Public Sector Reform, Decentralization,and Capacity Building Project

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
- Serious deterioration in almost every aspect of public services. - The decentralization efforts introduced in Northern Sudan since 1990s under a three –tier federal structure of government are facing the challenges of massive structural inequalities and imbalances through the country. - Levels of fiscal transfer and local resource mobilization decentralized. - Sudanese public service was weakened over years through: o mismanagement, lack of funds, o falling remuneration, o limited training opportunities, o Loss of key staff.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The initial project proposal (IPP) raised from the Ministry of Labour, Public Services & Human Resources Development which has been prepared by the national and international experts to deal with the administrative reform and the challenges facing the public services specified by the JAM in 2005, such as: First: the project was supposed to start by September 2006 for 3 years but the project document was not finalized till June 2008, (delay of around 2 years). Secondly: instead of a project the representative of the GoNU & the experts of the W.B agreed upon a programme that may results into many sequential projects that address the administrative reform process. Lastly: the big change is that the total project cost of 24 millions dollars that appeared in the (IPP) to be paid 8 millions by the donors & 16 million by the GoNU was realized to be not realistic. The project that was implemented in 4 years was actually started in September 2008 with cost of 5.14 million dollars to be paid 50% by the GoNU & 50% by the donors MDTF. Actual budget was approved: Total project cost: US$ 5.14 M Financing from MDTF: US $2.57 M Financing from GoNU: US$ 2.57M The developmental goal of the project The overall developmental objective of the project is to improve the capacity at the federal state, and local levels to deliver decentralization to the citizens of the Sudan. This expected to be achieved through a phased programmatic approach actualized through sequenced short-and medium –term projects to strengthen cross –cutting public sector management systems –particularly for human resource management and public financial management –following the principles of transparency, accountability and performance. The project therefore supports the establishment of the essential prior backbone capacity and processes that enable actual service delivery by frontline ministries, departments and devolved authorities. The project limited in scope and duration –would be an initial phase to build the foundation for supporting the full implementation of the constitutional and legal mandate to decentralize governance and service delivery to states and localities. In this first phase, the project will focus on assisting select control government agencies to realign and manage their roles and processes, develop capacity to better reform their regulatory, facilitation, mentoring and monitoring roles, and improve human resource management processes. It would be also support the implementation of transparent, credible, and efficient intergovernmental fiscal transfers and monitoring process; immediate support to urgent procurement reforms at central level; and build capacity in key institutions for necessary policy analysis and design, training and monitoring and evaluation to further decentralization with a results

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The project is the initial, short term intervention to test the feasibility of supporting the full implementation and legal mandates for decentralization by selectively building essential capacity for federal, state, and local governments to undertake decentralization responsibilities and provide services to the citizens. This project is prelude to follow up phases whose foci and design will build on results and lessons from initial project, scaling up in to areas consolidate decentralized governance in Sudan (e.g. via strengthening local planning and budgeting, designing investment funds.etc.) and improve broader public management (e.g. modernizing public finance management .resizing and re-organizing the public service .and enhancing policy analysis). The project initiative was prepared in creative and innovative ways insisted in the following: (i) Intensive coordination across tiers and branches of government; (ii) Compliance with clearly defined rules of the game (for example, for efficient management and allocation of resources according to agreed work plans); (iii) Transparency and information sharing especially on matters of performance within the public sector and with the public at large; and (iv) Extensive support to other agencies in the design, execution and quality assurance of the reform activities. (v) To the extent possible, implementation arrangements have been developed with the objective of ensuring that effective collaboration can occur within the established institutional structures and personnel. In order to mitigate the existing low implementation capacity, a Project Implementation Unit (PIU) was established to carryout regular coordination of project activities. To sustain the capacity of the PIU, continuous support would be provided through the project to strengthen its capacity of its staff with the following objectives in mind: • Effective collaboration between the institutions responsible for project implementation; • Ease in the delivery of the program as a basis for promoting ownership and accountability; • Promotion of mainstreaming of procedures with the current government structures; • Provision of an appropriate link between government and development partners; • Promotion of an adequate stakeholder consultation; and Promotion of government leadership as a basis for ensuring program sustainability.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Key Roles and Responsibilities 1. A Steering Committee headed by the Minister of the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development (MLPSHRD) would provide the overall oversight for project implementation. Technical support to the Steering Committee would be provided by a Technical Committee (TC) composed of Undersecretaries and designates from relevant Ministries and Agencies. Day-to-day operational and coordination support would be carried out by the Project Implementation Unit (PIU). The latter would also serve as the Secretariat for the Steering Committee. Role of the Steering Committee 2. The overall responsibility for the implementation of the project is vested to the Steering Committee (SC) which is headed by the Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development (MLPSHRD). The main role of the Steering Committee is to provide overall guidance and direction to facilitate the achievement of the expected results by implementing agencies. It would also resolve higher level policy and inter-ministerial issues and take the necessary steps to address unresolved implementation problems and can take policy issues to the President and the Cabinet as required. The SC would meet once a year to review progress and give general directions and priorities but could meet as often as necessary especially when critical problems arise and when at least two members request for the meeting of the SC to be convened. It would have in its membership four (4) State Ministers representing ministries key to the reform covered under PSRDCBP and other relevant ministries comprising the following: (i) Ministry of Finance and National Economy; (ii) Ministry of International Cooperation; (iii) Ministry of Federal Governments; (iv) Ministry of Labour Public Service and Human Resource Development; (v) the Chairperson of the Civil Service Commission; and (vi) a representative of the Private Sector. Other key ministries may be added by the Steering Committee. The SC would be responsible for: • Ensuring effective coordination of activities related to the implementation of project activities in accordance with the procedures outlined in this OM; • Liaising with relevant stakeholders and donor agencies; • Implementing effective financial administration and reporting system across various tiers of government; • Reviewing and consolidating quarterly, bi-annual and annual financial and physical performance reports; • Providing resources to enable strengthening of technical capacity of project personnel; • Monitoring and evaluating overall implementation and results on performance; and • Exercising such other functions as may be necessary to meet the objectives of the project. Role of the Technical Committee 3. The Technical Committee (TC) would be headed by the State Minister of Labour (or the Undersecretary of Labour). The TC’s main role is to bring together several agencies implementing reforms into one platform to jointly oversee the implementation of the project. The TC would liaise closely with the PIU to ensure smooth and rapid implementation of reforms and programs by various beneficiary units and further define, if needed, the role of PIU. The TC would be composed of the (undersecretaries or DGs of the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of International Cooperation, representatives from the Civil Service Commission, FFAMC National Training Council and private sector and an Advisor (possible as an independent consultant). The main responsibilities of the TC include the following: • Review in-year and annual performance and recommend re-allocation of resources based on agreed changes in priorities as may be necessary; • Share, exchange and compare views and developments in each of the reform activities, including implementation progress, any emerging/imminent policy changes and the results of appraisals/evaluations. • Initiate and provide technical support in the development of strategy for the various activities to be implemented under the various components with the support of the PIU; • Define technical requirements of consulting assignments (TORs) and determine specifications of various equipment that would be procured for the relevant components; • Develop and recommend communications and change management strategies; and • Ensure the quality and consistency of reform efforts Role of the Project Implementation Unit 4. The PIU would ensure daily coordination and supervision of the project. It would ensure that the various implementation agencies are on track with regard to technical aspects of the reform and the rationalization of the resources. It represents part of the secretariat to the Steering and Technical Committees and therefore communicates all the issues that need to be decided at the Steering or Technical Committee levels and monitor and evaluate project implementation. The PIU would report to the Technical Committee, which has the responsibility of reviewing its work and monitoring its performance. 5. To carry out its responsibilities, the PIU would be assisted by competent and experienced project management specialists and coordinators to work with the sector staff/specialists in the various agencies implementing components of the reform program (restructuring, human resource, training institutes, and fiscal decentralization). Specialists at PIU would also carryout monitoring and evaluation tasks related to tracking of performance and results and handle information, education and communication (IEC) function for the purpose of building reform coalitions at various levels as necessary and for the effective communication of project goals and results. The PIU would form a critical project implementation base for the Supreme Council for Administrative Reform recently established by Presidential decree (March 2008) and that would oversee broader public sector reform activities. 6. The responsibilities of the PIU include the following: • Serving as a focal point for contact among implementing agencies and the International Development Association for all matters related to the smooth preparation and implementation of the project; • Ensuring that project implementation is in compliance with the guidelines of the Operational Manual; • Managing Bank Accounts in compliance with the financial covenants of the Project and the World Bank Financial Management Guidelines; • Initiation and coordination of the preparation of the annual work plans of the various implementing agencies based on a standardized format; • Coordinating the preparation and monitoring and reporting on the execution of the overall procurement plan consistent with the procurement guidelines in the OM; • Reviewing proposed expenditures to determine its eligibility and compliance with the guidelines of the OM; • Assisting the implementing agencies in the preparation of Terms of Reference (TORs) and Request for Proposals (RFPs) for consulting assignments/studies and provide guidance in the selection of consultants/consulting firms; • Monitoring the work of consultants to assure quality and consistency with the agreed terms of reference and expected deliverables for the assignment; • Ensuring the provision of logistical and other support to local and international consultants engaged under the Project; • Conducting, commissioning, or coordinating monitoring and evaluation activities related to PSRDCBP implementation; • Implementing a communications program to disseminate the implementation progress of PSRDCBP; • Preparing Project Status Report (PSR) on a quarterly basis for review by the Steering Committee and onward transmission to the Task Team Leader of the World Bank; • Providing secretariat services and providing regular updates through the Technical Committee for the Steering Committee of the Project; and • Facilitating information sharing and discussions among implementation agencies of the project and other reform implementation units. 7. The overall coordination function would be performed by a Project Coordinator, reporting to the Technical Committee. 8. The Project would finance a quality assurance and implementation support mechanism for each of the implementation agencies, if needed, and the Project Implementation Unit (PIU). This refers to expert support to the implementation agencies in reviewing draft Terms of References and contracts; draft policy papers and legislations; outputs of consultants; specifications of equipment to be procured and its acceptance testing; change management; communication campaigns to build support for the project; building project management skills and others. 9. PIU Staffing. The PIU would consist of the following staff: • Project Coordinator • Procurement Specialist • Financial Management Specialist • M&E Specialist • Communications & Information Specialist • Administrative Officer • Secretarial Support • Driver • Messenger Focal Persons 10. Focal persons at the beneficiary agency level would serve as the contact points for all project related activities. These focal persons would be primarily responsible for ensuring, in close consultation with PIU, that implementation is undertaken according plan. They would be responsible for the day-to-day management of the allocation of implementation tasks and project performance at the beneficiary level. They would communicate project implementation progress to senior management and staff at management, departmental and staff meetings of the agency. The focal persons would also coordinate closely with PIU during the implementation of the project activities and assist the latter in compiling relevant information and data on progress status needed for the monitoring and evaluation aspect of the project. If needed, the focal persons may seek technical assistance from PIU on various technical matters.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
Stakeholders Involved in Implementation • Ministry of Human Resource Development & Labour ( MHRDL), • Ministry of Finance & Economic Development (MoFNE) • Ministry of Federal Governance • line ministries, (Central Government) • States and Localities of Sudan. • Fiscal and Financial Allocation and Monitoring Commission (FFAMC) • National Civil Service Commission. • General Department of Procurement at Ministry of Finance & Economic Development. • Civil Service Department (CSD) • National Training Council (NTC), Training Institutions in public and private sectors, • Sudan Academy of Administrative Sciences (SAAS) • Management Development Center (MDC) • Academy for Finance & Economic Studies (AFES) • Higher Wages Council, • Recruitment Boards at central government and states, • Civil Societies Organizations. • And NGOs.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Actual budget was approved: Total project cost: US$ 5.14 M Financing from MDTF: US $2.57 M Financing from GoNU: US$ 2.57M Acual Commitments MDTF: 2.6 GoNU: 0.8 through the WB to PSCAP espicial account or directly from the GoNU to PSCAP account.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
1. Reengineering and Restructuring of the Ministry of Labour, and Computerization of civil servants records to upgrade security, and reliability. 2. Assessment of the current fiscal formulae and the existing fiscal transfer systems, including a monitoring and evaluation mechanism. 3. Assessment (leading to a reform and implementation support plan) of the current fiscal formulae and the existing fiscal transfer systems, including a monitoring and evaluation mechanism. 4. Building the capacity of national public sector and economic management training institutions. 5. Training of Trainers (TOT) and Workshops Packages (3905 officers).

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Framework 1. This section describes the basic principles for monitoring and evaluation (M&E), broad definition of the process, key features of the M&E framework and suggested key performance indicators (KPIs) and results monitoring arrangements of the project. The section also gives an overview of the data collection processes and recommendations on how this information can be employed to enable effective monitoring, reporting and evaluation of activities. The aim of M&E is to: 2. Promote accountability by drawing on information on efficiency and effectiveness to assess and communicate whether project activities are likely to achieve expected results or realize its objectives; 3. Inform and support management decision-making and control during implementation; 4. Draw lessons of experience in terms of understanding factors that have facilitated or inhibited the achievement of objectives; and 5. Aid communication through provision of information and feedback both internally and externally. Monitoring and evaluation Cycle 6. Without monitoring and evaluation, it is impossible to judge if work was going in the right direction, whether progress and success could be claimed, and how future efforts might be improved. Monitoring is defined as a continuous function that aims to provide the management and main stakeholders with early indications of progress, or lack thereof, in the achievement of results of the project. It is the activity of collecting, recording, communicating, analyzing and using information for the purpose of management control and informed decision- making. Its purpose is to identify and promote the action necessary to improve implementation. It also measures the quality and effect of processes and procedures. Please refer to the M&E section of this OM for more details on this aspect of implementation. Monitoring and Evaluation for the project would take the following form: Monitoring & Evaluation Mechanisms a) Review meetings Technical Committee Review meetings should take place semi-annually or annually. The review meetings serve as a basis for timely rectification of implementation shortfalls as well as for the preparation of status reports on relevant activities for the concerned agencies. b) Regular consultations Regular consultation should be used by sector specialists or agents on their behalf as the most appropriate mechanisms to obtain reliable and first hand information on achievements and constraints of ongoing activities. These consultations are considered as a vital tool to check financial and physical data consistencies, to ensure first hand information and maintain contacts and exchange of views with monitoring and implementing organs. c) Preparation of periodic monitoring reports The PIU in close coordination with implementing agencies should prepare and submit semi-annual performance reports on agreed performance indicators. Periodic (quarterly, bi-annual and yearly) physical and financial reports showing comparisons of actual financial and physical achievements with targets indicated in the annual work plan also need to be submitted to the World Bank. In this regard, quality of reporting, periodicity of reporting and commitment of decision makers has remarkable bearings on the success or failure of a monitoring system. In monitoring practices, it is important to establish mechanisms for both information flow and feedback. 7. Evaluation is the process that attempts to systematically and objectively assess progress towards achievement of completing the activity. It is not a one-time event, but an exercise involving assessments of implementation to ensure satisfactory results. 8. The purpose of evaluation is a combination of learning, guidance and control based on an assessment of what has been achieved. It is expected that the following actions would be taken: (a) during implementation (mid-term evaluation), and/or (b) at completion (final evaluation). Project Evaluation a) Mid-term review Usually conducted around the middle of implementation period. The purpose of this review is normally to readjust implementation based on the last performance (i.e. to make budgetary reallocation among the components, change mechanisms of implementation etc). b) Final evaluation Conducted at the end of program/project life period. It is a selective exercise that attempts to systematically and objectively assess success towards achievements of immediate objectives, outcomes and outputs. It also extracts lessons learned, findings and recommendations. Responsibility for the M&E Function 9. The M&E process takes place at all levels where decisions are made; therefore, it is an integral component of sound management practice and would, therefore, be carried out across various levels. Monitoring function is the responsibility of the PIU. This means that the PIU is expected to develop and maintain a system that would facilitate collection of data on specified indicators for management reporting purposes and also for making stakeholders aware of the progress of project activities. The PIU is also responsible for ensuring that assessments are carried out as systematic and as objective as possible. The evaluation should use credible and useful information that includes lessons learned that can lead to a more effective decision-making process by all stakeholders. 10. Monitoring and evaluation are intimately related. Both are necessary management tools to inform decision-making and demonstrate accountability. Evaluation is not a substitute for monitoring nor is monitoring a substitute for evaluation. Both use the same steps, however, they produce different kinds of information. Systematically generated monitoring data is essential for successful evaluations. Developing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) 11. The development of KPIs would be carried out at the same time that the work plan is being formulated. This task would be lead by the PIU. There are two types of indicators that would be developed in close consultation with the relevant beneficiaries in collaboration with the relevant technical specialists. The table below shows the types of indicators and how these may be expressed: 12. It is assumed that monitoring capacity needs to be enhanced. Furthermore, reviews would be undertaken periodically, by the PIU M&E Specialist in conjunction with relevant stakeholders, to check for adherence to the agreed indicators. Continued access to project funds would be conditional on satisfactory outcomes of these reviews. Performance Indicators 13. The table below provides useful monitoring guidelines to be used for the project. The guidelines provide what is to be monitored, indicators of what improvements there are, means of verifying the improvements, frequency of monitoring, methodology or how the monitoring would be done, and finally who is responsible for the monitoring.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
1-Delay of starting date ( End of FY2009) affected whole project framework . 2- Delay of the flow of Counterpart Fund (CF). 3- Slow response of some targeted units in perform their activities. 4- Incentives issues of the Focal Points at beneficiary units, affecting effectiveness and efficiency of implementation. 5- Week feedback from the beneficiaries on the executed activities. 6- Continuous changing of TTLS has direct impact on the stability of PSCAP.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The PAD noted in Annex 9 that World Bank studies have identified a number of factors that improve efficiency of public services and therefore contribute to the improvement of accountability and quality and quantity of services available to citizens. They included: (a) transparent processes; (b) improved human resource management systems and incentive structures focused on results; and (c) participative processes especially at the local level in tracking planning, expenditures and services. Although it is difficult to quantify the benefits resulting from improved public management processes, these studies demonstrate both direct and indirect links between public sector performance and increase in economic development and sustained growth. Hence it is perhaps reasonable to generalize that the three processes mentioned improve the efficiency of public institutions, but there is no way this increased efficiency can be measured except through some proxies. Three examples show how PSCAP’s contribution could potentially lead to improved efficiency in the public sector. Economic benefits: Human capital development through training will improve skills that can be applied to a range of managerial and administrative tasks such as policy analysis to improve the efficiency of the civil service. In addition, those who have been trained can train others and the multiplier effect can be positive force for cohesion and collaboration in government institutions. Of course there needs to be a managerial culture and style that is open to the potential contributions of trained staff. Financial benefits: Successful development of a human resource data base in PSCAP Phase I will make it possible to eliminate “ghost workers” which will reduce government staffing costs. The data base with its information on qualifications, skills, experience and performance will also allow for the possibility of allocating the Government’s staff in more efficient ways than at present. The improved allocation of staff should in turn improve the productivity of government. Fiduciary benefits: Manuals for guiding management decisions on important issues, such as procurement and financial management can make institutions more effective, consistent and predictable. While the impact of the procurement manuals prepared as part of this project and the associated training is difficult to measure, staff involved with procurement in Sudan’s central and state governments who use the manuals will achieve a high level of efficiency in the procurement of services and goods. Hence there is a high probability that procurement throughout Sudan will become more efficient and result in substantial cost savings of Government resources. In summary, if PSCAP has contributed to a well-trained and effective civil service it will have contributed to a potentially more efficient use of public resources, if trainees staff are well managed. Cost effectiveness estimates are elusive but the project ultimately provided value for money with moderate shortcomings. The fact that the Government has retained the PIU and is continuing the project with its own resources is preliminary evidence that the long term benefits are likely to exceed costs. However, it is understood that the Government aims to trim the cost of the PIU.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The outputs exhibited different level of sustainability, which varied according to the managerial organization implementation level, where, the activities implemented at the operational and middle management levels seems to have better sustainability prospects, contrary to the output at higher management level such as reengineering and restructuring that would require policy decisions and commitments and properly review and possibly amendments of associated laws and policies.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
1. The public reform is a complex long term process that requires collaborative and unified efforts of all concerned institutions guided by the public reform strategy. 2. The responsibility of the PIU should not end by preparation of the studies or design and installation of systems and manuals, but PIU involvement should extend to cover the complete activity cycle from studies up to application and adoption by the beneficiaries, so as to ensure that efforts exerted are not wasted. Besides, PIU follow up will avail the opportunity for resolving the policy constraints and addressing of the problems usually encountered during adoption of new practices, as neglect of such aspects is most likely hinders full adoption and consequently results in disappointment and frustration among the staff. Moreover, it will consolidate the role of the PIU as focal point for public reform. 3. Therefore, the studies and systems and procedures and manuals developed should be considered at a stage of testing, before final adoption and impacts are realized. 4. Senior management is a key element in taking forward the benefit of the outputs and availing the opportunity for the staff to practice the skills staff acquired by their commitment to the outputs, getting rid of the traditional practices they acquired and encouragement of the staff to adhere to the outputs. Where efforts should be directed to bring the decision makers on board the reform process and thus overcome the potential resistance to the required reform actions. 5. Similarly, public reform leaders awareness about the project set up and implementation regulations, particularly the guiding principles, such as IDA procurements standards, would facilitate PIU unit tasks, save time and enable more adherence to the standards 6. Technical experts and professionals are more likely to stay, unlike policy makers who are more subject to change in position, hence, formation of TC from technical experts will not only ensure their technical input, but will guarantee also the continuity as members of the committee 7. It s also evident that outputs are most manifested at the middle or operational management level, where, where is less likely to encounter implementation constraints due to the pure technical nature of the outputs that doesn’t require support policy decisions or amendments of laws. Hence, focus in the future should be directed to such technical activities, which implementation lies in the hands of the middle operation executive staff. 8. This suggests that the reform should take a bottom up approach, by starting at the executive middle management, where public service reform is more easily. The changes induced at this level will inevitably be transmitted upwards and the top management will find itself forced to cope with the changes taking place at the bottom. 9. The existence of PIU is vital for the future of the project, where PIU is suggested to continue its pivotal role in public reform, where, its efforts should be directed during the next short term period on consolidation of the activities implemented and realization of its impact before proceeding to address new issues. 10. Advanced IT training for the staff responsible for operation of the computerized system, will improve the staff skills and enable them adapt the system to the emerging department needs for information. At the sometime a system to motivate the IT staff will be necessary to retain them and consequently the sustainability of the systems installed. 11. On the other hand, the beneficiaries will need to have a clear maintenance and replacement policy for the equipments they are provided with and take necessary actions to ensure maximum benefit of the work facilities is realized, by maintain linkages with the suppliers and other relevant firms and consultants. 12. The training institutions in cooperation with policy makers are expected to take necessary decisions regarding their future in the light of the situation analysis recommendations.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Public Sector Reform, Decentralization,and Capacity Building Project
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Saifeldawla Mohamed
Title:   Project Director  
Telephone/ Fax:   00249912937443
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Al samrab - Khartoum North
Postal Code:  
City:   Khartoum North
State/Province:   Khartoum

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