Performance management in Ethiopian public sector

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 12:41

The Federal Government of Ethiopia has launched a comprehensive Reform Program aimed at modernizing the public sector, improving service delivery, and enhancing accountability. Results-Oriented Performance Management (PM) is identified as one of the key modalities for the success of the reform. Since its formal launching in July 2013, numerous public sector organizations have continued to adopt the PM initiative. However, systematic inquiry about the effectiveness of the practice is either scant or utterly missing. The purpose of the study is, therefore, to examine the status of PM implementation in federal public sector institutions with particular emphasis on measurement frameworks and PM structures, behavioral aspects (human side of organizational performance), and wider contextual (institutional-political) environment in which it is placed.

By adopting methodological pluralism, the study has considerably benefited from triangulation of methods and sources which generated a wealth of quantitative and qualitative data using survey questionnaire, focus group discussion, semi-structured interview and review of secondary materials from 11 Federal institutions involving a total of 236 participants.

The research findings point out that the structural and behavioral aspects of PM did not have significant effect on performance and performance-driven behaviors. Whilst the PM structure turned out to be largely output oriented, loosely coupled, unable to provide ‘balanced measures’, and advancing a single stakeholder’s interest, much of the desired behaviors were not displayed due to the moderation effect of the underlying institutional-contextual environment. In short, the PM initiative, now on its 3rd phase, was mostly suitable for the measurable and quantifiable dimensions of performance-not the outcomes and societal impacts.

The research, therefore, concludes that even if it inadequate to capture all facets of public sector performance, the initiative can improve public service delivery and accountability for output goals if it is adjusted to the political-administrative context in which it is located.

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Read 180 times Last modified on Wednesday, 26 October 2016 12:46

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