The Jubilee government rode the digital wave, promising sweeping changes in service delivery that would make good use of technology. The “top tier” of public servants publicly accepted and signed their performance contracts by which they will be measured at the end of their tenure. This gesture had me rethink two components for this performance contacting business; the first is why we want to do the grading, like a school exam that comes at the end of every year, as opposed to continuous assessment tests that would reveal the need for remedial action before it is too late and the second is what other data can we use to enrich the indicators used to arrive at the final score.
On the first, there is not much one can do, as it may be a process written in “government” stone, but on the second we could explore the indicators further. My indicator of choice that would be both easy to measure and track using technology is the calendar. Public officers are expected to be accessible and the quality of that access and interaction should form an obvious dataset. With their days seemingly filled with activity, it is a shame that from personal experience, this is does not match productivity.
Vision2030 has project timelines applied as are RRI’s – rapid results initiatives. With any change in regime, often times the baton change in what is a political relay is executed poorly with projects that matter taking a hit as they are relegated to the back burner.
What an open calendar would do for the engaged citizen is give visibility on the choice and quality of meetings that key public servants are having, and if taken a notch further perhaps even influence what gets locked in. Synced to a dashboard that tracks projects that count towards the public servants overall rating, I believe that we will see more optimized use of the available work hours.
With the calendars of the “top tier” public servants not managed by the principles themselves and calendar plus attendant sync standards being well documented, democratized monitoring and evaluation will deliver participatory government transparently and give us as the citizen, more value for our shilling.