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Development Account Projects

Contributing to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development goals in Africa through strengthening public sector human resources management capacities

Background:

This project will focus on strengthening the professional capacities of human resources managers in the public sector in Africa to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development agenda. The quality of human resources in the public sector is critical to the development of any country in general and to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development agenda in particular. The translation of such goals into tangible results is in the hands of human resources. Through their knowledge, know-how and skills, networks and attitudes, services are planned and delivered, critical innovations conceived and realized and needed reforms carried out.

Public sector human resources managers occupy a strategic position in the development of a country. However, in many African countries, this strategic position is not recognized in the formulation of strategies and human resources managers in the public sector may not be professionally attuned to the critical role they should play. The Seventh Africa Governance Forum, which took place in Ouagadougou at the end of October 2007, discussed the issues related to public service reforms and enhancing institutional and human capacities in the public sector. This project proposal responds to the conclusions and recommendations of the Forum concerning the inadequate capacities of human resources managers in the public service in Africa. The Forum observed the following problems: (a) uncoordinated and fragmented approaches to human resources development; (b) uncoordinated training programmes; (c) inadequate linkages between training output and the labour market requirements; (d) wastage and misplacement of personnel; and (e) lack of monitoring mechanisms to determine the capacity and productivity of the trained personnel to contribute meaningfully to national development.

A group of human resources managers meeting in Cape Town in April 2007 observed that human resources managers in the public sector are playing clerical rather than strategic roles and called for efforts to build their capacities to become strategy experts, work organization experts, employee champions, and agents of continuous transformation. In July 2008, the Economic and Social Council adopted resolution 2008/32, in which it emphasized that capacity-building is essential and needed in administrative restructuring, civil service reform, human resources development and public administration training, and improving performance in the public sector.

Human resources managers in the public sector have been neglected in the process of public sector reforms and capacity-building in Africa. Through this project, particular attention will be paid to strengthening their professional capacities as sustainable successful capacity-building depends on them. The DESAwill work in collaboration with ECA in implementing this project to enhance the capacities for effective human resources management in the public sector in Africa. The focus will be on enabling the Africa Public Sector Human Resource Managers' Network to institutionalize and sustain professional capacity-building of human resources managers in the public sector in Africa.

Objective:

To contribute to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development agenda through strengthening the institutional capacity of the Africa Public Sector Human Resource Managers' Network and the individual capacities of human resources managers in the public sector in Africa.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Improved role of human resources managers as strategy experts, work organization experts, employee champions, and agents of continuous transformation
  • Enhanced knowledge, information, lessons learned sharing, and application of information and communication technologies among human resources managers in African countries

Implementation status:

Completed