Representatives from seven countries will share their experiences of getting things done in government. For example, Nzioka Waita, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Kenyan President will talk about progress on a major new railway, while Ray Shostak, former Head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit in the UK, will talk about the experience of co-ordinating delivery across the British government. Jim Murphy, the Executive Director of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change’s work on effective governance will also provide his insight into how public servants and elected politicians can work together to secure reforms.
Delegates in a breakout session at the inaugural Africa Delivery Exchange, Nairobi, March 2017
As well as talking about how to make reforms, those taking part will also discuss methods and structures of building routines that enable governments to monitor progress and implementation of their top policy priorities. This includes weekly and monthly stocktakes across government departments, and even public accountability via radio talk shows. Representatives from the wider development sector in East Africa will join delegates on the final day to discuss the potential for improved support to centre of government delivery efforts.
The Institute’s Managing Director of Africa programmes Nick Thompson said:
“I'm delighted we're able to host this event with so many of Africa's senior leaders and officials in the area of delivery. They are at the front line of a public sector transformation taking place across the continent. We hope this forum will help them to improve the effectiveness of government services and allow us to better understand how we can continue to support the transformation of their countries."
Dan Hymowitz, the author of the Art of Delivery series, which was published by the Africa Governance Initiative, will talk about government effectiveness and the four building blocks of making reforms. These are:
Monitoring performance: Governments need to be able to track which reforms are on- or off-track. This requires clear assignment of responsibility, a mechanism for regularly monitoring progress and the ability to measure performance.
Political authority: Leaders need to pay close attention to delivery, ensuring that political authority is connected to the delivery process. This requires an understanding of how power works in a given political system, which is often both complex and nuanced.
Agile response: If delivery is off-track governments need to be able to adapt. This means identifying barriers to delivery and then responding to them. A delivery unit, or similar, can be effective in identifying barriers and solutions.
Incentives: Policy delivery requires actions by a diverse range of actors and for this to happen there need to be positive and negative incentives – often both formal and informal – to make sure government leaders and officials are focused and motivated.