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Strengthening MDIs

The Role of Management Development Institutions in Public Service Reform

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The Management Development Institutes were established soon after Independence in most of the African countries. Their role was to provide training, consultancy and research services to the governments, particularly to the indigenous people who had assumed senior positions in the machinery of state. The purpose of this publication is to identify ways and means by which Management Development Institutes can better facilitate the public service reform process. It is intended for public sector training institutions, managers, administrators, training consultants, donors and practitioners. It covers typical problems, offering an approach to the issues, including: training still tends to be treated as a discrete event rather than an integral part of human resource management and development; the training function is seldom regarded by managers as a matter of their concern; training policies may not exist and, where they do, they often bear little relationship to wider development policies or tend not to be implemented; training needs are seldom assessed accurately or tend not to be acted upon; the design of training programmes too often ignores both policy and needs and may rely too heavily on borrowed models.

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Conclusion

The need to develop people as better managers is widely recognised as an essential element of any public sector reform programme. People can be made more effective as managers if they develop relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes, information is now growing at such a phenomenal rate and information technology provides instant access to so much information. So the importance of knowing a great deal is being superseded by knowing where particular information can be obtained and having the means to obtain access in a timely fashion.

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