Government of France Reaffirms Support to Ethiopia’s Civil Service Reform
Member of Parliament Mr. Jean-François Mancel of France (centre front in the photo) has reassured the Institute of Leadership and Good Governance he would lobby to the Government of France for continued support to the Institute.
MP Jean-François Mancel made this point during a courtesy visit to the Institute e on February 28th 2014 to learn about the UNDP-Government of France support to the Institute and the on-going Civil Service Reform across Ethiopia uphold by the Institute in particular and the Ethiopian Civil Service University in general.
He noted that his presence at the Institute allowed him to ‘see the importance of such a school’ for the country’s on-going efforts to strengthen the capacity to deliver services by public institutions at all levels.
Dr Haileichael Aberra, President of the Ethiopian Civil Service University that hosts the Institute for Leadership and Good Governance, commended the support received from the UNDP and the Government of France in establishing the Institute. He noted that Civil Service Reform is still at initial stages for Ethiopia and hence will require ‘strong and committed, transformation oriented leadership’; skills that the Institute currently prioritizes through courses delivered. He also added that the Institute has graduated two batches of civil servants who are currently assisting with the ‘decentralization’ process; as a result birthing a new scenario of ‘empowerment and democratization’.
Existing challenges outlined by the University President included the need for proper research into identifying competent leaders within the Civil Service; additional refinement of the entry processes into the Institute, and assessments into practical applications of skills acquired from training once civil servants graduate.
Stressing on the need for proper implementation, Honorable Mancel discussed possibilities of stretching the training delivered at the Institute further into organizing internships in ‘local territories in France engaged in decentralization processes for academically high achieving graduates.’ He added that ‘civil servants should not lose sight day to day’ of services owed to local populations also emphasizing the importance of ensuring that capacity building interventions led to improvements in implementation. MP Mancel also noted that, it is important to ‘allow for trainees to be in close contact with people they need to serve’, hence the need to reduce high turnover through the Institute creating training opportunities within regions.
Dr Waqgari Negari, Director of the Institute stated that two rounds of intake have resulted in graduating 153 civil servants presently serving at regional and federal levels. Measures taken to tackle enrollment challenges include ‘orientation’ desks placed in regions and federal offices to prepare civil servants applying to the Institute prior to starting classes at the Institute in Addis Ababa. An alumni association soon to be launched will enable graduates to share experiences and research conducted as part of the Institute’s plan to encourage knowledge sharing at both regional and federal levels. Moreover, the alumni network hence created will inform future partnership and practical skill exchanges outlined by Honorable Mancel between the Institute and the École National d’Adminstration of France.
Representing UNDP Ethiopia, Mr. Fisseha Mekonnen highlighted that UNDP supports the Institute of Leadership and Good Governance on the ground that the Institute is mandated to build the capacity of civil servants responsible to advance the country’s Growth and Transformation Plan which takes Civil Service Reform as a priority agenda. He mentioned that learning from the current practices UNDP would like to see the contribution of the Institute to the improvement of services by regional and federal public institutions through identifying existing civil service gaps particularly within democratic institutions; further enhancing public access to civil service institutions in a manner that would allow the Institute to organize internships where capacities are lagging. He called for further collaboration between the Government of France and the UNDP in support of the Institute to address underlying gaps in the Ethiopian civil service.