Knowledge management, National Public Sector Reform Strategy (2)

BY: Dr Edwin Acheampong

The National Public Sector Reform Strategy (NPSRS) launched in 2018 easily qualifies to be construed as a giant step by the government, to yet again, not only sanitise the public sector but to provide efficient and effective public services to Ghanaians.

The task ahead is indeed great but it is achievable if the NPSRS document is followed to the letter.

With the goal of ensuring enhanced public service delivery to citizens and the private sector, the NPSRS affirms the truism that an effective public sector is an important measure of a country’s investment climate. It also assures of alignment with the private sector management style to foster the provision of quality, accessible, affordable and timely services.

KM, NPSRS

Given the strategic context, rationale and objectives of the NPSRS, a management philosophy that resonates with the current Knowledge Economy dispensation, Knowledge Management promises to provide stakeholders, especially, Office of the Senior Minister and the Public Sector Reform Secretariat, a sure bet in terms of realizing the intended goal of the NPSRS.

Though emergent, Knowledge Management has passed the fad stage and has proven to be the panacea to the basic challenges that countries aspiring to become knowledge-based and an information society are facing.

Managing organisational knowledge is a broad, in-depth, rigorous but unobtrusive and intuitive exercise. Organisations that have embraced Knowledge Management as a corporate strategy the world over have become agile, competitive and very responsive to customer needs.

They are delighting their customers and have developed survival skills. Economies that manage knowledge — consciously apply knowledge in every sector — are said to be knowledge-based and are usually developed countries.

The fact is that all developed countries manage knowledge; that is, their most important factor of production. This can be said of emerging economies like BRIC countries.

Knowledge Management is both a discipline (taught in business schools) and a practice (deployed within corporate institutions and administered by consultancy firms) and researchers have found that for public administrators, Knowledge Management opens pragmatic strategic options to grow intellectual capabilities and to improve efficiency in policymaking, policy implementation, and service delivery across the public sector.

Knowledge Kinetics Organisation (2KO), an NGO with a vision to become and remain a strategic partner in Ghana’s quest to become a knowledge society (knowledge-based economy and information society), sees itself as a major stakeholder in the implementation of the NPSRS.

Recommendations

In the candid view of 2KO, the NPSRS is likely to suffer a jolt if the Knowledge Management-oriented recommendations contained in an Independent Review of the NPSRS by the NGO are not given the needed attention by policy makers.

Again, in our view, the budget of $170,200,000.00 (or GH¢799,094,000.00) proposed for the five-year implementation period of the NPSRS would be substantially reduced if Knowledge management strategies, principles, practices, techniques and systems are introduced and embedded.

Knowledge Ghana

Project launched

2KO, with the support of some media houses and professional institutions, has launched the Knowledge Ghana Project.

It is a broad-based project with initiatives aimed at creating knowledge consciousness at all levels of the Ghanaian society.

Subsequent articles will throw more light on the project, but it will suffice to indicate that initiatives (to be explained in subsequent articles) under the Knowledge Ghana Project include:

• Training in knowledge management for civil/public servants

• Knowledge management practitioners forum

• Ghana beyond intellectual aid

• The intellectual aid diagnostic assessment tool

• The knowledge Ghana module (to be part of the Nation Builders Corps)

• Knowledge clubs in senior high schools and tertiary institutions

2KO calls on the Public Sector Reform Office, Coordinator of the National Public Sector Reform Strategy (PSRS), to create more awareness about the NPSRS and to urge public institutions to commit to its tenets by first developing and publishing their Client Service Charters.

Indeed, introducing Knowledge Management as a strategy in the implementation of the NPSRS will not run Ghana’s public administration aground, but it will spawn a dynamic intellectual discourse and reflection among public administrators — an epistemological labyrinth — so to speak.

The writer is the CEO of Knowledge Kinetics Organisation (2KO). E-mail info@ knowled gekineticsgh.org