Administration and Economic Planning in Eastern Africa: A Ford Foundation Program Evaluation    1977                                                                    p. 3 of 8 

B. 6Economic Planning in the East African Community

          In 1967 the three East African governments signed a treaty for East African cooperation, designed to restructure and broaden the benefits from the old East African Common Services Organization (EACSO). The new arrangement, to be called the East African Community, led to a dispersion of headquarters facilities for the common services throughout East Africa, the siting of the headquarters of the Community in Arusha, and the establishment of two new institutions: an East African Development Bank and a transfer tax to equalize benefits from unequal industrial investment among the partner states. 

Since independence, despite the vital importance of regional cooperation concerning the common services (airways, post and telecommunications, railways and harbors, income tax, customs and excise services, civil aviation and meteorological services, and various scientific research activities), EACSO had gradually lost ground to nationalist aspirations for separate development. The Foundation had intended to support EACSO planning and analysis if appropriate opportunities arose but, until the new treaty was signed, none did. The international donor community, among them the Foundation, with its customary concern for efficiency in the use of resources, responded very favorably to the new agreement, which promised renewed regional efforts. 

In 1969 the Foundation supplied two advisors to the new development bank in Kampala and one advisor to organize economic research at Community headquarters. It recognized from the beginning that the Community would be a difficult client because of the cumbersome machinery of its operations, the un≠suitability of Arusha as a functional headquarters (at least in the short run), and the lack of centralized direction in its administration. Nevertheless, the stakes were considered sufficiently great for the Foundation to supply 15 man-years of advisors to its institutions. 

Relations among the three partner states were harmonious for the first two years under the new treaty. There was considerable optimism that regional cooperation would be strengthened because of the greater equity of the new arrangements. At the end of 1970, however, the Amin coup in Uganda caused a severe strain in political relationships in the region. The common services continued to function, but genuine cooperation went into a downward spiral, which continues to this day. In 1973, the income tax service was split up. At the present time (1977) there is serious doubt that the East African Airways can continue in multinational form. A new review commission is currently studying community relationships, but the last Foundation advisor has departed and the program is effectively at an end. 

The current disarray of the East African Community reduces the value of a solemn assessment of the outcome of the Foundationís work in it, but one generalization can be made about support for international arrangements. The discount rate on the value of program achievements in international circumstances is very high; the short-run outcomes must therefore be weighed more heavily than anticipated long-run benefits. This is so because: 

a.       International institutions are more likely than national institutions to break up and disappear;

b.     Locally recruited staff are likely to be of lower quality than in national institutions, because the best are kept for national service;

c.     On international matters, there is less sensitivity to bilateral aid, hence the Foundationís comparative advantage is less than in the national context; and

d.     There are fewer opportunities to advance our understanding of the development process because the nature of the work is likely to be concerned solely with the ďmodern sectorsĒ of the cooperating countries. 

B. 7. Public Management Program

          As the Africanization program in both Kenya and Tanzania largely succeeded in accomplishing its objectives, and the staff development functions became institutionalized, the East Africa office began to look for ways in which to contribute to improving the performance of the public service, parastatal and private management. A wide range of possibilities was considered, including university management courses, the creation of a regional management training institution, arrangements for providing small business training to expatriate managers and management consultants, and training abroad for African managers and management trainers. A conference in 1971 sought the opinions of senior African officials on desirable program outlines, and Kingsley and Thurston were invited to return to assess the administrative programs they had spawned and recommend new directions. 

In general Kingsley and Thurston felt it was time for the Foundation to withdraw from staff development and manpower planning, the job having been satisfactorily completed. Their recommendations for the future were not the same for all countries, however. Only Thurston was able to visit Kenya. He concluded that if, and only if, the Kenya Government was determined to improve civil service performance, the Foundation should render further support by helping to build up a special management improve≠ment unit at a high level of government. In Tanzania, they assigned highest priority to the development of a corps of African managers, 1,260 of whom they estimated would be needed by 1973. They saw the problem as having many parallels with the Africanization of government in the early 1960s and recommended the appointment of a staff development advisor for parastatals. 

Dwight Brothers joined the Nairobi staff as Program Advisor on Economic Development and Management in 1970. At Harvard, Brothers held a joint appointment at the Business School and the Development Advisory Service, so he was equipped to deal with the economic planning program and to shape new efforts in the management field. Aided by the Kingsley/Thurston Report and the economic planning reviews of 1971, Brothers labored to devise an integrated public management program that would combine the two earlier efforts and eventually lead to a new synthesis. 

He recommended the outlines of a new program to a Foundation staff meeting held in Dar es Salaam in 1973. The features of the program were to concentrate on the public sector, to work with selected African institutions on providing mid-career or in-service management training, to help develop African management trainers, and to work primarily in national rather than regional contexts. 

Budgetary considerations imposed severe limits on program alternatives. The creation of a regional institute was not feasible because of different national development strategies in addition to its cost implications. Actually, one staff member was assigned for a time to the East African Institute of Management but the strength of commitment to the community of its members was thought insufficient to warrant greater investment. Small business development was also rejected as a major theme because African leaders did not seem to consider this to be a high-priority area, and the Foundation might be thought to be promoting capitalism against the national commitment to socialism in some countries. Undergraduate management training was rejected because programs of this sort were not generally successful in other parts of the world and were not readily adaptable to the British-style university structure common to the region. The meeting ended without achieving full agreement, possibly because the problem was so much larger than the resources available to deal with it. 

The Foundationís East Africa office had been interested in the field of public management from an early date, as evidenced by the negotiations with the Staff College. It did not prove to be an easy field to address. 

In 1965, Ben Lewis and Professor Les Chandler visited Tanzania to suggest organizational changes in the parastatal sector. The 1967 Arusha nationalizations added pressure to already-strained public management competences, and in 1969 Justus Landgrebe was attached to the National Development Corporation as advisor on executive development. Landgrebe, at the end of his tour, as recommended by Kingsley and Thurston, was replaced by a parastatal staff development advisor who organized a training program for young Tanzanian executives. In Kenya, the remaining public administration advisors concentrated on supporting the work of governmental commissions concerned with improving management in the public sector. In Zambia the Foundation aided an attempt to set up a parastatal management development unit. A management training course in Uganda was headed by a Foundation specialist assigned jointly to Makerere University and the Institute of Public Administration. 

With the support of a team from the Harvard Business School, an eight-week training seminar for African management trainers was held in conjunction with the East African Staff College in 1972. This was meant to be a continuing series for the purpose of improving the quality of training institutions across the continent, but the West Africa office of the Foundation, which was expected to support the second of the series, declined. An international conference on management education for Africa, held in November 1976 at the East African Community Management Institute in Arusha, could be considered a sequel to the earlier meeting, but, though partially supported by the Foundation, it had no organic links to the previous effort. 

In July 1974, a new public management DAP (749-0828) assumed the terminal obligations of the previous two programs and formally incorporated them under the new rubric. The bulk of the funds, however, went for salary and termination costs of project specialists still serving the earlier programs. Training programs for economists, the B. Phil. program in Nairobi, and the M.A. program in Dar es Salaam, continued to be financed for several years. In special cases, short-term consultants were available to those organizations where resident advisors previously served. The DAP document noted a redirection of attention to the development of managerial competence in the public sector, primarily through support for improved management training and research, but was somewhat vague about the specific new activities which would be initiated. 

This DAP is still active. It was renewed for three years in September, 1976 and is not directly the subject of this review. Management problems pervade all development programs, however, particularly those dealing with the performance of the public service and the implementation of economic plans, and we will need to explore further the lack of clarity and focus of our work in this field to date.   

B. 8. Economic Planning and Public Administration Projects in Other Countries of the Region  

          A full review of our work in these fields in Eastern Africa would require more attention to the countries that are rather summarily dealt with in this section. But as the strengths and weaknesses of our efforts are adequately illustrated in the Kenyan and Tanzanian cases, we may pass rather lightly over this ground, recognizing that full justice has not been done either to the governments themselves or the project specialists who served them. 

Economic advisory assistance spread somewhat less widely through the region than did our efforts in manpower planning, public administration and management. This is probably due to the size of the critical mass of advisors required to make a planning project viable. In Zambia and Uganda, the Foundation was prepared to provide more economic advisors in the mid-1960s than those governments were prepared to request. 

Actually, Uganda in 1960 was the first country in East Africa to make a firm request for a team of economic advisors. At that time the Foundation had no field office in the region and declined to meet the request because of the difficulty of managing the provision of housing, transportation, and supporting services from a distance. In retrospect, this decision seems most unfortunate because the Foundation never again saw a clear opportunity to establish the sort of intimate supporting relationship that evolved in the other two East African countries. Sporadic negotiations from time to time could have led to the provision of a staff development advisor or a group of economists, but for one reason or another no substantial results ensued. The Uganda Government came to believe that the Foundation was not seriously interested in its problems, and the Foundation management staff experienced some frustration in seeking ways to demonstrate that this was not the case. One suspects that the close relationships the Foundation had established with Tanzania and Kenya, and the role played by its advisors to each of those governments in East African economic negotiations, eventually decreased the interest of the Ugandans in Foundation advisory support. 

Experience in other countries would lead one to conclude that the likelihood of the Foundationís making an important contribution depended to a large extent on the early provision of one or two unusually competent men in key positions. Anderson and Thomas in Tanzania, Edwards and Anderson in Kenya, and later Simmance in Zambia and Glynn in Botswana symbolized the kind of competence the Foundation could offer, increased the probability that the government would turn to the Foundation first in seeking help on important matters, and made it possible, through their intimate understanding of the local situation, for the Foundation to respond sensitively and appropriately to requests. It was not necessary for them to represent the Foundation or seek to promote its interests for them to play this role, and I discovered no evidence that any conflict of interest ever arose. Indeed, the professional loyalty of these advisors was to the government they served; they were frequently urging the Foundation, on their governmentís behalf, to devote a greater share of the East African budget to that country. 

In Zambia, the Foundation sought to replicate the by-then successful Africanization and administrative improvement programs of Tanzania and Kenya. In June 1965 Frank Glynn, then SDA in Tanzania, and W. L. Lloyd submitted a consulting report to the Government of Zambia. They recommended the creation of a management services agency covering staff inspection, manpower utilization and training development. The agency was to be placed under the direction of a staff development advisor. In response to the governmentís request, the Foundation recruited Alan Simmance, then Principal of KIA, to serve as SDA. When he arrived, however, he found that the Establishments Division had rejected the Glynn report recommendation concerning a management services agency, and had itself set up a staff inspection and manpower utilization unit, manned by four officers seconded from the UK Civil Service. Simmance thus found himself attached to the Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet and to the Minister of State in the Presidentís office who was responsible for the Civil Service, but not in direct contact with those functions of the Establishments Division which had been employed so usefully by staff development advisors in Kenya and Tanzania. In the course of time, a management development unit was in fact set up, with Simmance at its head, but this was five years after his arrival in Zambia. 

In the meantime he had found many ways to keep usefully occupied. He concentrated first on the expansion and improvement of administrative training programs, in conjunction with the Zambianization of government. But his activities spread and included during his assignment the following: he served as advisor to a committee on civil service training and attended cabinet-level manpower committee meetings; he helped devise schemes of service for career development in the public service; chaired committees on emoluments and conditions of service of statutory boards, corporations and state-owned enterprises, technical education, university salaries, decentralization of administration, computer utilization and foreign service regulations. He was a member of committees on the Africanization of the private sector, Africanization of the mining industry, chairman of a committee that reviewed the corpus of public service regulations between 1971 and 1976, and secretary of a major public services and parastatal salaries review in 1974-5. 

Iím unable to assess the outcome of our program in Zambia, but it is evident that Simmance played a key role in the Governmentís effort to Zambianize its service and provide training opportunities for its staff. 

Toward the end of his assignment, and perhaps somewhat earlier, Simmance sensed that the Foundation was wearying of its role in staff development and manpower planning and was eager to turn instead to questions of public management, particularly of parastatal organizations. He disagreed with the notion that the sorts of advisory services the Foundation had offered for the past decade in eastern Africa were no longer needed, particularly in Zambia, and argued his point forcefully in the program discussions on public management. Kingsley and Thurston, who visited Zambia for only two days on their 1971 retrospective visit, did not add to his case. Their 2-1/2-page report on Zambia was gloomy and negative about the prospects of improving the public service. 

Consequently, despite very high-level requests for him to continue as staff development advisor, Simmance was induced to shift his attentions in 1974 to management improvement for parastatal organizations. Simmance remained in Zambia until September 1976, but when he left the Foundation in 1975 he was the last project specialist in the country. Between his arrival and departure, eight additional Foundation advisors had served a total of 17 years in such fields as manpower planning, manpower utilization, legal affairs, technical and vocational training, rural development planning, education planning, university planning, and parastatal management. Their assignments were not under his direction, but for the most part they were negotiated through his offices. 

Manpower planning did not enjoy great critical acclaim in Zambia; indeed nowhere did it achieve the importance it had in Tanzania. Basic policies similar to those introduced by Thomas to Tanzania were adopted, except as regarded investments in higher education. Zambia was wealthier than Tanzania, and could afford to overproduce people in a number of skills in the hope that they would generate economic activity and create employment. 

Manpower planning advice was provided more widely than any other service by the Foundation to the countries of the region. In Uganda, a young British economist selected by the Ugandans was engaged by the Foundation for manpower planning. It was intended that he would work under Bob Thomasí close supervision, but in practice he failed to call for assistance and Thomas was reluctant to intervene uninvited. In the Sudan, an initial manpower survey was conducted with Foundation assistance, but a military coup led to the termination of the effort. 

 Generally, it seems that manpower planning was perceived to be within the competence of a single advisor, but in practice it could not succeed in becoming an important instrument for shaping resource allocations unless it operated in a highly congenial environment. This could only be created when the top levels of government understood and gave high priority to the process, and when other officials and departments gave support to manpower planning. 

In 1970 the Foundation launched a planning and administrative advisory program in Botswana, modeled closely on East African experience, which is flourishing to this day. Frank Glynn moved from Tanzania to become a staff development advisor in February 1970. Advisory services have since been provided to the Ministries of Agriculture, Education, Mineral Resources and the Attorney Generalís Chambers. This year (1977) a senior economic advisor was assigned to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. Many of the staff participating in that program had earlier served with the Foundation in East Africa. Although it is too early to evaluate the Botswana program, it appears that the East African model has been modified and transferred very successfully. 

B. 9. Related Program Activities

          On various occasions while the major public administration and economic planning programs were in full operation, the Foundation supported associated activities, contributing to similar objectives but quite distinct in form and content from the advisory programs. The ability of the field office to make small, and sometime not so small, grants in support of program activities in which project specialists were engaged proved highly complementary to the work of the advisors. The overall impact of the Foundationís efforts in economic planning and public administration could not be fully assessed without some brief mention of at least some of these supplementary activities. 

1. Inter-African Public Administration Seminars

In 1962 a small group of senior African civil servants from both sides of the continent assembled in Dar es Salaam to discuss their experience in Africanizing the public service. The following year a slightly expanded group met in Enugu, and thus began an annual series of very informal discussions on particular problems relating to the professionalization of the public sector in African countries. Each seminar selected one aspect of this broad theme for particular concentration. Such topics as the public service role in development, management of public enterprises, planning new administrative machinery, regional cooperation in Africa, improving the effectiveness of the public service, delegation and decentralization, and indigenization of the African economies provided the focal point for each of these meetings. Papers were prepared by several of the participants for discussion in the seminar, but the most notable characteristic of these occasions was the frankness and informality with which the subjects were addressed.  

David Anderson played a key role in helping to organize the first few seminars and in 1968 Chief Oputa Udoji accepted a Foundation assignment at the East African Staff College in which his duties included serving as secretary to the seminars. 

At the tenth annual seminar, held in Sierra Leone in 1971, a professional association growing out of the seminar series was formally inaugurated and designated the African Association for Public Administration and Management (AAPAM). AAPAMís aims were to enable senior administrators to exchange ideas and experience related to their responsibilities in the rapidly changing African countries, to foster the quality and professionalization of public administration in Africa, to increase the awareness of public administrationís importance to development, to promote the adoption of more effective management systems and practices, and to encourage and undertake research on African administrative problems. 

Professor Adebayo Adedeji, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa and one of the continentís most respected public administrators, is the current (1977) president of AAPAM. Local chapters have now been organized in many African countries. 

In the past 16 years the Foundation has shared the costs of these annual seminars with the host countries and more recently has made two grants to meet organizing expenses of the new association. The total amount invested in this activity by the Foundation approaches $900,000. 

AAPAM participants have consistently represented the highest level of African public servants. They have on occasion made note of the fact that although there are several conferences and training courses held in Africa by various international bodies, none of them is attended by top administrators except for these Inter-African Public Administration Seminars. In addition to being unique in that respect, the seminar is thought by some participants to be the only form of training and personal development that they are likely to get. 

A number of the papers presented at the seminars have been of unusual quality. In 1975 Anthony Rweyemamu and Goren Hyden of the University of Dar es Salaam published a collection of these papers, with their own interpretative comments, under the title A Decade of Public Administration in Africa

2. Staff Development and Human Relations Training

Perhaps the most innovative and experimental of the Foundationís efforts in newly-independent African countries was an attempt to use human relations training in management development. A team of consultants led by Dr. Donald Nylen organized two-week training seminars in West Africa beginning in 1958. In 1964 the seminars program shifted to East Africa. A talented Kenyan participant, Albert Maleche, was selected for advanced training and in time became a fully qualified trainer, through studies at the National Training Laboratories (NTL) in Bethel, Maine. 

The program employed a number of experimental learning techniques, including structured exercises, role-playing, case studies, and a limited amount of theory; but the principal device was the use of the T-group. This is the formation of a small group of people who meet once or twice a day for intensive one-and one-half or two hour sessions. Each group begins without an agenda, structure, division of labor, or rules of procedure. They are asked only to develop activities that will increase their understanding of the forces influencing human behavior in groups and organizations. 

The idea of this type of training is to divorce an individual from his customary cultural surroundings, relieve him temporarily from the obligations and support of kinship, family and organizational relationships, and put him in a very permissive atmosphere in which he and others are encouraged to express honestly their feelings and reactions to their experiences. Through this process the participants are expected to learn more about themselves, about others, about group process and development, and about how to modify behavior in order to promote self-satisfaction and improve group development. 

Little attempt was made to transfer specific managerial skills. The underlying leadership philosophy was close to that of Argyris and McGregor, featuring collaborative leadership and broad participation in planning, decision-making, and evaluation. 

This type of approach to management training was very much in vogue at the time in the United States, but its appropriateness in the African cultural environment remained a large unanswered question. Due to the nature of the training, it was difficult to measure its impact objectively, but several attempts were made to test results. For example, various mixtures of racial, tribal and national participants were selected for different courses. In one case the trainees were all members of the field staff of a single ministry. On occasion the human relations training was associated with a more structured, job-oriented course. Participants were asked to evaluate the program themselves, and a formal evaluation with extensive interviews and the administration of questionnaires among participants and their job superiors was conducted by a British scholar who was not himself associated with NTL. 

Participantsí reactions were generally highly favorable and the formal evaluation was positive, but the program gradually died out in the mid-1960s because of the difficulty of relating it to specific training objectives of any formal organization or training institution. 

Recently Albert Maleche, who has since gone on to a Ph.D. in Social Psychology, discussed the experiment at a conference on management education for Africa. He concluded that the NTL approach was of only limited usefulness, mainly at the individual and small face-to-face group levels. It does not provide a basis for innovative behavior or for leadership in organizational change. Although it can make participants aware of the direction of desirable change, it does not give them the information or the skills to undertake an analysis of organizational problems and to plan desirable changes. Maleche also noted, significantly, the inability of this type of training, to date, to relate to the primacy of kinship-group relationships, which are so important in Africa. 

3. African Businessmen in Kenya

          In 1966 the Foundation funded a study of small African entrepreneurs in Kenya by Peter Marris and Anthony Somerset of the Institute of Community Studies in London. Their study was published under the title African Businessmen in 1971. 

The study was notable for the breadth of its approach. The authors attempted not only to identify the causes of success or failure among African entrepreneurs, but to seek out the wellsprings of creative innovation in the sector. They sought to establish the business environment in which the enterprises existed, looking at markets, sources of finance, and government training and advisory services. Then they went further into the attitudes of the businessmen to kinship groups, relationships with customers and competitors, and the importance of the educational level of the entrepreneur to the size of the business. 

The authors were based at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Nairobi, and university students participated in some aspects of the research. 

4. The Kericho Conference and the SRDP

          In 1966 a major conference was held in Kericho, Kenya on education, employment and rural development. The conference, sponsored by the University College at Nairobi, and financed by grants from the Foundation and the Dulverton Trust of the UK, was prompted by a request to the University from the Kenya Government. Eighty scholars, invited experts, government officials and donor agency representatives attended. The University published the results in a book edited by James R. Sheffield. 

Philip Ndegwa, then Chief Planning Officer for the MEPD, commented recently that this conference had an important impact on government, concentrating attention as never before on the vital importance of rural development if school leavers were to have some hope of finding places in the wage economy. 

After the Conference, the University followed through on some of the ideas discussed, proposing to Government that a series of pilot rural development projects be undertaken on an experimental basis. Governments are never enthusiastic about pilot projects that may appear to discriminate in the allocation of resources in favor of some areas to the neglect of others; but the donor community was very responsive and Government eventually agreed to the launching of six pilot projects in 1970. The Special Rural Development Project (SRDP) is now coming to an end and deserves lengthy exposition in its own terms. For the purposes of this paper it need only be said that the Kericho Conference with its follow up was an example of the potential of university/government cooperative relations, and also of the difficulties inherent in such cooperation. The Conference itself was a very considerable success and it is clear from Robert Chamberís book (1974) on the SRDP that a great deal was learned from those experiments. 



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