specific capacity building interventions focus?
- Under what conditions will focused interventions at particular levels lead to improvements in the ability to perform development tasks?
- Under what conditions will these interventions be fruitless?
The Strategic Level Capacity Assessment should attempt to acquire commitment at the highest relevant level to ensure ownership by all concerned. Accordingly, a participatory process involving both senior and mid-level government officials and important private sector and NGO leaders for programme preparation creates opportunities for full understanding and shaping of the objectives and activities. The logical starting point for a participatory process bound for ownership is the engagement of mid-level actors in diagnostic or capacity assessment activities. This allows mid-level and rank and file actors to be mobilized for the collection and analysis of information that pertains to the environment to be targeted by a programme/project. In summary, clear "ownership" activities are critical at this stage -- in essence the stakeholders must be involved. Some fundamental steps follows (the questions presented are not ment to be exhaustive:
Step One: Agreement on the process -- the first step is to get agreement, not only to carry out the process, but to get agreement on how and when and by whom it will be carried out. Since the process should not be a one-shot exercise, commitment is vital; without commitment, the exercise will be sterile and likely regarded as a waste of time.
- Who should be included in the process? At least three different types of individuals should be considered for inclusion; the organization's top decision-maker and those officials who will have direct responsibility in implementation of policy; those who have a major stake in the outcome of the policy, whether from within or outside the organization, whether supportive or in opposition, clients or resource suppliers; and those with specialized knowledge that can add to the analysis of the policy to be decided or implemented.
- How should the process be initiated? First, agreement to carry out and commitment to the process of a fairly rigorous capacity assessment must be obtained from one or more of the organization's key decision makers. Once such agreement and commitment are accomplished, then decisions about what should be considered and who should be involved can be addressed. If issues are complex and there is a need to involve a relatively wide spectrum of actors and stakeholders, then workshops might be considered. If the issues are less complex or fewer actors need to be involved, then direct consultations or small group arrangements might prove more efficient.
Step Two: Identification and Clarification of the national and/or Organization's Mission, Objectives and Current Strategies -- the first task is to determine what and where the institution/organization is.
- What are the needs the organization attempts to satisfy, whose needs are they and what is the value of satisfying those needs
- Who are the people that compose the organization, what are their values, and what needs does the organization satisfy for them?
- What are the objectives of the organization and how well do they mesh with the needs and demands of clients, stakeholders and constituents? What strategies does the organization employ to achieve the objectives it has set for itself? Is the organization being asked to make fundamental changes in what it does, or in the kinds of clients it benefits? If so, what are those changes?
- How does the organization relate to UNDP's focus areas? Does it have a strategy? What is its knowledge base? Are any of these targets a concern of the organization? Who provides leadership?
- Clarification of the mission, objectives, and strategies is fund-amental to initiation of the strategic process. Where the organization is, what it does and how it goes about its business.
Step Three: Assessment of Threats & Opportunities in the External Environment:
- Political, economic, social, and technological changes will influence the direction and shape of an organization's policies and objectives. What are the major trends in each of these areas that will have some bearing on the activities of the organization?
- How might macro-economic measures being instituted affect the financial resources of the organization?
- What is the political support for the policy under consideration?
- How politically stable is the current regime? Is policy leader-ship about to change? Will key officials be changed and what will that mean to the implementation of the change? Have the government's primary political coalitions begun to change? Does this signify impending changes in policy priorities? How effective is the political opposition?
- What role do international forces play in the determination of policy? To what extent has the social composition of the organ-ization's primary clientele group changed? Has it outgrown available resources? Has it needs changed over the years?
- An important factor in the organization's external environment is its bureaucratic and institutional setting. Is the organization autonomous? Is it linked to a ministry, or must it coordinate its actions with other entities, how?
- Are other organizations involved in the same activity, what are their roles? Are there incentives for cooperation?
Step Four: Identification of the Internal Strengths and Weaknesses--the organization's resource base (skill, financial resources, etc.)
- Does the organization have the capacity to achieve its stated objectives or to put into motion its strategies?
- What are the levels of internal resources possessed by the organization? How available are they?
- Analysis of resources by itself is not sufficient, the organization must also assess its task performance. What tasks does it do well, which does it not?
- One should not automatically make the assumption that idle capacity should be dispensed with.
- What is the nature of the organizational climate?
- What is the nature and flexibility of the organizational structure?
- Is there an informal structure how does it work ?
- What is the nature of the incentive structure is it designed to encourage innovative behavior, can it recruit and maintain a sufficiently high level of personnel? Which elements facilitate and which impede performance of the organization's tasks and which might facilitate or impede organizational change?
Step Five: Identification of Key Constituents and Stakeholders, their Expectations and Resources -- The expectations and demands of constituents are key ingredients for decisions about what an organization will do and how it goes about carrying out its tasks.
- What do these particular groups want from the organization?
- Are they satisfied with the services and level of performance?
- Are their interests shifting? In which direction? And if so, will the organization be able to react favorably?
Step Six: Identification of Key Strategic Issues -- The information generated by the preceding steps should identify a set of fundamental questions or key problems regarding the fit of the organization with its environment. Strategic issues are the problems that must be dealt with effectively or the organization can expect undesirable results.
- Care must be taken in specifying exactly what the problem or issue is, why it is a problem for the organization, and the organizational consequences of inaction.
- Can the organization do anything about the problem?
- Problems should be identified as short, medium or long-run and the urgency of action needed.
Step Seven: Design, Analysis, and Selection of Strategy Alternatives and Options to Manage Issues Identified in Step 6 -- Once issues and problems have been identified, strategies to solve those problems need to be identified. Generally, more than one option for dealing with the problem will be identified; then options must be examined for their comparative viability, feasibility and desirability.
- Is the strategy practically and theoretically workable?
- Is the organization capable of carrying out the strategy?
- Is it acceptable to those carrying it out and to those targeted?
- Does the organization have the human and material resources, does it have the know-how necessary, and is the appropriate organizational structure available for implementing the strategy?
- Can the strategy be sustained, and can it adapt to the projected changes in the environment? Is flexibility built into the strategy? Can the necessary resource base be sustained?
- How well will the strategy adjust to forecast trends in the medium and in the long term?
- How will key stakeholders be affected, how compatible is the strategy with their values and expectations?
NOTE -- Step eight and nine relate more to Operational Assessment activities, particularly the PSD, PSIA and NEX. These steps are included here to demonstrate continuity.
Step Eight: Implementation of the Strategy -- Two major parts are:
- The development of an action plan, including performance goals and objectives.
- Actions aimed at marshaling and applying resources to affect the desired change.
Step Nine: Monitoring and Review of Performance -- Strategic management assumes continual change. Therefore mechanisms must be developed for monitoring and analyzing the performance of the organization according to the action plan.
- The monitoring process should be continuous, regular, and capable of feeding into the decision-making process.
- It is vital that the monitoring process be timely and usable.
Data Collection **NOTE -- Think about giving two data collection options (i) rapid and, (ii) comprehensive
The information gathering methods, strategies include the following:
1. Interviewing Key Informants: The best method to collect primary source data is the interviewing of key informants (high-level officials, their counterparts in organizations with which it interacts, managerial, professional, and technical personnel, persons in charge of personnel planning, recruitment, and training; clients and other stakeholders; and officials of donor agencies through focused discussions). A questionnaire should be designed with the possibilities for open-ended inquiry and for probing issues of particular importance. The interviews should be relatively focused, in-depth discussions aimed at eliciting specific information as well as perceptions and interpretations of the situation. The ability to identify and gain access to key informants and to extract accurate information from them are intuitive processes that require investigator skill and sensitivity.
2. Documentary Research: Review of documentation: Internal institution reports, correspondence, organization and staffing charts, personnel records, administrative reports, contracts and agreements, transaction records, information system outputs, and other files. Planning documents, needs assessments, monitoring and evaluation reports, budgets, and financial and accounting records are useful. External public relations documents are useful although they tend to lack details. Information represented in institutional record keeping is likely to some effect on decision making. Documents are easily reviewed and are a valuable source before and after interviews.
3. Group Interviews: Talking to staff or other stakeholders of an institution in groups provides an opportunity to elicit information or check impressions gained by other means. Group process can take advantage of interactions within the group to stimulate participants and generate new material. There are also some culturally based and psychological shortcoming to group interviews. Some cultures as well as some individuals do not discuss issues in public.
4. Observation: Observation can expose information not otherwise obtained or validate information gained by other means. Observation of physical assets of an institution is a way to assess an institution's stock (for example, inventory, equipment, facilities, and so forth). Observation of the behavior of staff is much more difficult, especially if the time available is short, but can provide important insights.
The following are some specialized data collections techniques. See Appendix 1 "Organizational Change" for a more detailed review.
5. Political Mapping: It has been said that politics is the art of determining who gets what, where, and when. It has also been said that there is no such thing as a free lunch. These two ideas are critical to understanding political analysis and how to use it effectively.
6. Force Field Analysis: This is another, rather convenient technique to illustrate support and opposition to a particular policy
7. Stakeholder Analysis: The recognition of the key role played by stakeholders in the determination of policy and its implementation has made stakeholder analysis a vital tool for planners and managers.
ADMINISTRATIVE/OPERATIONAL ASSESSMENT -- Programme Support (PSD/PSIA) & the Management--Implementation (National Execution) Level
The purpose of the Operational/Administrative Capacity Assessment is to provide UNDP staff, government officials and relevant others (private sector & NGO's) with a transparent organizational development and management capacity assessment that identifies strengths and shortcomings (an organizational profile) and provides baseline data for a management capacity development strategy.
UNDP has taken the initiative to correct some of the faulty assumptions of earlier eras. Specifically, National Execution and the Programme Approach alerted the development partners to the importance of sustainable development planning, management and implementation issues.
Implementing the programme approach ultimately requires a clear and logical Programme Support Document (PSD) that targets UNDP's contribution to a National Programme. The main emphasis is on the development objective, how to attain it in a measurable way, and how to sustain it's impact. The PSD requires the identification of Capacity Building Targets in measurable terms and requires the preparation of annual Programme Support Implementation Arrangements (PSIA) documents which specify the details of implementation. Both the PSD and PSIA place considerable emphasis on measurability. This entails baseline surveys, benchmarks, progress and success indicators, without which it is not possible to judge either effectiveness or impact. The importance of establishing and tracking such measures cannot be overemphasized and is at the heart of any monitoring and evaluation system.
Programme implementation management is a key factor. Therefore, the assessment of management capacity is correspondingly critical at the PSD stage. Two fundamental issues must be addressed at the PSD/PSIA level: (i) capacity building targets, and (ii) management and implementation capacity. Capacity assessment tools (methodologies) are, obviously, necessary.
The fourth and fifth dimension of the Harvard Assessment Framework, Organizations and Human Resources (refer to Section II), are important in conducting an Operational/Administrative capacity assessment. The primary focus of a this assessment is the UNDP's programme support documentation (PSD/PSIA) and the management arrangements preferably under National Execution (NEX). These documents require specific programming details that can be monitored and evaluated. Obviously, there is an overlap between the Strategic and Operational assessments, however the Operational level will focus more on resources (human, physical and financial) in assessing the organizational development and management activities and tasks needed for successful programme implementation and monitoring.
By nature an Operational/Administrative Assessment should be feasible and highly focused. It is focused on the UNDP's policy and documentation needs. The output is a UNDP project/programme document.
Applying the Framework
Management capacity building is a fundamental strategy for sustain-able development. Without an acceptable managerial capacity base or a willingness to improve there cannot be efficient and effective execution or implementation. Therefore, an assessment of the current organizational development and management situation must be made. The assessment should be followed by : negotiations for and the design of a management capacity development strategy and plan for inclusion in the PSD/PSIA.
Once potential organizations, for execution and implementation, have been identified an assessment of their technical and administrative capabilities should take place considering the demands of the proposed programmes/projects and the requirements of UNDP. To make this assessment, formulators will have to visit the organizations that have been identified and acquire relevant organizational information related to the tasks and activities of executing and implementing a UNDP programme/project.
The major assessment categories for a Operational Capability Assess-ment follow:
- Purpose of the organization
- Functions the organization performs
- The Structure of the organization
- Systems used
- Staff level, qualifications and Morale
- Recurrent operating budget
- UNDP focus area relevance
- Ownership commitment
II. Planning Capability (resources and systems)
III. Input Mobilization Capability (resources and systems)
IV. Implementation Capabilities
- The organization's "deliverable" or output
- Other services (if any)
V. Financial Management Capability (resources and systems)
VI. Monitoring and Evaluation Capability (resources and systems)
These factors are the ones amenable to change through an institution building project. The efforts required to change these factors translate into the project's outputs, activities and inputs. It is therefore important to correctly establish the current state of these variables before designing the project's components. The components relate to the key management systems. This narrowly focused capacity assessment can easily identify strengths and shortcomings.
The Capacity Assessment should be divided into three phases:
Phase I -- Identify and delineate the organizations to be assessed. Such information can be acquired form programme/project formulator. It is advisable to prioritize the organizations into two levels
(i) Critical Organizations and,
(ii) Target Organizations (potential organizations that could enhance the implementation process).
Phase II -- Conduct a fairly rigorous capacity assessment using the Capacity Assessment Guide to systematically acquire relevant data. A team of national assessors should modify "The Capacity Assessment Guide" specifically for their context and conduct the assessment.
Lastly, Phase III -- Analyze the data, place it into a format (written or computer data base) which would produce an Organization Profile and make the assessment. The data analysis will produce salient issues, themes and identify capacity "gaps".
The assessment will provide information about an organization's ability to carry out
common implementation activities such as:
(i) Project Management (i.e. establishing and reviewing work plans, project start-up and monitoring missions, on-site project supervision, project trouble-shooting and redesign, etc.)
(ii) Personnel (i.e. preparing reviewing and/or revising terms of reference, identifying and/or short listing consultants and experts, negotiating and administering contracts, reviewing progress reports, etc.)
(iii) Contracts for Services and Works (i.e. preparing, reviewing and revising terms of reference, processing contracts, services offered include: pre-qualification and short listing; calling for tenders and evaluating bids; contract preparation and monitoring, etc.)
(iv) Procurement of Equipment and Materials (i.e. preparing equip-ment specifications, processing contracts, identifying potential suppliers, calling for tenders and evaluating bids, purchasing inspection, shipment, custom clearance & delivery, etc.)
(v) Training (i.e. identifying appropriate programmes and institu-tions, placing and paying stipends to trainees, paying institu-tions, monitoring academic performance, etc.)
(vi) Financial Administration (i.e. accounting services, converting financial statements into different required format, preparing quarterly disbursement requests, audited statements and account closure information for a bank or donor, etc.)
(vii) Reporting (i.e. preparing substantive reports and financial statements for government, banks or donors, preparing annual reports of non-expendable equipment purchased on behalf of the government, preparing annual financial statement of expend-itures incurred in the previous years for a government, bank or donor, etc.)
(viii) Conducting routine monitoring and scheduled evaluations
These activities as well as the organizational structure and physical capacities should be systematically assessed in order to present a Capacity Profile of an organization.
Field and professional experience suggest that the organizations will fall into one of the following four categories:
(i) Organizations that are capable of executing and/or imple-menting a UNDP project with minimal assistance;
(ii) Organizations that by upgrading their management capabilities could meet minimum standards in a short time;
(iii) Organizations with serious shortcomings but change oriented management have demonstrated reform abilities; or
(iv) Organizations that are not capable and would have great difficulties meeting managerial prerequisites or reform.
A questionnaire, based on the assessment categories, is used (with contextual modifications) to collect information. This instrument may be used for public, private and NGO organizations. Interviewing of informants, observation, and review of documents are the major data gathering methods.
This questionnaire is used to collect information from organizations being considered to execute and implement UNDP assisted programmes. The data should be analyzed and used as the basis for an assessment of the organization's capability and appropriateness; and help identify training and other capacity building needs of the organization. The draft assessment report should elicit debate, discussions, further analysis, and eventually a Capacity Development Strategy and Plan to be included in the PSD/PSIA.
Besides establishing a basis for the recommendations on execution and implementation arrangements, the assessment serves a valuable "ownership" function. Participants appreciate the clarification of roles, responsibilities and procedures that occurred during the assessment. The assessment clarifies the advantages of National Execution (greater control over a project) and the disadvantage of additional administrative burdens.
The Assessment Profile: Data Analysis & Presentation
Figure 3 is a matrix that may be useful for presenting the results of the capacity assessment (Strategic and Operational/Administrative). This analysis should serve as a planning and discussion tool.
ADD MORE TEXT HERE
FIGURE 3: ANALYSIS OF INSTITUTIONAL PROFILES
IV. CAPACITY ASSESSMENT, MONITORING & EVALUATION
Monitoring and evaluating capacity development programmes is a complex task due to the possibility of extraneous and intervening variables i.e. recessions, war or natural disasters. Such events are beyond the control of governments and aid agencies and are not readily anticipated in the design of capacity development strategies. M&E is further complicated by its various partners and funding. This makes it even more critical that UNDP have a transparent accountability system.
The M&E function is so critical that an M&E strategy should be integrated into the capacity assessment phase of programme design.
Monitoring, Evaluation and the Programme Approach Entry Levels
Similar to capacity assessment methodologies, the M&E system should relate to the capacity assessment entry levels of the programme approach. As stated, relevant entry levels are: the country strategy, national programming, the programme support, and the management and implementation levels. The Strategic Level should involve an assessment of the in-country stake-holders and their capacity to design and implement a sustainable M&E strategy. The downstream level would be concerned with the operational components and the clarification of capacity development targets.
Strategic Monitoring and Evaluation Assessment -- At this level the primary concerns are (i) who will do the monitoring and evaluating and, (ii) what is their capacity to implement and sustain this function. The Capacity Development Guidelines stated that:
"The priority with regard to M&E is to strengthen the capacities of the national partners/stakeholders for monitoring and evaluating their national development programmes...."
Regarding "ownership" of the M&E system the Guidelines observed that:
"The development of targets and indicators must be done by the principal actors themselves in full cognizance of the specificity's of their situation. They must have full ownership of these targets and have realistic confidence in reaching them. Unless the targets reflect real commitments on the part of the national principals and the monitoring and evaluation processes are designed to fit the realities of the local situation, capacities and resources, the monitoring and evaluation system will not work.... "
Operational/Administrative Monitoring and Evaluation Assessment -- this level would assess (i) the operational components (management) of the M&E system and, (ii) the evaluability of the capacity development targets articulated in the PSD and PSIA. Clarification should be made of "process" vs. "product" activities and results. The Guidelines argued that:
"Capacity development for SHD is not so much a matter of what? but of how? and who? and why? It is an approach, a way of doing development that is different...Priority is on the process, not the product, which will be realized if the process is right......."
Monitoring and Evaluating a "process" is different from a "product" this must be clear to the major actors and appropriate indicators and benchmarks agreed upon.
Elements to be considered in the assessment of the Programme Support Document and the Programme Support Implementation Arrangements:
- The baseline data, benchmarks and indicators of success;
- Identified data needs;
- The monitoring system (consultative and reporting mechanisms);
- The current human resources capacities;
- The current hardware and software facilities; and
- The technical cooperation needs in monitoring and evaluation.
Later the Guidelines continues that:
"The process of ensuring appropriate M&E starts at the design stage of programmes and activities with the development of realistic targets and specific indicators for them...A serious danger will be to identify easily measured targets and indicators and to resort to linear quantitative measurements. This in turn will lead to setting narrow objectives that inhibit holistic processes......"
In summary, the M&E strategy and system should be assessed relative to the country-oriented assessment entry levels. Strategic factors and activities are more broadly focused (i.e. identification and involvement of critical stakeholders, and articulation of a M&E strategy). Operational func-tions and activities are more operationally focused (i.e. management of the system and the evaluability of the PSD/PSIA capacity development targets).
Monitoring and Evaluating What?
What does the organization produce? Implementation of the pro-gramme means the production of something. This something can be called a "deliverable", typical deliverables are:
- Documents -- plan documents, investment programmes, econ-omic reviews, newsletters, statistical reports, white papers
- Products -- equipment, software, consumables
- Services -- inoculations performed, credit provided, licenses issued, revenue collected, roads maintained, persons trained
- Advice -- policy advice, public appearances, programme negotiations
The PSD and, more specifically, the PSIA should clearly specify the deliverables (Capacity Development Target) in qualitative and/or quant-itative terms. In turn, the M&E system should provide the information and the means to address issues relating to:
- Continued relevance in an evolving environment;
- Managerial concerns;
- Appropriate allocation of resources;
- Capacity development results;
- Impact on UNDP's areas of concentration, and
Assessment of Measuring Deliverables
Implementation assumes continual change therefore mechanisms must be developed for monitoring and analyzing the performance of the organiz-ation with respect to achieving desired goals and objectives. As the environ-ment changes, ministers change, elections occur, budgets go up or down, priorities also change. These elements can alter performance, priorities, and the desirability of certain policies. To maintain a good fit with the environ-ment an organization must be able to track these changes in order to adjust.
The monitoring process should be continuous, regular, and capable of feeding into decision-making. Managers should develop control mechanisms to gauge the efficiency of resources used and impact mechanisms to gauge the effectiveness of its actions. "What" and "how well" the implementation process is implementing should be known. Deliverables should have clearly specified targets in terms of quantity, frequency or quality, so that the impact can be measured. Therefore, thought should be given to the means by which these targets will be measured. Some capacity development targets are more easy to measure than others. Changes in quantity or in frequency are straightforward to measure, and can be represented either as net changes or as percentage changes. Changes in quality is quite difficult.
Guiding Principles for Developing a Monitoring and Evaluation System in the Context of the Programme Approach
The UNDP/OESP publication "UNDP Evaluation Findings in 1994" includes a section on "Emerging Directions for M&E Application". In the context of the national programme and the programme approach, the guiding principles articulate the following five major areas for M&E:
1. Common Utilization by Countries and UN Organizations;
2. Management of M&E as a National Responsibility;
3. Incorporating M&E into Programme Formulation;
4. Establishing National M&E Capacity; and
5. Focusing M&E to UN System Contributions.
The above categories should be considered as the broad framework for an assessment of the national monitoring and evaluation strategy and/or system. There are a variety of subsets of information and data available for each category. The integration of the above into the programme approach entry points could systematically meet the requirements of the national programme ownership process and donor accountability needs.
APPENDIX 1: ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE
(Excerpts taken from "Hip Pocket Guide to Planning & Evaluation" D. Craig, 1978; and "Management and the Environment for Implementation of Policy Change" MSI for USAID, 1992)
Initiating Organizational Change
Planning on paper is one thing. It's quite another to actually implement a plan within an organization. Introducing any new plan is likely to mean that something will have to change -- from the routines of an individual to the functioning of the entire organization -- and change, for most is not always easy to accept. As a planner trying to behave rationally the experience of implementing change is trying at best. Therefore, it is better to do rational implementation planning than to assume the "logic and rationality" of the plan is self-evident. This section concludes some ideas to help one think about the overall problem of introducing a carefully designed plan into the organization. Some steps one might use follow:
a. Analyze the organization's capacity for change and various attitudes toward change;
b. Think about the process of change as it typically occurs;
c. Based on the analysis of the organization's capacity for change and the organizational change process, anticipate what problems might occur in introducing the plan; and
d. Prepare a realistic change strategy.
Analyze the Organization's Capacity for Change and the Change Agent(s) Attitude Toward Change
The change agents should assess their beliefs and typical responses to change. Following are two useful checklists;
Beliefs About Change
Do you believe the following statements are true, sometimes true, or false?
1. People tend to resist change.
2. Only large or momentous changes are worthwhile.
3. Nothing can be changed overnight.
4. Change means improvement.
5. Change brings hardships for some.
6. Change brings reward for the instigators.
7. No change is possible in a bureaucracy.
8. Technological change should be slowed.
9. Change usually comes by chance.
10. People can adapt to any change.
This exercise should get one thinking about change attitude and the change agents role. If you answered "true" to questions 2, 4, 6, and 10, it may indicate a need to be a little more realistic. If you answered "true" to question 7 and 8, this may indicate a pessimistic attitude that may make it hard for you to work energetically for change. If you answered "true" to questions 1,3, and 5, it indicates a recognition of the real problems involved in change.
Your Change Quotient
Answer "yes" or "no" to these questions. (You may also want to consider how these questions apply to your supervisor, peers, and subordinates; or you may want to have other staff members rate you with this checklist to see how their ratings compare with your self-rating.)
1. Can you get enthusiastic about problems outside your specialized area?
2. Do you feel the
excitement and challenge of finding a solution to problems in many areas, regardless of whether they are major or minor challenges?
3. When a problem seems to hold little or no interest, do you nevertheless try to develop an interest in the problem's possibilities?
4. Do you know what is expected of you by management?
5. Do you seldom assume limitations and lack of freedom in your work?
6. Do you sometimes set the problem aside temporarily to get a new perspective, without closing your mind to it or giving up?
7. Do you resist "blocking" a project even though you think it trivial and distracting from problems more to you taste?
8. Do you accept the occasional illogic of your mind, recogn-izing that it can lead you to solutions in managing change?
9. Do you carry a notebook to put stray ideas in writing?
10. Do you seek many ideas, rather than becoming satisfied with one or a few?
11. Do you know how to simplify and organize your impressions?
Your quotient is high if you answered "Yes" to at least eight of the eleven questions. Innovators of change need great tenacity of purpose and stubborn resistance to discouragement. They need initiative, curiosity, and the ability to simplify the many reactions and events that occur during a change process.
Some organizations are more open and receptive to change than others. The organizational diagnosis in Figure 1 may help assess an organization's general operating style and what potential blocks to change one might run into. For each question circle the answer that best fits the organization. You may also want to get your supervisor, your co-workers, and your subordinates to try this
FIGURE 1: Characteristics of Management Systems
exercise so that a comparison of perceptions of the organization is possible. A good approach in one organization may be totally inappropriate in another. Here are example change strategies appropriate to each of the four types of organizations shown:
System 1: One would have to make the boss think the new idea is his/her own.
System 2: Time must be spent thoroughly selling the new ideas to the boss.
System 3: The boss expects to be consulted before action.
System 4: Need inputs, during early stages of a project, from all levels of the organization.
The Change Process
One way to visualize the process of change in an organization is to imagine an ice cube melting, turning into water, and then being frozen again into ice. In organizational terms, the process can be seen as three stages: "unfreezing" the existing status quo, "changing" through set of actions, and
"refreezing" into a new stable pattern. Figure 2 illustrates the change process.
There are a number of conditions that tend to indicate whether an organization will accept or reject specific changes.
Conditions for Accepting and Supporting Change
a. When the change will contribute to reaching an important goal, when the individual identifies with the organizational goal.
b. When there is dissatisfaction with the status quo
c. When the change will further the professional or personal interests of the individual.
d. When the change seems "right" because it fits the way things are usually done or when the logic of the situation is overpowering.
e. When the change reflects the group's thinking, especially where conformity seems important or where the individual has helped make a decision and feels obliged to support it.
f. When the change involves small changes in behavior that are actively reinforced.
FIGURE 2: The Change Process
Conditions for Rejecting and Resisting Change
a. When the change endangers organizational goals or security (and the individual identifies with the organization)
b. When the change would endanger the individual's sense of personal security.
c. When the change would violate what the individual fees is an important standard of behavior or performance.
d. When the change is contrary to what the group thinks should be done.
To review the preceding steps to Change an Organization:
a. Characterize the organization as being in one of the following stages: Unfreezing - Changing - Refreezing. This will affect the success of planned change i.e. if the organization has just experienced a major reorganization, this is probably not the time for more innovation.
b. Stimulus -- Reaction Concerns: Where does the impetus for new ideas usually come from? Where does resistance to new ideas usually come from? How do management and staff usually respond to proposed changes? How are new practices usually integrated into the normal work routine?
c. Conditions for Accepting/Resisting Change -- Which conditions exists in the organization under review.
Planned Change Some Assessment Tools
Personal attitudes toward change may produce a number of collective reactions to a given innovation. Group reactions may range along the following scale:
0 Sabotage 4 Indifference 8 Commitment
1 Slowdowns 5 Acceptance
2 Protests 6 Support
3 Apathy 7 Cooperation
Having gained a perspective of the change process, a discussion of three analytical tools that may help design a planned change strategy is presented. The following (i) Force-Field Analysis and, (ii) Political Mapping and (iii) Stakeholder Analysis will be reviewed. Knowing how an organization is likely to react to planned change is obviously important strategic information that may determine success or failure. The following analytical tools are designed to gain insight into this concern.
In some organizations, certain human forces resist the necessary changes by which the unit must adapt to its changing environment. An understanding of these forces can help to top management and/or change agents facilitate the changes they want to bring about.
One of the strongest blocks, unfortunately, can be the attitudes of one or more members of the top-management team toward the prospective change and toward the perceived status quo. The chief executive, for example, may have such a strong emotional stake in the organization's traditional product or service that he refuses to believe that the world no longer needs or wants it as strongly as before. He may not actively resist a movement toward expansion into other areas, but his lack of active support can often spell defeat for the prospective change.
Factionalism within the top management team can also dissipate their resources and weaken the effects of change processes. For example, a very financial comptroller can put the brakes on an aggressive decentralization strategy in many subtle ways.
Many healthy organizations can languish for months or even years while the grim drama of a palace war runs its course. The top management group may split into two warring factions and clients, waiting until they have sufficient strength to force the others out of the ring. A major government agency may stagnate in the face of a rapidly changing environment, while the chief executive and one or two "hatchet men" force a second-level executive out of the organization, usually by a long process of paper work, harassment, and increasing discomfort. Another significant source of emotional blockage is the general population of the organization -- the work force.
Kurt Lewin one of the first researchers to make a systematic study of human behavior in organizations, referred to the human arena as a "force field," wherein the interplay of various pressures either brought about change or kept the organization in the status quo. His notion of "force-field analysis" called for diagramming the major forces operating in an organization, as illustrated by Figure 3. In studying the various ways of bring about change. Lewin identified "helping forces," which act to facilitate the change in question, and "resisting forces," which act to impede the change. This kind of analysis clarifies the major change processes within an organization and suggests approaches managers can use to accelerate a desired change.
This practical view of the human nature of organizations suggests that top managers must do several things to bring about an adaptive change to meet a changing environment. First, they must have a very clear and specific idea of the change they want to bring about. They must clarify the benefits of the proposed change, and they must be prepared to minimize the undesirable impacts the change may have.
FIGURE 3: Force-Field Analysis
Second, they must combine their ideas and energies and concentrate their organizational resources to make the change come about. They must minimize factionalism and counterproductive personal clashes and develop a strong sense of group commitment to a clearly stated goal.
Third, they must gain the general commitment of the work force to the prospective change by whatever means they can. They must be prepared to compromise, to move at a controlled pace, to re-evaluate the objective from time to time, and to develop employee attitudes which will help the change come about.
And fourth, they must keep their collective attention focused on the organizational processes involved in the change and keep doing the necessary things until the change has become acceptable and permanent.
The forces over which the group is perceived as having some control are then ranked in terms of potency and acceptability. Strategies for overcoming the problem are devised and implementation procedures are tentatively designed. A similar analysis is then directed to those forces under someone else's control. An advantage is that it begins the action process at the very same time as the planner is engaged in assessing the problem and possible strategies to overcome it.
Having identified the helping and hindering forces, the next step is to write a short summary of how people will react to the plan. Indicate what problems are anticipated in getting the plan accepted and where these are most likely to come from such as:
2. Other staff
4. Policy makers
Generally, managers and professionals in the public sector are poorly equipped to deal with either political analysis or the formulation of political strategies. When injected into the budget process for the first time many discover that their sector's needs are not automatically met. The rapidly declining levels of budget authority for the more vulnerable sectors such as education and health, attest to their inability to defend themselves against more able, though perhaps less need, competitors for budget resources.
Political Mapping is an analytical technique aimed at developing management skills in designing improved strategies for achieving goals and objectives. These techniques help in assessing the level of competition faced by the public manager, the channels of access to critical decisions, and the possibilities for coalition arrangements to help achieve objectives. The technique can be used on the macro or micro level and if used with force field analysis can provide very a powerful analysis.
Some premises about politics and politicians:
- No government can stand entirely on its own.
- To keep office a government must have the support of key actors.
- Without support, governments do not have authority.
- Without authority, governments cannot implement decisions.
- Support cannot be obtained with cost.
- The offer of support may be used to obtain benefits or increase influence in the government.
Political mapping need not be confined solely to the macro or national level as discussed above. Two other useful techniques are micro-mapping and network mapping. Micro mapping diagrams the relationships between actors at a micro political level, and is especially useful to illustrate relationships among actors in a particular sector. (e.g., health, education, agriculture).
Although a macro political map shows overall support for the government, it does not necessarily reveal support on specific issues. It is possible that though a government has solid overall support, on specific issues there may be massive or particularly intense opposition. A micro political map can clarify the distribution of support for specific issues, indicate how certain sectors will react to particular policies and clarify the positions of different organizations within the same sector.
In effect, politics may be viewed as a transaction in which support is traded for benefits or influence. But the important message here is that support is vital (decisions cannot be implemented without it), there is always a cost to obtain it, and there is generally competition for that support. Looking at politics this way helps one understand which actors are important and provides insight into the factors that affect the capacity of a government to implement decisions.
Two elements that complicate political analysis are the large number of actors present in any given political system and the vast quantity of information about politics available. The purpose of the political map is to organize and reduce the amount of information available regarding politics to a manageable quantity in order to focus on those aspects of the terrain most important to the decisions managers must make. The map organizes and identifies the most important political actors and spatially illustrates their relationships to one another.
The political map, (Figure 4) like the geographical map, has two dimensions: a horizontal (latitudinal) dimension and a vertical (longitudinal)
FIGURE 4: An Illustrative Political Map
dimension. At the center of the map is the government. The primary reason for locating the government at the center is simple because the government is the primary focus of decision making regarding how the benefits of society will be distributed. Political activity is centered on and directed toward influencing the government and its policy decisions.
Along the vertical axis, the different types of political actors are organize into four sectors: external actors, social groups, political parties, and pressure groups. The purpose of the horizontal axis is to assess the degree to which each group supports the government. Support for the government varies from core or central support to ideological or mild support while opposition is differentiated as either legal or anti-system opposition.
A criticism sometimes made regarding political mapping is its lack of dynamism. Unlike the geographical map, changes in the political terrain occur often and sometimes rapidly. Thus, a single political map may be likened to a snapshot -- it is a loyal interpretation of the political system at a particular point in time, but not at another. While it is certainly true that a particular map represents a particular point in time, by combining a series of maps over time, we can begin to appreciate the dynamics of politics. Actors begin to take on movement; we can see how support for the government wanes and wanes; and we can see coalitions take shape and later fall apart.
The major political actors follow:
The Government: The government, or more precisely the head of government, is the single most important political. It is the actor ultimately responsible for deciding between different and/or conflicting alternatives and demands, and the source to which other actors turn when they cannot resolve disputes among themselves.
Social Sector: These consist of large, social groups of individuals that share some general, but loose, characteristic or affinity. Such groups are amorphous and unorganized, with very poor mobilization capacity.
Political Parties: These are groups often composed of several social sectors, whose main objective is to influence public policy through the direct exercise of the instruments of power.
Pressure Groups: Pressure groups are groups of individuals that share a relatively narrow set of interests and that seek to defend or promote such interests by influencing the direction of public policy. But unlike political parties, pressure groups do not seek the direct exercise of the instruments of power and authority.
External Actors: In may regards, these groups are similar to and frequently play a role nearly identical to pressure groups. The primary difference is that such actors are not "natives", their origins are from outside the country. Nevertheless, they seek to influence the direction of public policy in defense or promotion of their own particular interests.
Once actors have been categorized, attention may then be turned to analyzing their support or opposition to the government. Support for the government is broken into two categories: central or core support and moderate or "ideological support". Opposition is also divided into two types: legal or "loyal" opposition and anti-system opposition.
Core Support: Core support is the type most vital to the maintenance if power or the government and the most important to the assurance of power and decisional authority. Groups in this sector are unequivocal in their support for the regime and their interests are the most closely identified with the government's objectives and policies. They tend to be powerful actors such as the major political parties, the military, or major pressure groups.
Moderate or Ideological Support: Groups located in this sector agree with the government on most issues, but their support is much weaker and less committed than core support, and is often characterized as "silent support."
Legal Opposition: Because they do not share common goals and objectives, groups in the legal opposition sectors generally disagree with policy decisions of the government and have no vested interest in the government; nevertheless, they are strongly in agreement with the fundamental rules of the political system. They oppose the government but not the system.
Anti-system Opposition: As implied in the name, these groups not only do not share the same values and objectives as the government, they are opposed to the system as a whole.
The location of a group or actor on the map depends on a number of variables, and not simply the degree to which the group supports the government. In locating a group on the map there are two dimensions to be considered: first, the location of the group in terms of its support or oppositions to the government and second, the position of the group to the left or the right of the regime on the map. With respect to the first factor, a group will be located toward the core support area to the degree that it conforms to the following indicators:
- The group is in basic agreement with the fundamental rules of the political game.
- The group agrees with the objectives, goals, and policies of the regime.
- The group is important or critical to the government's permanence in power.
- The group is influential in the determination of important policies.
- The group is influential in the determination of important benefits.
The placement of a group to the left or the right of the government will depend on whether the analyst believes that the group is "more progressive" or more "conservative" than the government; whether the group is more "interventionist" or less "interventionist" than the state; whether the group is more "leftist" or more "rightist" than the government. These are informed subjective decisions.
Mapping can serve several purposes. First, it can provide a graphic representation of the health of a government. Second, it can tell us something about the vulnerability of the regime. Third, the map can detect the existence of opposing alliances and potential support coalitions. Finally, the map can detect new directions in policy. Although a political map can be an extremely useful instrument for clarification, it is neither a crystal ball nor a substitute for good analysis or judgment. The map is merely a tool, and like other tools, its usefulness will depend on the quality of data that goes into the construction of the map and the seriousness and quality of interpretation given to the data. If either are poor, the map loses utility and the decisions based on the map will suffer.
The purpose of stakeholder analysis is to indicate whose interests should be taken into account when making a decision. At the same time, the analysis ought to indicate why those interests should be taken into account. How do we know when a group's or actor's interest must be given specific and serious consideration? First, if an actor or group is in a position to damage or weaken the authority or political support of the decision maker or the organization, then it should be taken into account.
Second, if the group's presence and/or support provides a net benefit or strengthens an organization and/or enhances the decision-maker's authority (and capacity to secure compliance to decisions), then it should be given close consideration. For example, it a group can bring new resources, provide entry into a new market or otherwise enhance the organization's strength, it should be taken into account.
Third, if a group is capable of influencing the direction or mix of an organization's activities, it needs to be counted as a stakeholder. Consumers are often viewed as stakeholders in organizations charged with the delivery of public services.
Generally, stakeholder analysis focuses on two key elements: groups or actors are analyzed in terms of; (a) the interest they take in a particular issue and b) the quantity and types of resources they can mobilize to affect outcomes regarding that issues. Obviously this could become a very large "group" and in most cases too inclusive. As a rule of thumb, to locate a relevant but manageable group, one might apply the following: only those groups or actors with real and mobilizable resources that can be applied for or against the organization and its interests to the issue at hand should be included. They are the ones that have the capacity to directly influence policy outcomes.
Lindenberg and Crosby (1981) designed the following stakeholder analysis approach. A matrix is developed in which information for each group is placed according to the group's interests, the level of resources it possesses, its capacity for mobilization of resources, and the group's position on the issue in question (see Figure 5).
FIGURE 5: Stakeholder Matrix
GROUP's RESOURCE POSITION
INTEREST IN MOBILIZ. ON
GROUP ISSUE RESOURCES CAPACITY ISSUE
In the first cell are listed those interests that will be affected by the policy or decision to be taken. What are the group's specific interests in the policy? The analyst should be careful to select only those two or three interests and/or expectations that are most important. In the second cell are noted those resources that the group possesses that could be brought to bear in the decision making or implementation of the policy. Can the group offer some special knowledge or information? Would the group's status and presence on one side of the issue be key to its implementation or blockage? If the group appears to have resources that can be brought to bear, it is important to know whether the group is capable of mobilizing those resources quickly or only slowly. Quickly mobilizable resources are advantageous if the issue has immediacy, but less so if the impact of the issue is further out into the future. If the group cannot mobilize or make effective use of its resources, then they are not really resources in any meaningful sense of the word. The analyst's judgment regarding mobilization capacity should be noted. Finally, the group's position regarding the issue should be examined and noted. Judgment should be more discrete than a simple for or against. If a group is barely in favor of an issue, a convincing argument could be enough to change its position.
While stakeholder analysis is certainly helpful to gain a better understanding of the interests and resources of the important players for policy decision-making and implementation, it is even more so when used in conjunction with other strategic management tools such as political mapping and force field analysis.
APPENDIX 2: STRATEGIC LEVEL QUESTIONNAIRE EXAMPLE
In February 1995 a UNDP/MDGD mission field tested a questionnaire (in Sierra Leone) based on the Harvard Framework. The questionnaire was used as a tool for identifying and measuring critical elements or bottlenecks in the overall enabling environment, and at the organizational and institutional levels for the building of national capacity for efficient and effective management, and which served as a guide during interviews and discussions with the various governmental and non-governmental officials. Below is the questionnaire (with slight modification) developed the mission.
Both public and private sector leadership and non-governmental organizations were involved in the identification of major gaps in national capacity for public sector management, including structures, systems, and procedures.
The questions formulated as a basis for the interviews related to the following five critical dimensions or levels of analysis for capacity in the public sector:
- Broad Action Environment
- Institutional Environment; and
- Network of Organizational Interactions;
- Organizational Structures, Processes, Resources, and Management Styles; and
- Human Resources Development
The questionnaire or "interview guide" was sent to relevant officials, six months before the mission's arrival, who circulated the document among several Ministries and private institutions for their review and comments.
Finally, the mission team engaged itself in detailed discussions at the end of each set of interviews during discussion meetings. The purpose of the discussion meetings was to further conceptualize the methodology, reach a common understanding of the issues at hand, and discuss eventual follow-up action. The questionnaire follows:
I. ACTION ENVIRONMENT
A. Political Factors
1. What are the stated national development objectives?
2. What is the direct interest and involvement of government in public sector management at the highest political level?
3. To what extent is professionalism valued by public servants?
4. To what extent is there a feeling of common national identity among the people?
5. Are there threats to the current political systems e.g. wars, civil unrest, etc.?
6. How do these impact on national development?
7. What are the aspirations of government in the areas of governance, public sector management, democratization? What have been the achievements so far?
8. How effective are the various political institutions such as the legislature, the judiciary, the media, and NGOs in ensuring accountable and transparent public sector management?
9. Is capacity building a priority? How widespread is the demand for capacity building in the public service?
B. Economic Factors
1. What are the resources available:
- Financial (National Income, Tax Revenues)
2. What is the GDP per capita and how has it fluctuated over time?
3. How does the country rank in the UNDP Human Development Index?
4. How are the resources distributed? What is the state ownership of national wealth and resources and how flexible is the definition of ownership?
5. Does the country have a vibrant private sector? Are the enterprises majority national and foreign owned?
6. Does the government implement policies for the active transfer of technology and know-how from foreign private to national employees?
7. Do investors have confidence in the country? Does the country have policies to attract foreign investors?
8. Employment Opportunities (in the public and private sectors; chances and opportunity costs of labour abroad)
9. Level of popular participation in development process
10. What policies are in place to promote national investment and joint ventures between nationally owned and private companies?
11. What is the state of infrastructure especially between urban and rural areas?
12. What has been the impact of past and present economic policies on economic performance and what has been the impact on public sector management?
13. What electoral systems are in place? Are they open and fair elections at national, district and municipal levels?
14. Are there initiatives to reform present electoral system?
C. Social Factors
1. What forms of traditional leadership exist in the country and what is their role in the development process?
2. What are the sociological and anthropological structures that exist and how do they impinge on the public service?
3. What is the degree of tolerance or tension among the various ethnic groups?
4. What is the extent of social mobilization for development projects; and what is its impact on public sector management?
5. What is the degree of participation in economic development at the national, regional, and local level?
D. Cultural Conditions
1. Norms, values and a set of common beliefs; what is the national "work ethnic", and how does it relate to the performance of the public sector?
2. How strong is the sense of a national cultural identity; is there a strong society and sense of national belonging or is society weak and fragmented?
3. What is the position of women in society?
4. To what extent do cultural factors affect professionalism in the public service?
II. INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT
A. Laws and Regulations Governing Public Service
1. To what extent are the existing laws and regulations governing the public service appropriate for an efficient and effective public sector management in accordance with modern management practices?
2. How well known are the rules and regulations?
3. When were the rules and regulations last reviewed?
4. To what extent do they promote participatory decision making at all levels?
5. To what extent do they promote participatory and innovative decision making?
6. To what extent are they conducive to the delegation of managerial authority, both at central and decentralized levels?
7. To what extent are constitutional provisions conducive to meeting modern management requirements in light of the need for the public sector to meet current national challenges and development objectives?
8. What guarantees are provided in the constitutional framework and legal and judicial arrangements to safeguard civil servants from political interference and maintain civil service neutrality?
9. What loopholes exist in the constitutional/legal arrangementsthatare conducive to mismanagement and to the absence of submission of executive powers to the constitution?
10. Wage Policy: Is the Civil Service Code adequate and up to date? Is there a minimum system of rules and guarantees?
B. Financial and Budgetary Support
1. To what extent are tax collection, budgeting, accounting, and auditing systems effective and modernized?
2. In view of the move towards decentralization what should be done to ensure effective financial decentralization to the provinces and districts?
3. What financial resources are available to support decentral-ization?
4. What percentage of the total budget is allocated to public sector management?
5. To what extent does government promote financial independence and sustainability of centralized, decentralized, public, private and non-governmental organization?
III. INTER-ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES AND INTERACTIONS
A. Inter-Organizational relationships
1. What is the relationship between primary, secondary, and support organizations in terms of bringing about desirable organizational performance?
2. What is the relationship between organizations at the center and decentralized levels?
3. What are the core organizations of public sector management?
4. How do these core organizations relate to each other?
5. What are the main communication channels among organiza-tions? What are the major deficiencies and how can they be overcome?
6. How well are the functions of key organizations defined and separated?
7. Are there any overlapping roles and functions and lapses in public sector management?
B. Public Service Commission
1. What initiatives are taken to revise the role of the Public Service Commission (PSC) in the light of modern management practices?
2. What are the channels of communication between PSC and line departments regarding relevant issues (training needs assessment promotion)?
3. What are the existing mechanisms for performance appraisal and promotion?
4. What incentives are there to attract, motivate, and retain competent personnel?
5. What are the present minimum salary scales in relation to the minimum household requirements?
6. Does PSC participate in formulating policy for training and retraining civil servants?
7. Does PSC participate in the formulation and design of a comprehensive human resources management policy?
8. What feedback mechanism does PSC have to know how well public service is performing?
9. Does this feedback have an impact on human resources management and development policy and strategies?
C. Department of Establishment
1. How does the department coordinate manpower need of the various organs?
2. What changes are being proposed and why? What are the prospects pushing PSC reform through?
3. How does the department ensure that its policy recommendations are implemented?
IV. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES
A. Goals of Public Service
1. How are public service goals articulated? How are these goals defined and prioritized?
2. What is the current mission and purpose of the Public Service?
3. What policies and plans (programmes) are there to achieve the goals?
4. What human and financial resources are allocated to the implementation of the goals?
5. How is implementation monitored?
6. To what extent is Public Service client-oriented?
7. To what extent are efficiency and effectiveness in the use of human and financial resources seen as a goal?
B. Civil Service Incentive Systems
1. What is the civil service salary structure? Is the level of salaries an incentive for the retention of staff, or do civil servants frequently hold other jobs besides their official assignments in order to complement their meager salaries?
2. What is the promotion system; to what extent are rewards linked to performance; what is the performance appraisal system in place; is it open, objective and transparent or do political and/or clienteles factors play a role?
3. What non-wage incentives are offered to civil servants who perform relatively well (e.g. training, travel abroad, credits for housing, etc.)?
4. What is the remuneration/pay scales of civil servants like? To what extent does this contribute to low morale in the public service?
5. What factors are the organizational and institutional levels contribute positively or negatively to staff morale and motivation. How do these factors affect the motivation and capacity of the Administration to attract and retain qualified staff?
C. Structure of Work
1. To what extent is the organizational structure of the public service in harmony with its major goals and objectives?
2. To what extent are the major goals and objectives reflected in the allocation of human, financial and physical resources to the various sectors?
3. To what extent are departmental organizational structures in harmony with their mandates?
4. To what extent are job descriptions available and to what extent do they reflect the nature of the work required?
5. To what extent do civil servants get clear instructions on the tasks to be performed?
6. How many sections/units are in each department?
7. Is there an overlap between various departments and sections/units?
D. Authority Relationships
1. What is the relationship between the civil servants, politicians, academic, and the military?
2. What is the relationship between administrative and professional staff?
3. What is the history of these relationships?
4. What is the relationship among the various units in the departments?
5. What is the chain of command like and how effective is it?
6. What is the reporting relationship like in the departments?
E. Management Practices and Attitudes
1. What is the cultural context in which manager operate; what "Management Styles" are in place and what is their impact on participation and performance?
2. What are the power structures in place and how is power exercised? To what extent can employees participate in decision making processes? Are there directive management styles or are there more participatory managerial systems in place?
3. What is the position of women in the organization and what is the ratio between male and female employees; to what extent do women occupy positions of power and high-level decision making; do women get equal opportunities in recruitment and career development?
4. To what extent are managers aware and make use of modern management techniques; what are toe managerial methods and practices in place?
5. What understanding do managers have of the strategic management objectives; to what extent are they made aware of these objectives?
6. How are existing resources, especially human resources used for the realization of objectives; how many staff are needed in every category to implement a specific task, starting with the highest possible level; how many of them are suitable for the task, i.e. able to implement the task efficiently by themselves by the due date; what is missing from the task implement's information, knowledge, and/or know-how that would enable him/her to implement successfully this task?
7. To what extent are managers held accountable for the way in which they manage the financial and human resources to attain organizational objectives?
8. How transparent is the organizational structure; is there an adequate system of performance evaluation and managerial audits?
9. What is the attitude of civil servants towards work? What is the difference in attitude towards work between private and public sector?
10. What is being done or could be done to bring about attitudinal change?
F. Physical Resources
1. Are physical facilities and resources available and adequate for attaining organizational goals? (Buildings, office equipment, phones, electricity, furniture).
2. What efforts are being made in terms of meeting shortfalls in the physical resources?
3. Are physical resources available and accessible to the public?
1. What are the channels of communication like vertically and horizontally?
2. How effective are they?
3. How and how well are employees and the public informed about national organizational goals and objectives and the respective roles they are expected to play in the implementation of goals and objectives?
4. To what extent is the formulation of national goals/objectives participative?
5. Which channels (formal or informal) are commonly used in disseminating information and how effective are they?
6. What mechanisms exist for both formal and informal communication?
7. To what extent are physical resources conducive to formal communication?
8. What type of Management Information System exists and how do the various departments access it?
H. Technical Assistance and Aid Coordination
1. What is the form, nature and magnitude of present technical assistance?
2. How is technical assistance coordinated and managed?
3. What institution(s) is/are responsible for the management of external technical and capital assistance; to what extent has aid management been integrated with the realization of national, sectoral or project development objectives, and with the improvement of the management of human and natural resources in general?
4. How are externally supported technical assistance programmes implemented? What use is made of national and regional expertise in the identification, formulation, and implementation of technical assistance programmes?
5. What is the capability of the country to provide counterpart staff?
6. How are counterpart staff paid?
7. What is the level of discrepancy between those salaries and national salaries?
8. Where do counterpart staff go upon termination of the project?
9. What is your experience with technical assistance? Has it been mainly gap-filling?
V. HUMAN RESOURCES
1. Is there a public service training policy and is it appropriate? What capacity is there to make and implement training policy?
2. What needs to be done in order to develop the necessary training capacity?
3. What types of training courses are offered by the various training institutions and how are they conceived and organized; what is the quality and relevance of these courses in relation to the practical needs of the various civil services; what opportunities do civil servants have to undertake these courses; has there been an evaluation of their impact and relevance?
4. What are the interactions between the various training institutions in making training policy?
5. What is the relationship between training needs and training providers? Has there been a survey for training needs?
6. What is the relationship between performance evaluating and training providers? List types of training programmes offered by each institution for performance improvement and additional training.
7. What is the in-house capacity for training and retraining civil servants? What mechanisms exist for on-the-job training?
8. What are the resources allocated to national training and civil service training in particular?
9. Who selects participants for courses and how are they selected? What is the average number of participants?
10. Is their regular evaluation of training programmes?
11. How often are the courses conducted? To what extent does the training relate to the performance of daily tasks; is there a relationship between the completion of these courses and career development?
B. Recruitment, Utilization and Retention
1. What is the numerical size of the civil service?
2. What are the recruitment mechanisms in place; are they open, transparent and competitive, or do more political and/or clienteles practices prevail?
3. What is the structure of civil service personnel in terms of the levels of academic training and professional experience required for various posts?
4. What can be said about the overall composition of the Civil Service and the way in which higher-level managers acquired their positions (e.g. on the basis of merit or on the basis of belonging to a certain influential group or faction); to what extent do employees who do not belong to such factious have access to positions of higher level management?
5. Should all managers and directors and related positions be attained by promotion or appointments? Is seniority a factor?
6. Is ethnicity a factor in the recruitment process?
7. To what extent does politics impact on the recruitment process?
8. What initiatives are taken by the government to attract Sierra Leonean expatriates?
C. Human Resources Capacity and Available Skills
1. How well are the various departments equipped with the necessary human resource skills?
2. What are the major gaps/critical shortage areas in human resource skills?
3. To what extent is there a match between job description and skill requirements of the job?
4. What is the composition of the civil service in terms of nationality, race, gender, and age?
5. What is the educational base for civil service recruitment?
There are three possible outcomes or applications for the information gathered: (a) Broadening the intensifying the national debate on develop-ment objectives and strategies, (b) Stimulating the policy dialogue between UNDP and the Government, and (c) The design of Tailor-Made technical cooperation projects and programmes by UNDP and other donors.
APPENDIX 3: OPERATIONAL QUESTIONNAIRE EXAMPLE
There will be some overlap between the Strategic and Operational Levels of assessment, however, the primary focus of the Operational assessment is implementation through efficient and effective management. Therefore the Operational assessment must be cognizant of implementation capacity and donor's needs. Relevant implementation information should provide insight about an institution's ability to adequately carry out the common management activities. There are tasks and activities which are fundamental to the implementation of a UNDP funded programme/project. The common activities follow:
- Establishing and reviewing work plans
- Project start-up and monitoring missions
- On-site project supervision
- Project trouble-shooting and redesign
- Preparing reviewing and/or revising terms of reference
- Identifying and/or short listing consultants and experts
- Negotiating and administering contracts
- Reviewing progress reports
Contracts for Services and Works
- Preparing, reviewing and/or revising terms of reference
- Processing contracts (services offered include: pre qualification and short listing; calling for tenders and evaluating bids; contract preparation and monitoring)
Procurement of Equipment and Materials
- Preparing equipment specifications
- Processing contracts (services offered include: identifying potential suppliers; calling for tenders and evaluating bids; purchasing; inspection, shipment, custom clearance & delivery)
- Identifying appropriate programmes and institutions
- Placing and paying stipends to government-selected trainees
- Paying institutions
- Monitoring academic performance
Financial Administration (maintained in US dollars)
- Accounting Services
- Converting project financial statements to a bank's required format
- Preparing quarterly disbursement requests, audited statements and account closure information for a bank or donor
- Preparing substantive reports (quarterly, final) or financial statements (quarterly) for a government and/or a bank or donor
- Preparing annual reports of non-expendable equipment purchased on behalf of the government
- Preparing annual financial statement of expenditures incurred in the previous years for a government and/or bank or donor.
These activities as well as the organizational structure and physical capacities should be systematically assessed in order to present a fairly rigorous Implementation Capacity Profile of an institution.
The following questionnaire/interview guide has been used, with appropriate contextual modifications, to collect such information. This questionnaire should be used to collect information from organizations being considered to execute and implement UNDP-assisted projects. Data gathered here should be analyzed and used as the basis for an assessment of the organization's capability and appropriateness to execute and implement the specific project under consideration. This instrument may be used for public, private and NGO organizations with appropriate modifications.
The data may also be used to assess training and other institution-building needs of the organization related to project execution and implementation that could be met by UNDP with supplementary project funds.
Some of the items under Input Mobilization Capabilities and Project Implementation Capabilities may be irrelevant to the project being formulated and therefore may be omitted or other services added.
1. What is the organization's legal status?
2. Is the organization legally authorized to make agreements with international agencies?
3. Are there any legal or regulatory limitations on the organization's capacity to engage in international operations?
4. Can the institution open and use bank accounts in local and foreign currency?
5. Is the organization financially healthy? Are the funds provided adequate to cover the current programme and administrative costs? Does the organization have an endowment or reserve fund? Is the organization facing any financial problems?
B. General Information
1. What is the institution's mandate?
2. How is this institution organized to carry out its work? Request and organization chart and describe the chain of command.
3. Does the organization have a Governing Board? If so, who is on it? What are the board's functions?
4. What are the director's duties? How is the director selected? How long is his term of office?
5. What are the objectives of the current work programme?
6. What clientele is served by the current programme?
7. What are the major activities (projects) in the current pro-gramme?
8. How was the programme developed? (i.e. the process)
9. How and by whom is the work programme managed?
10. What experience and credentials do mid-level programme managers have for their work? Do programme managers (division chiefs?) and Technical staff have job descriptions? Request sample job descriptions from the supervisory and technical levels.
11. How is decision-making authority allocated between among the institution's director and key managers or supervisors?
C. Project Planning Capabilities
1. What is a project in this institution's definition? Is the work programme made up of projects or are there other components or activities?
2. Which personnel are responsible for project formulation? What experience and qualifications do the personnel have in project formulation?
3. Does the institution have its own project formulation or planning format and procedures? If so, Request a copy. Request examples, if available, of documents prepared for UNDP or other donors.
4. Does the institution have experience with UNDP project formulation procedures? With the procedures of other donors? Request examples, if available, of documents prepared for UNDP or other donors.
D. Input Mobilization Capabilities
1. What unit is responsible for international personnel recruitment? What experience and qualifications do the personnel have for this work? What is the current workload of this unit?
2. Are there established procedures for personnel recruitment and administration? Procedures for written terms of reference? A salary scale? Request samples of TOR and a copy of personnel regulations.
3. Is there a roster of names of potential consultants?
4. Does this unit handle Visas and International travel arrangements? If not, who does?
5. What are the steps in a typical international personnel recruitment? How long, on the average, does it take to recruit a consultant or a long-term expert?
6. Repeat items 1-3 and 5 for domestic personnel recruitment.
1. What unit is responsible for procurement of goods and services in both domestic and international markets? What experience and qualifications do the personnel have for this work?
2. Are there established procedures for procurement of goods and services and safe-keeping of equipment? Who prepares equipment specifications? Do procurement personnel handle customs clearance tax exemption, shipping, inspection and insurance claims? Are equipment inventories prepared? By whom?
3. Are procedures for competitive bidding (both domestic and international) established and in use? Describe the process. Request a copy of these procedures.
4. What is the current workload in procurement and contracting? Describe a sample procurement transaction.
1. What unit is responsible for contracting expert services from firms in domestic and international markets? What experience or qualifications do the personnel have for this work?
2. Are there established procedures for contracting? Do these procedures include competitive bidding? Request a copy of these procedures. Describe a sample contracting procedure.
3. How are contracts administered? Who is responsible?
4. What is the current workload in contracting?
Fellowships and Study Tours
1. What unit is responsible for fellowships and study tours? What experience and qualifications do the personnel have for this work?
2. Are there established procedures for identification of candidates, language testing, selection of candidates, identification and selection of institutions that will be visited or provide instruction, administration of travel arrangements (passport, visas, tickets) and financial arrangements?
E. Project Implementation Capabilities
1. Who is responsible for project management and implementation? What experience and qualifications do the personnel have for this work?
2. How are projects managed? What reporting is required?
3. Is there a project management handbook or set of procedures? If so, request a copy.
4. What projects have been carried out recently? Who sponsored these projects? Are reports available? If so, request copies.
5. What personnel, facilities and equipment would be available for UNDP project implementation?
6. Who is responsible for project monitoring and evaluation?
7. Does the institution have experience with UNDP monitoring, reporting and evaluation procedures? With the procedures of other donors?
1. What unit is responsible for carrying out research? What are the experience and qualifications of personnel for this work?
2. Is research carried out according to established protocols? Request a copy of the protocol or describe research Method-ology. Request a sample study proposal (If different from project format).
3. Is there bibliography of the institution's research?
4. Has the research programme been adequately described in the section above on the work programme of the institution?
5. What research personnel and facilities would be available for UNDP project implementation?
1. What unit is responsible for organizing and conducting training? What experience and qualifications do the personnel have for this work?
2. Are there established procedures for the assessment of training needs?
3. Are training objectives established? How are training curricula prepared? (Provide samples)
4. What training methodologies are used?
5. What training personnel, equipment (including training aids) and facilities would be available for training in UNDP project implementation? What is the training capacity? (How many trainees?)
6. Are training courses evaluated? How?
7. Describe recent training courses. Request copies of reports on training, If any.
1. What unit is responsible for the organization of conferences? What experience and qualifications do the personnel have for this work?
2. What facilities would be available for conferences for UNDP projects? What is their capacity
3. Describe conferences held in the past two years. Request copies of reports of conference proceedings.
1. What unit is responsible for publications and information dissemination? What experience and qualifications do the personnel have for the work?
2. Does the institution publish an annual report? If so, request the past two year's reports.
3. Does the institution have a regular mailing list for its publications? If so, describe the scope of this distribution.
4. Does the institution have a publication's list? If so, provide a copy. Provide sample publications.
5. What printing/reproduction facilities does the institution have?
6. Is information disseminated by other (non-print) media? If so, describe.
1. Does the institution provide technical advisory service? If so, what unit is responsible? What experience and qualifications do the personnel have for this work?
2. Who are the clienteles for these services? Would these services be available for UNDP projects?
3. Are services provided free or on a fee basis?
4. The volume of advisory services provided in the last two years?
1. Does the institution provide any other services? If so, describe these services, their clientele and the volume provided.
F. Financial Management Capabilities
1. What unit is responsible for financial management? What experience and credentials do the personnel have for this work?
2. Are financial management procedures codified? If so, request a copy of the accounting handbook.
3. Can the organization maintain separate accounts for UNDP projects? Can these accounts be maintained according to the UNDP fiscal year?
4. Who has financial approval authority? Who has financial disbursement authority?
5. Does the organization select and employ a recognized auditor? When are books audited? Request a copy of the most recent audit report.
6. Does the organization have experience with UNDP financial procedures prescribed in the "Guidelines for National Execution", including a) the required forms and procedures for advances from direct payments by UNDP, b) the required reports (the Government Disbursement Report and the Reconciliation of Outstanding UNDP Advance/Status of Funds Report), and c) the required ledger for non-expandable property. Are financial management staff of the organization able to implement these procedures in full compliance to the requirements?
The data should be analyzed and distributed in a report format. Hopefully, the assessment will elicit debate, discussions, further analysis, and in time an Implementation Capacity Building Strategy/Plan.
Besides establishing a basis for the recommendation on execution and implementation arrangements, the assessment procedure serves a valuable educational function. The participants are usually appreciative of the clarification of roles, responsibilities and procedures that occurred during the assessment.