Presentation on theme: "Leadership and country level interventions Some observations about the challenge and strategy Matt Andrews Harvard Kennedy School."— Presentation transcript:
Leadership and country level interventions Some observations about the challenge and strategy Matt Andrews Harvard Kennedy School
Countries are the focus Fragile countries are not the same But similarities in reform agendas –Burundi, Liberia, Afghanistan –And similar reform limitations New laws, best practices but no implementation People conclude problem = no capacity, political will
Is there no capacity? Capacity = space to get things done In all states, things do get done –There is some capacity To wage war, sometimes find peace To satisfy donor requests –But not to do what matters? Or build governments? Liberia a great example I call it a problem of y… The capacity challenge is about redirection and new development –Change to get new things done –Not just training –Not just new laws
How facilitate change? Complex, requiring multiple entry points (to identify what is binding) Three dimensions to consider –Acceptance, Authority, Ability Their interaction matters… (Rwanda)Rwanda –Different fundamental constraints in different places (Afghanistan, vs. Burundi) Burundi Acceptance, Authority often the most serious issues (as in all change) Across multiple people, organizations –Capacity, change happens across networks Ability Authority Acceptance A basic capacity equation: Capp(y) = Acc(y) ∩ Auth(y) ∩ Abil(y)
The role of leadership Across networks, seldom by individuals alone –Consider AfghanistanAfghanistan –To build the space needed for change –Internal networked leadership plays a key role Gives access to core, facilitates reach in change/capacity building process –So capacity building/redirection must involve assisting leadership in these settings And leadership must be allowed to answer key questions –Like, what is y? (What do we want to create space to do) –Learn from AfghanistanAfghanistan
Some final thoughts (if I had 20 minutes!) Basic observations Capacity is complex (x 2) Capacity is contingent Capacity is contextual Implications Capacity building must be more than training –Including active learning, experimentation Capacity building involves multiple players, and coordination Capacity building involves change and redirection of existing capacities, even more than the building of new capacities Capacity building must be contextually located –And integrate ways of learning about context
Community development in Rwanda Community in Gashaki becoming empowered via rapid results, embedded in national programs Shows that change/capacity building involves building AAA: –Citizens are Accepting of their new role “People…have a clear agreement and willingness” “People understand problems now” “Community now feels its their job to fight poverty not to wait for help” “People now see themselves as donors and do not just wait for others” –Citizens are/feel more Authorized to act “Now we have a say” “When people see improvements, this gives authority at the next step” “Authority comes from ownership of processes; it increases confidence to do more” –Citizens are/feel more Able to act “We have improved knowledge and resources are mobilised” “Teams have more skills, do more things, access skills in each other”
Rapid results in Burundi We did participant observation of a Cabinet Retreat assessing progress Undoubted results –Various sectors, great stories, real results Obvious improvements in AAA in RR teams But after the 100 day events, the authority to work in the teams dissolved… –People go back into their silos –Constraints on space to get things done return And cabinet not totally sold on the idea –Higher level acceptance missing –Not willing to give the necessary authority to facilitate more permanent space Limited authority Limited acceptance Ability expanded
Leadership in Afghanistan Picture Afghanistan 2003 –Trying to re-build a government after 3 decades of war 21 interviewees all agreed that capacity constraints were severe –And hindered the practice of government We asked: “Was there a clear stakeholder leading the capacity building process” And we got less agreement in the answer: –2 said The World Bank –3 said the vice president, Amin Arsala –2 said the Head of the Civil Service Comission Dr. Hamidzada –6 said the Civil Service Commission itself –6 said the UNDP –1 said Marina Walter from the UNDP (1) –3 said “I don’t know” or “There was no leader”
Why so many ‘leaders’? We asked “why you would call this stakeholder the leader?” And got an even greater variety of answers –“[They] came up with the idea”; “[He was] talking with the different stakeholders”; “[They] initiated this … pushed this, invited people, and shared it with the participants”; “It’s the main driver of reforms in the country”; “[They] were needed to push, to push forward”; “[They] should be the catalyst”; “Because … it had to be driven … [He] could drive it … [because he] was personally interested …”; “He was the vice president”; “It’s the lead organization for organizing this kind of training from the Afghan government side”; “[It] is the institution mandated by the government, by the constitution…to lead and implement public administrative reform.”; “He was chairing the advisory committee”; “[They] were responsible”; “Because he was in charge of that position. His job required this. That’s why he was the leader”; “[They had] the responsibility for doing this. They were established to do this”; “[They are] responsible for dealing with this issue”; “This was their job. That was their mandate”; “They shelled out the most money, so they had the most clout”; “Because to get this thing going involved a tremendous amount of front-end effort and approval and approvals and getting approvals from ministries to send their senior people who were badly needed away for this training”; “Because … [He could] protect it from political interventions [because of his high position and status]”; “[They] raised the money” “[It] is providing support”; “Because they were implementer, the supporter, the donor”; “Because [They] were the implementers, [They] paid all the costs … made all the requests …. gave the money and other things … made the programs and everything … [They were the leader] Because of funding, implementing and planning”; “[They had] the resources, the funds for doing this”; “[They] have the people and resources to deal with this issue”
People perceive leaders as doing many different things Acceptance [They] came up with the idea [He was] talking with the different Stakeholders [They] initiated this … pushed this, invited People [They] were needed to push, to push forward [They] should be the catalyst Because … it had to be driven … [He] could drive it Authority [It] is mandated by the government, by the constitution…to do this [They] were responsible He was in charge of that position. His job required this [They had] the responsibility for doing this. They shelled out the most money and had the most clout Because to get this thing going involved a tremendous amount of front-end effort and approval and getting approvals from ministries [He could] protect it from political interventions [because of his high position and status] 1. Building committed acceptance of new ideas, change, cost of change 2. Using their authority to get things done; and creating authority for others to get things done 3. Building abilities to get things done (via money, people, information, etc.) Ability [They] raised the money; [It] is providing support Because they were implementer, the supporter, the donor [They] paid all the costs … made all the requests …. gave the money and other things, made the programs Because of funding, implementing and planning [They had] the resources, the funds for doing this [They] have the people and resources to deal with this issue The ‘leaders’ must interact to create ‘leadership’ and synergies, or space, for action
In many conflict affected states, we don’t allow an appropriate identification of y Consider Afghanistan, where we asked “what was the capacity problem about?” And only clarity is “we have a capacity problem” Beyond this, here are some of the answers: “Many people in the senior levels didn’t have management experience. They didn’t work in the government before.” “But there’s the question of building capacity, and how to utilize the capacity. There was no vision for using the capacity that existed in the government.” After another training program “I found out all these people, all the general directors, they had an extremely low capacity. They couldn’t even get what the trainer was trying to train them. That actually raised the alarm.” “Some ministries couldn’t spend 5 percent of the developmental money available to them. They couldn’t spend the money.” “…the problem is not only building capacity and investing in human resources, but it is also a problem of creating an enabling environment. That includes everything from working on systems and procedures, down to the ground of working on provision of service and delivery, which is still a challenge for the government of Afghanistan.” “It’s really the lack of capacity and skills in managing complex public-sector operations.” “The first problem was that capacity was destroyed. The second was a shift of the system from a central planning system into a pro-market economy system. And the third, there was a lot of development where Afghanistan lost opportunities to catch up, and that would require a shift into a new era of leadership and management.” “Afghanistan was a war-ravaged country. And if a person doesn’t know how to manage people in his ministry, he can’t be a good leader. He can’t work.” “It was the main reason, this 30 years of war. There was not good capacity and a good system. The war destroyed everything. The good thing is, now there is a better system for education and there’s freedom of speech. The focus is on everything, on education, on health, on reconstruction, on development, especially for women. Now people are using computers and using the internet and getting motivated.” “The problem was because of war. But this new system of management was never practiced in Afghanistan. It used to be just sending a letter, and waiting for a response to that letter. It took us lots of time. It was quite a top-down approach. It was waiting for a response to come on its own self, with no one to chase it. Now it’s results- based management. Things should happen as quickly as possible because we need it. We have funds available, we have resources available. If we still do it from top- down, down below won’t feel ownership. Why not make them involved? And then also, Afghans were busy, cut off from the rest of the world, no communication, no telephone, no internet. Then we got the international community in Afghanistan, and relations began again, and we became part of the world village. We needed to learn the new system of management.” The major reason was the fighting. The fighting destroyed our capacity. But also, a problem was the nature of globalization. Afghanistan had to improve to join the global economy. The system we had was old and not very useful. It needed to be updated, with new technology, computers and science. Corruption was a major problem. Poor management was a major problem. The 30 years of fighting in Afghanistan destroyed everything. But also, at that time, the commanders thought they could do everything. I was a mujaheed. Other mujahadeen and commanders who fought the Russians thought they could do anything – that they could be an engineer, a doctor. That wasn’t true. Different people can do different things. So we needed to find the right people for the right positions. During the 30 years of war, everything was destroyed, from every angle, from culture to capacity. That was the main reason they had to focus on capacity building. This was the main problem. These people were left behind from all these new developments in the areas of management and leadership. Also, the problem, the war. It just tore down everything. The structures, the ministries. The changes in regimes, all the political changes, the civil war, all this really affected the progress, their understanding, their capabilities, their skills of management. Just that the civil service had become politicized. It had become inept. The salary structure system was very weak. The grading system – some automaticity had been introduced for political reasons. The merit issue was not there. This was also in the Bonn conference, one point was to have a Civil Service Commission. There was concern to try to rebuild a civil service that was emaciated. Training 500 civil servants, if they were given a sense of leadership and the tools with which to exercise leadership, that could make a large difference. These officials who were left were survivors, they were people who had been through – a lot of them dated from the Russian era, they went through the civil war period. These were survivors, they were basically ranging in age, some were quite young, in their late 30s. But a lot of them were in their 50s. They were people who had never had any exposure to the outside world. Afghanistan had never any real training, so there were people who had been through terrible experiences as officials, but they had no perspective on their work, no tools to know how to do it better, and no kind of outside perspective on their situation. So this training was meant to do just that.
The range of ideas about capacity constraint in Afghanistan is large Capacity problem about –Institutional deficiency, structural deficiency, weak enabling environment, authority constraints (delegation), lack of information, etc. Very little clarity, but problem obviously broad in scope: –“President Karzai…had no clue what the problem was. He had an inept cabinet who didn’t know what to do. Then we had these overly enthusiastic expat laptoppers who also didn’t know.” And the problem manifest in weak abilities to absorb training: –After another training program “I found out all these people, all the general directors, they had an extremely low capacity. They couldn’t even get what the trainer was trying to train them. That actually raised the alarm.”
The intervention in Afghanistan involved training…in Germany And training all about new management methods, etc. But did this address the ‘problem’? No: Hence limited scope to create acceptance for change, etc. Hence limited acceptance, limited space, limited impact.