Aug 14, 2014
Our country has for the last
decade or so managed to achieve rapid and sustained economic growth making
possible an impressive progress in ensuring socio economic development that has
benefitted the cross-section of our society and inspired the hope that Ethiopia
will in a not- so-distant future join the community of prosperous nations in
The great leader, the late Meles Zenawi
was a visionary leader, par excellence, and the architect of our Renaissance,
who singlehandedly designed and handed over the roadmap to modern, developed
and democratic Ethiopia. We have now in our possession strategies and policies
emanating from this roadmap that have already proven their mettle. The
consecutive double-digit growth that we have achieved in the last decade does
indeed attest to the efficacy of our policies.
Ensuring the sustainability of
our growth and taking it to the highest level will require improving good
governance. In this regard there is a need for a concerted effort to dismantle
the rent-seeking political economy and build a developmental and democratic one
in its place where the prevalence of good governance is ensured.
This cannot however be achieved
unless such an effort is made in the context of building a democratic developmentalist
army organized for change. Our reform activities and our efforts at ensuring
good governance should therefore be carried out in tandem with our vehement
campaign against rent-seeking behavior and the political economy that enables
The government of Ethiopia in its
Five-Year Plan emphasized the promotion of improved democratic governance,
decentralization and reform of the justice system.
The first Human Rights Action
Plan has been developed and launched as part of the National Mobilization for
Good Governance. Its implementation has been accompanied by several policy forums,
consultations, workshops and trainings aimed at building consensus and sustaining
the participation of stakeholders and for sharing lessons learned.
Encouraging progresses have been
achieved so far; for example:
The Human Rights Commission has
built up its capacity to monitor government actions and has made some recommendations
which have been implemented by the government. For example, improvement in prison
conditions has come about as a result of the commission’s study on prison
facilities and the recommendations from the reports which provided the basis
for an increase in the annual budget of these prisons.
Support provided to the Human
Rights Commission and the Ethiopian Institute of Ombudsman (EIO) has led to
improved access to justice. UNDP’s support has facilitated the creation of over
126 legal aid centers across the country. The centers have provided services to
13,867 beneficiaries, of which 50 percent of them are women.
Enhanced capacity of the
Ombudsman has led to increased access to information and reduction in maladministration.
For example from 2007 to 2013, the
head office of the EIO received 30,857 cases and resolved 70 percent of it through
mediation. As a result of the establishment of an Electronic Case Management in
2013, the number of cases received by EIO showed a 300 percent increase from
the 2012 target it had set for itself. The system has led to real time
information on government records and report of complaints.
By June 2013, 75 federal and
regional government institutions had received and responded to an estimated
15,000 requests for information from the public on government business.
Through UNDP support in policy
development, investigation/detection and awareness to the Federal Ethics and
Anti-Corruption Commission (FEACC), the average number of cases investigated
and prosecuted in the last four years substantially increased.
In 2012 alone, 349 individuals
were prosecuted and a guilty verdict passed on 248 of these individuals while
in 2013 twelve senior government officials were charged with corruption and
removed from office. In 2013 FEACC’s prosecution rate reached 67 percent,
while its rate of conviction averaged 88.7 percent of cases received.
The frequency and depth of parliamentary
oversight on government actions have increased both at federal and regional levels.
Between 2007 and 2013, the Regional States Councils and City Councils
oversight coverage increased from 30 percent to 75 percent.
In addition, the frequency and
depth of oversight on government performance and public funds has improved
both at federal and regional levels.
Currently, Parliamentary Standing
Committees (SC) regularly review and provide critical feedbacks on plans,
programmes and reports submitted by the executive organs under their
supervision. The improved capacity of the oversight functions of Regional
State Councils has led to a more timely execution of road, health and school
facility developments around the country.
As part of a wider drive to women
political empowerment, the Federal Parliament, Regional State Councils and
City Councils moved to establish women’s forums and strengthen their capacity
to enhance female parliamentarian contribution to government oversight,
representation, and law making.
For instance, Oromiya Regional
State Council has established a women’s forum in all of its woreda/ district
councils while Amhara, Tigray and SNNPR have also established forums in 75 percent
of their respective woredas. There are ongoing efforts in the other regional
state councils to replicate these initiative
The House of Federation is now
working to improve intergovernmental relations and constitutionalism. The Council
for Constitutional Inquiry’s (CCI) has shown a significant effort to reduce its
case load through training. From 2007 to 2013, the Council resolved 859 of
the 965 cases submitted (98 percent) to it.
• The responsiveness of
government institutions addressing human rights has shown a 30 percent
increase from the 2011 baseline due to continued effort in building the
capacity of democratic institutions. Access to justice has also increased with
13,867 Ethiopians (50 percent women) benefiting in 2013 from 126 legal aid
centers around the country.
The Federal Ethics and
Anti-corruption Commission has shown a favourable performance and financial
audit coverage showing an increased from 32percent in 2010 to 97percent in 2013
at the federal and regional level.
The absorption capacity of local
government has improved by 20percent compared to that of the previous
Policy continuity and leadership
development has improved as the Institute of Leadership and Good Governance
(ILG), which in 2013 graduated its first class of 67 students with a Master
of Art Degree.
415 ethics officers have gained
skills in the implementation of the asset and income registration of public
In this national mobilization for
Good Governance, it is patently clear that the civil service has a fundamental
role to play in this regard tasked as it is with the implementation of the
various government policies and strategies and do so in a manner that keeps the
speed and the momentum of the progress that we have made so far.
As the Coordinator, Good
Governance and Reform Cluster stated recently the various initiatives that have
been undertaken by our government to carry out reform and ensure good governance
have come a long way in creating a civil service that is in a position to rise
up to this particular challenge.
results have been achieved in our efforts to put in place a civil service
structure guided by the values of transparency and accountability.
therefore be an imperative-and our primary focus from now on- to see that the
leadership at all levels; the entire civil service personnel and the public at
large are mobilized in an organized manner so that each will effectively carry
out its respective responsibilities in ensuring the success of the reform
Indeed, since 1991, the
government embarked on a series of reform programs hinged on the idea of
promoting Good Governance. In the early 1990s, the government launched
Structural Adjustment program consisting Civil Service Reform Program (CSRP) as
one of the components.
The phased reform measures have
been taken by the government, and the first phase of the reform (1991-1996)
focused on the restructure of government institutions and retrenchment program.
The second phase of CSRP was launched in 1996. The five sub-programs pronged
program includes: the top management system, expenditure management and
control, The Human Resource management, Service Delivery and Ethics. The sub
programs were further split into a number of projects.
There were six projects under the
umbrella of Service Delivery Sub-Program: development of service delivery
policy, grievance handling directives, award system in the civil service,
Methods Integration of related public service (center links), and preparation
of technical directives for improving civil service delivery and service
delivery standard directives.
However, the implementation
status of the aforementioned sub-programs as evaluated in 2001 (in the Capacity
Building Strategy paper) by the government was below the expectation. This
attributes to many factors like too much focus on technical aspects, rather
than changing attitude of the workforce, impulsive start of implementation, and
lack of committed political leadership.
Spanning over a decade,
Ethiopia’s transformation agenda has evolved over three phases (1992, 1996-2000
and 2001 onwards) in response to a growing awareness that pervasive deficits in
capacity have hampered the ability of the state to secure the fundamentals of
poverty reduction and democratic development including responsive service
delivery, citizen empowerment, and good governance.
Following the consolidation of
power, the Government also acknowledged the deep institutional constraints on
basic functions such as policymaking, service delivery, and regulation.
Core public management systems at
the federal and regional levels were hampered by outdated civil service
legislation and working systems; the absence of a medium-term planning and
budgeting framework; ineffective financial and personnel management controls;
inadequate civil service wages and inappropriate grading systems; poor capacity
for strategic and cabinet-level decision-making; and insufficient focus on modern
managerial approaches to service delivery.
In 1994, a task force was
commissioned to conduct a diagnostic overview. The primary phase of diagnosis
and taking stock of the problems facing the civil service ended in February,
1996, with the identification of weaknesses in the ways the civil service
managed its financial and human resources, delivered services to the public,
strategic priorities and performances and monitoring and evaluation of top
Following the identification of
problems, efforts were made to reform the system by providing, among other
things, training to civil servants at federal and regional levels.
In recognition of these
constraints, the Government embarked on a comprehensive Civil Service Reform
Program (CSRP) in 1996, marking the second reform phase. Indicative of
Ethiopia’s “first generation” capacity building efforts, the CSRP sought to
build a fair, transparent, efficient, effective, and ethical civil service
primarily by creating enabling legislation, developing operating systems, and
training staff in five key areas: (i) Expenditure Control and Management, (ii)
Human Resource Management, (iii) Service Delivery, (iv) Top Management Systems,
and (v) Ethics.
Successful efforts (for example,
budgeting, planning, and accounting reforms) at the federal level were intended
to provide prototypes for regional authorities. The CSRP was also influenced
by the international New Public Management trend, and reforms in New Zealand in
The good governance drive also faced
some delays due to the Ethio-Eritrea border conflict 1998-2000. However, some
achievements which may pave the way for full implementation of the CSRP were
Among other things, the
development of new legislation (for example, a financial management
proclamation, a civil service law, a code of ethics, complaints-handling
procedures, and a service delivery policy) as well as operating systems for
budgeting, procurement, and some aspects of personnel management such as salary
surveys and records management.
However, due to various problems
including lack of capacity, only limited successes were made in bringing about
improvements in performance and service delivery, effective policy formulation,
programme and project execution as well as in tackling other problems of the
civil service in general.
The problems are much more
serious in regions such as Afar, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambela and Somalia where
civil service performance and public service delivery are at a rudimentary
stage. The problem is aggravated by weak civil service structures and human and
The most recent reform phase
began in September 2001, with the launch of the Public Sector Capacity Building
Support Program (PSCAP), which also revived the CSRP. The Government has moved
quickly to prepare the CSRP for its “full implementation” across all regions
and levels of government. Pilot studies and special programs on performance and
service delivery improvements in selected Ministries, Agencies, and Bureaus
have been initiated.
These include; the establishment
of focal points responsible for reform implementation across tiers of
government; a series of workshops undertaken to sensitize the political
leadership and civil servants across the country; and the launch of a “special
program” of Performance and Service Delivery Improvement Policy (PSIP) in
priority Ministries, Agencies, and Bureaus designed to deepen the
implementation of performance management. PSIP, along with other reform
programme areas, have promoted Business Process Reengineering (BPR) as a key
management initiative, particularly in those ministries that interface directly
with the private sector.
The civil service reform
sub-programme (CSRP) is an integral part of a broader programme of multi-faceted
reforms intended to build and strengthen public sector capacity for the
attainment of the Government's socio-economic development goals and objectives.
It aims at creating an enabling environment which will allow the civil service
to function effectively and efficiently. It focuses on the development and
implementation of appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks, and
institutional and human resources as well as the introduction of improved
management systems and best practices. The overall purpose is to build a fair,
effective, efficient, transparent and ethical civil service through
institutional reforms, systems development and training. The need for civil
service reform is dictated by the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the
existing system and the lack of capacity of organizations both in the public
and private sectors to effectively manage and utilise available resources for
bringing about sustainable growth and poverty reduction.
Based on lessons learned during
the first half of 2002, the Government undertook relevant policy and
institutional reform measures for full-scale implementation of the
sub-programme with the following measures taken prior to startup of
implementation: Placement of the responsibility to manage and co-ordinate the
CSRP under the Civil Service Ministry; Restructuring the original CSRP
co-ordinating office as a CSRP Office and strengthening its capacity to manage
and co-ordinate implementation; Transferring ownership of the various reforms
and accountability for their implementation to federal and regional
institutions through a series of seminars delivered to top officials on the
objectives of the CSRP and its components; Providing extensive training to
staff from various federal and regional institutions so as to enable them
spearhead implementation of reforms.
Full implementation of the good
governance drive was launched at the beginning of September, 2002, and is now
well underway. As a start-up move, civil service reform offices were
established in key federal and regional institutions to provide technical
support in planning and management.
The overall objective of the CSRP
is to enhance the capacity of the civil service so that it will be effective,
efficient, transparent, accountable, ethical, performance oriented, and that it
promotes good governance, provides client-oriented service delivery and is
supportive of the Government’s social and economic development policies and
private sector development.
The most important beneficiary of
the CSRP is the Ethiopian public who will deal with a client-responsive civil
service providing quality services with integrity. At the end of the reform,
the civil service staff and work force will be a self-confident, competitive
group inspired by a sense of service to the public. The private sector will
reduce its transaction costs of doing business with the civil service.
The outcome of all these efforts
was great and tremendous. The late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi summed it up in
previous governments, our writ runs in every village. That has never happened
in the history of Ethiopia. The state was distant, irrelevant. You paid tribute
from time to time and if you didn’t like it you rebelled. That’s the history of
Now we have a
formally structured state, there is a school in every village and clinics in
every village, roads, and infrastructure.
constitution is working; people are beginning to feel part of a larger entity.
They are beginning to feel the benefits of belonging to a larger country.
Indeed, the Civil Service will
continue its role as a major agent of change and development!
This week the second National
Good Governance Movement Forum started in Addis Ababa in the presence of Prime
Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, ministers, state chiefs, university presidents
and public representatives are in attendance.
Opening the event, Prime Minister
Hailemariam Desalegn said problems with good governance present a challenge in
the nation's fight against poverty and ignorance.
He called on government officials
and leaders at various levels to work closely with the public to promote good
On the occasion, Coordinator of
the Finance and Economy Cluster with the rank of Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael
presented the performance of the country’s telecom sector until June 2014.
Dr. Debretsion said long and
short term strategies are being carried out to resolve problems with
accessibility. New network expansion projects are also underway currently in
Addis Ababa, he added.
Minister of Water, Irrigation and
Energy, AlemayehuTegenu for his part briefed the participants about the
provision and distribution of electricity.
Minister of Trade, KebedeChane,
also presented his ministry’s performance in customer service and promotion of