When it comes to public policy, every government is judged by the outcomes of its policy choices to address key issues. As such, a high premium is placed on the quality of the public policy process. This quality relies enormously on a strong, competent civil service (or at least policy advisory system) that is able to undertake evidence-based analysis to identify policy alternatives whilst considering their implications and available resources.
In 2020, we adopted a holistic approach to help strengthen the ability of civil servants in public policy development. We introduced a training programme, Analytical Skills for Executives, which motivates participants to become adept problem solvers through lectures, skill-building exercises and real-life case studies. We incorporated advisory services as well as research in the approach and went further to initiate a Public Policy Forum in partnership with the Cabinet Secretariat.
The first Public Policy Forum was held on 29 January 2021 with policymakers from government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). The aim was to explore ways to address systemic and structural issues to allow an environment conducive for public policy making to deliver the desired results. The discussions considered current processes for analysing and developing policies; stakeholders; systems and structures that facilitate or hinder the processes; and factors limiting policymakers to effectively perform their roles in this context.
The forum culminated in identifying a way forward that highlights specific gaps to be addressed by the MDAs as well as areas that would benefit from UONGOZI Institute’s interventions.