Counties need results based initiatives to serve citizens better

OPINION |

Uncollected garbage at a parking lot along General Kago Street, City Hall, June 2021. [Samson Wire, Standard]

The Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) was introduced in 2004 to improve service delivery and focus on positive results rather than process in the public sector. The defunct Nairobi City Council was one of the first local governments to employ RRI in 2005, focusing on solid waste collection, road infrastructure and revenue collection.

A rapid results team for the council set a goal of creating a project proposal in 100 days, yet it only took 22 days to complete the assignment. In 2006, State Department for Immigration and Registration successfully rolled out RRI to improve services, especially in issuing of passports, identity cards, birth and death certificates.

The ministry cleared backlogs and decreased passport processing times to less than the 20-day goal in less than 100 days. The same would be applied in 2007 and in 2009 helping reduce the waiting time of first-time applicants to 10 days.

Today, RRI has been adopted by many public sector institutions, including ministries, county governments, state corporations and other tertiary institutions with Kenya winning international acclaim and multiple honours on service delivery.

By applying the Rapid Results Approach (RRA) in the public sector performance targets have improved and we have shifted from business as usual to a results-oriented mindset. However, having a Results-Based Management (RBM) policy and RRI tool in county governments is not enough unless embraced holistically.

It requires top leadership involvement that has the resources and authority for its enforcement and supported by other managerial factors such as competence, communication strategy, and managerial diversity, among others.

The approach is at the core of sound governance and is necessary for quick wins and evidence-based policymaking, budget decisions, management and accountability. To enhance delivery of the services, modalities of RBM need to be strengthened in county governments to attain Vision 2030 goals and County Integrated Development and Strategic plans.

The apparent application weakness of the RBM within county governments significantly undermines counties’ ability to generate resources from its existing revenue streams. The inability to fast track initiatives by RRI, generate relevant data, manage, learn and translate into policy and ensure implementation of policies through projects, has exposed the counties and let down the citizens. This calls for more capacity building to generate and manage data for effective policymaking.

-Performance based strategy expert.

dmasetu@gmail.com

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