Comparative administrative reform: The rhetoric and reality of the Civil Service reform programs in Uganda and Tanzania

Genevieve Enid Kyarimpa, Florida International University

Abstract

Administrative reform is a challenging endeavor for both developed and developing countries alike. For developing countries, the challenge is greater because numerous reforms are implemented concurrently sometimes under conditions of resource scarcity and political instability. So far there is no consensus as to what makes some reforms succeed and others fail. The current study seeks to fill that gap by offering an empirical comparative analysis of the administrative reforms initiated in Uganda and Tanzania since the early 1990s. The purpose of the study is to explain the similarities and differences, and give reasons for the successes and failures of the reform programs in the two countries. It focuses on four major areas; the size of the civil service, pay reform, capacity building, and ethics and accountability. ^ Data were collected via in-depth face to face interviews with 35 key government officials and the content analysis of various documents. The results indicate that the reforms generated initial substantial reduction in the size of the public services in both countries. In Uganda, the traditional civil service was reduced from 140,500 in 1990 to 41,730 in 2004; while in Tanzania Ministries, Departments, and Agencies were reduced by 25%. Pay reform has generated substantial increases in civil servants' salaries in both countries but in Uganda, the government has not been able to abide by the pay strategy while in Tanzania the strategy guides the increments. ^ Civil Service capacity building efforts have focused on enhancing the skills of the personnel. Training needs assessments were undertaken in all ministries in Uganda and a training policy was formulated. In Tanzania, the training needs assessments are still under way and a training policy has not yet been developed. Ethics and accountability are great challenges in both countries, but in Tanzania, there is more political will and commitment to improve the integrity of the civil service. ^ The findings reveal that although Uganda started the reform with much more rigor and initial success, Tanzania has surpassed it and has a more stable, consistent, and promising reform record. This is because Uganda's leadership lacks political legitimacy. The country has since the late 1990s experienced a civil war in the northern and western parts of the country while Tanzania has benefitted from relative peace and high level political legitimacy. ^

Subject Area

Political Science, Public Administration

Recommended Citation

Genevieve Enid Kyarimpa, "Comparative administrative reform: The rhetoric and reality of the Civil Service reform programs in Uganda and Tanzania" (January 1, 2009). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. Paper AAI3381959.
http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI3381959

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