Kweneng District Council

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Batswana have for so many years complained about the quality of service from public sector. Kweneng District Council, like most government institutions was not immune to problems of organisational efficiency. The Council was faced with issues of low customer service delivery, low turnaround times, inconsistencies in processes (haphazard approach to record keeping and management which means information on files could be lost without a trace). There was low staff morale (staff motivation was not at its best hence customer service delivery was compromised), the image/reputation of the council was also low as the community had lost confidence and hope in their Local Authority, the council experienced high operational costs, work environment was not conducive for employees and clients, customer complaints were also too high (due to low staff morale and poor record keeping). All these factors were a major concern to both council management and its clients. Therefore they took it upon themselves to try and improve on them. Questions that arose were, how can council processes be consistent? How can we satisfy our clients? The solution then came to being standardisation of processes and setting up of service standards. That is what can customers expect? And what can management do to boost the low staff morale? There was need for a turnaround strategy. A strategy that would be an umbrella solution to all the inefficiencies and inconsistencies faced by Kweneng as a community and a local authority. KwDC needed to turn a new leaf in service delivery and staff performance, but the main concern was customer satisfaction, being the Council of Choice, hence the adoption of the same tag line.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The new strategy had to be a system that will do things correctly first and ever not trial and error. The solution adopted was to implement and run a Quality Management System (QMS) which is a process approach in which an organisation documents, implements, direct and control its activities in order to satisfy the needs and expectations of the local community and stakeholders. In 2012 KWDC kick-started its journey to adopt BOS ISO 9001:2008 which assisted the council to organise itself and define how it moved forward in terms of processes.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The problems called for innovation and renewal of public confidence in their local authority. The successful implementation of QMS would help in achievement of the following: 1. Improved quality of life in the district as evidenced in the livelihoods of community. 2. Improved service delivery leading to a reduction in customer complaints 3. Improved accountability and work ethic 4. Standardisation/ consistency of processes hence improvement in the quality of service delivery and improved levels of adherence to service standards. 5. Improved public confidence about the organisation by the public and oversight organisations, e.g. commendations from the external auditors. The whole strategy insisted on all processes beginning and ending with the customer. So first of all there was a need to identify customer requirement. This would be done through active community involvement activities including Consultation meetings, kgotla meetings, Village Development Committees, District Development Plans, Staff meetings, stakeholder engagement session, full council and Community Observatory Board. A consensus had to be reached as to what could be the best way forward. Following these consultations management took it upon itself to plan and provide resources better suited to address the situation. Resources provided and plans adopted then led to better service delivery because at this point every stakeholder was aware of what to expect and what was expected of them. KwDc offered social welfare programs in the form of poverty eradication projects, cluster gardening initiatives, foster parenting, destitute and remote area dwellers housing program, waste management, improvement of infrastructure, procurement focused on local economic empowerment and a one stop service centre. With implementation naturally follows evaluation. This is where customer feedback is solicited at certain intervals to measure the successes and failures of the programs installed. Feedback was sought through customer feedback forms, local structure meetings, kgotla and staff meetings as well as the Community Observatory Board. This was then reviewed by management so as to redefine processes and plans for improvement. Hence all in all, QMS called for constant improvement and refurbishment of systems and processes. In addition to all these, risk management programs were also put in place. These include: Anti-corruption committees across the district provide oversight, continuous awareness to staff and stakeholders. Whistle blowing where people can report, anonymously, corruption, fraud, bribery, theft or any other maladministration practices. BCM is a back-up plan for any possible service interruptions. It was developed in 2014 after assessment of risks. Strategies were put in place to mitigate these risks, e.g. back-up generators across all stations, offsite document management. A fire station to provide fire management services and emergency response to Kweneng community. The facility has created employment to youth in the village.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
This standardisation and certification was never done in any local authority let alone a government institution. It was a new concept, the first of its kind, hence KwDC became the first local authority in Botswana to be certified for all the functions of the organisation following municipalities in Mexico, Scotland, Italy, France and USA. As was anticipated, the successful implementation of QMS would change perceptions about local government service provision to being highly efficient and customer focused which was indeed a turnaround in the status quo. To be able to achieve this, council leadership at the time showed greater commitment to seeing a change, they were at the forefront of all proceedings without getting weary. This cultivated motivation among staff members as they too stepped up and accepted and owned this change. An internal technical team was set up. The team worked hand in hand with consultants and together with leadership succeeded at implementing BOS ISO 9001:2008. Setting up of a Community Observatory Board which represented public interests was another creative factor which contributed to the success of the initiative. The board ensures community participation in decision making, monitoring and evaluation of district projects and programmes.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The project was implemented by staff of the council. Following a decision to start the project a technical team was then established comprising of fourteen (14) professionals who received 13 days skills based ISO 9001:2008 training programme. A team leader was then nominated to take overall responsibility. The role of the team was to spearhead the development and Installation of the project as well as to champion its implementation. The team leader reported to council management team. To provide technical expertise, Botswana National Productivity Centre was engaged to provide consultancy services. Other stakeholders including the 1800 members of staff, Kweneng Community were engaged and made aware of the initiative through several communication channels. Kweneng District Council is the second largest district in Botswana both by geographical spread and population. And according to 2011 Population Census, Kweneng has a population of over 304,000 people. This population include all categories of people; the poor, children, youth, older persons, people with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS, people living in remote areas, rural areas and those in peri urban villages. It has three sub district councils namely Letlhakeng, Mogoditshane/Thamaga and Molepolole/Lentsweletau. Kweneng district council is mandated to undertake primary functions of social services, basic infrastructure and local governance. These services are performed under eleven different functions or departments as follows: 1. Department of Architecture and Buildings Services 2. Department of Civil and Mechanical Services 3. Department of Education 4. Department of Finance and Development Planning 5. Department of Human Resources and Administration 6. Department of Internal Audit 7. Department of Legal Services 8. Department of Physical Planning, Housing and Estate Management 9. Department of Public Health 10. Department of Social and Community Development 11. Council Management
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Step-by- step process approach as discussed below:- Total commitment to support quality management filtered down from top management after a decision by management to Implement QMS in 2010 as part of the KwDC 2011-2016 strategic plan as such quality statement policy was signed by CEO QMS technical team was then established and trained. The role of the team was to spearhead the development and Installation of the project as well as to champion its implementation. Subsequent to the training of the team, planning for the project was done: the output of which were project and risk plans which were consistently monitored and updated. Awareness training on change management and to instil culture of rendering quality service was conducted from January 2012 to March 2012 for councillors, staff, union members and stakeholders such as VDC, school heads etc. The Council then developed documentation criteria and framework as per ISO 9001:2008 standard. Teams were selected from all departments and trained on documentation; subsequently procedures were documented for each department. International benchmarking done in the City of Leon-Mexico. The purpose of the exercise was for KwDC to acquire practical skills in implementing and maintaining quality management systems in local authorities since this was the first of its kind in the Country. Lessons learnt enriched team’s knowledge of ISO documentation of procedures, its relationship with the International Work Agreement No.4 and the certification thereof. Consequently, KwDC adopted the Community Observatory Methodology after aligning the QMS to IWA 4(ISO 18091). The Community Observatory Board of Kweneng District Council was formed in January 2013. Monitoring and evaluation of the system is done through Implementation of planned internal and external quality audits and effective Management reviews- Trend analysis of the necessary data as determined by our QMS The QMS team was trained as quality auditors and they develop an annual audit plan, ensure that all functions are audited at least once each year. The audit plan is approved at management review. Internal quality audits were then conducted accordingly. In addition, departmental self-assessments. Stage 1 audit was conducted by Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) who were the certifying body, this was done to ascertain whether documentation conformed to the requirements of BOS ISO 9001:2008. Subsequently, stage 2 audit was conducted to ascertain compliance to the requirements of BOS ISO 9001:2008 as well as adherence to the BOBS management systems certification scheme. Kweneng District Council then got certified in August 2015. This is followed by surveillance audits bi-annually. Furthermore, to determine the adequacy, relevance and effectiveness of QMS, management review meetings are conducted to review QMS at planned intervals. Resources utilised Implementing QMS had important social component because it necessitated changes to an existing culture and practices, therefore there was need for provision of resources namely: rationalized manpower, prioritized budget and conducive work environment. The project was and is funded by the organisation through its recurrent budget. The costs incurred were for trainings, awareness sessions, consultancy services, bench-marking exercise, as well as certification services. Establishment & training of project team - August 2011 Awareness- March 2012 Benchmarking in Mexico(learnt about citizen observatory)- May 2012 Documentation and Verification of procedures - August 2012 Implementation of audited procedures- November 2012 QMS Launch - November 2012 First Round of Quality Audit -November 2012 Launch of Community Observatory of Kweneng-January 2013 Release of Version 2 audited Procedures- May 2013 COB Develops 2013/2014 Annual Activity Plan-June 2013 • Second Round of Internal Audit-September to October 2013 • Stage 1 External Audit- September 2013 • Stage 2 External Audit- July 2014 Certification- August 2015 Surveillance Audit- April 2016 Follow up Audit- October 2016

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Stakeholders who were involved in the design and implementation of this initiative were categorised according to their level of relevance and influence to determine the level and extent of engagements deemed relevant for the successful implementation of the solution. Councillors, staff, Trade Union Representatives and stakeholders such as VDC (Village Development Committees), school heads, community leaders During the life of the project regular progress reports were made to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development –being the parent Ministry as well as the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Public Affairs as it coordinates public service reforms. Within the organisation, structures such as management team, performance monitoring committee, finance committee as well as the Full Council were informed and are updated about progress. Communication to the community was made through use of public media. During this time also- feedback and customer complaints received though available forums for engagement were used to continue stakeholder engagement. Regular updates are also made to members of staff to communicate progress, quick wins and challenges experienced.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Initially when the initiative was conceptualised, many did not believe that a big Government Organisation like a Kweneng District Council with a vast area it can be possible to implement such but because of management commitment the council made it. Factors discussed below are some of the most successes coming from the implementation of the initiative - Creating awareness to all staff members and stakeholders. This is sustained through induction training, regular awareness workshops. - Capacity building for own resources to implement and run the systems, e.g. conduct internal audits as well as have a team leader at management level ensures continuity for the initiative activities both at management and operational levels. - Documentation of process and procedures – Guidelines and work instructions are also documented to ease implementation. Procedures also have tracking tools and registers, where necessary, to be used to monitor adherence and trace back the process flow. This consistency minimizes room for error and has ensured standardisation in service delivery throughout the district. This also eliminates room for corruption and thus improved the image of the organisation. This has also greatly improved keeping of records related to work done. - Some of the Local Authorities are now beginning to realise the benefits of implementing QMS and they do come for benchmark with Kweneng District Council As has already been discussed, leadership buy in and support has contributed to making the initiative effective as well as continuous awareness and training about the system- which emphasises on the systematic process approach that starts and ends with the customer. Other factors that enhance effectiveness of the system are regular monitoring and evaluation efforts done during management reviews, analysis of non-conformities and analysis of customer complaints, internal and external audits. This is also to meet regulatory requirements in line with the certification policy. The successful implementation of other initiatives which are in line with the quality management system, e.g. implementation of Occupational Health and Safety Policy and Wellness program, implementation of staff rewards policy, tracking of service standards, delivery of project on time –resulted in staff and stakeholders being more receptive to the initiative and they continue to appreciate it and this helps to nurture the culture to implement the system.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Despite the many benefits of having QMS as a system in an organisation, we encountered barriers and misconceptions in implementing the system which included;  Resistance to change, as staff held a limited understanding of QMS especially that this was the first initiative of its kind to be implemented by a Local Authority. This was mitigated through continuous feedback to staff and stake holders about changes.  Difficulty in getting staff to unlearn what they are comfortable with (status quo) and using a set system. Non-adherence to documented procedures  Staff unrealistic expectations from the QMS technical team as they tend to confine QMS implementation to the technical team.  Strain on the part of the technical team due to multi-tasking (Having to juggle between office work and QMS project)  The organisation faced a challenge related to staff leaving the organisation, both on transfers or resignations. This affected both membership of the technical team and other staff members expected to implement the system and resulted in gaps and high cost of training. Some of the challenges mentioned above, e.g. staff movement are inevitable, but to overcome others the organisation continue to communicate and engage all relevant stakeholders manage their expectations. For example new induction and awareness training is conducted for new members of staff to make it easy for them to fit into the systems; management also communicates effectiveness of the system to staff as well as reports from external auditors so that they can appreciate it.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Results Observed This part of the report presents improvements realised upon Introduction of QMS. They are thus presented below: a) Consistency within all Processes/Procedures All processes/procedures within KwDC have been defined, outlined, and documented. This consistency minimizes room for error and has ensured standardisation in service delivery throughout the district. This also eliminates room for corruption and thus improved the image of the organisation b) Improvement Processes based on Facts Frequent audits, management reviews, and improvement processes have been based on traceable data and record, as such this has systematically driven process improvement. The same have provided for effective performance monitoring & measurement. This in turn ensured evidence based decision making within the organization. c) Less Rework Quality has been monitored continuously due to the appropriate procedures which ensured immediate corrective actions on occurrence of nonconforming work. Since efforts are directed towards quality service, rework due to poor maintenance has been minimized. This reduction improved customer confidence, and organizational performance. d) Improved resource management Implementing a quality management system has also enhanced effectiveness by improvements in resource provision, adherence to service turnaround time, planning, problem-solving, supplier control, employee training as well as customer satisfaction to mention but a few.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
Through the formation of Community Observatory Board, the council is accountable to the community of Kweneng District as the Board monitors Council performance on quarterly basis. This board also participate fully on the development of the Strategic plan for the District. There is also the Full Council Forum where Honourable Councillors and members of the public attend to appreciate District performance. QMS has made it easier for people to hold the council and government accountable by making information about services to be readily accessible, KWDC keeps brochures, checklists and information about services and contact details for ease of reference by customers. Information communicating service standards is also publicised on information boards. There is a system in place for dealing with customer complaints and feedback from stakeholders. Customer feedback forms are placed at service points and are collected monthly for analysis and discussion at management meetings.

 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)
The Council has taken deliberate decisions to ensure that certain programmes are reserved for women and girls, the poor and other vulnerable groups. Community cluster gardening- Primarily targeting single mothers are clustered to produce vegetables. The Council is the main customer as it buys the vegetables for school children from remote areas. These women are economically empowered and are able to take care of their families. Bread making- similar to gardening, groups of women are engaged to bake bread which is then bought by the council to feed school children. Casket Making: An orphan aged 22 was identified and trained in casket making. The youth raised funds to sustain his business and has employed another youth. These caskets are sold to the council and has potential to expand market. Foster Care Parenting: Another initiative within the Council that caters for vulnerable children. Children are identified and placed under care of foster parents. The council has a foster care bank of up to 14 parents. Through the selling of waste recyclables, the Council built a toilet for a destitute person Council implements price preference schemes for locals, women and youth while in recruitment, candidates from remote areas are given an advantage.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Kweneng District Council
Institution Type:   Local Government  
Contact Person:   Gosego Gracious Garegope
Title:   QMR  
Telephone/ Fax:   002675922158
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   ggaregope@gov.bw  
Address:   P/Bag 005, Molepolole
Postal Code:   00267
City:   Molepolole
State/Province:   Kweneng

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