Workshop Report on Strengthening Networking amongst Public Administration/Development Management Institutes


Kenya Institute Of Administration

42 years of training for national development 

By

John K. Muketha, Senior principal lecturer, Kenya Institute of Administration 

 

INTRODUCTION

  The Kenya Institute of Administration (KIA) is a premier Management Development Institute established in 1961. The Institute acquired parastatal status under an Act of Parliament. (Act. No. 2 of 1996). The mandate of the institute is to promote national development through provision of training, research and consultancy services to the public and private sectors. The KIA Act mandates the Institute to promote a culture of decency, honesty, hard work, transparency and accountability in the public service 

The operations of the institute are guided by the vision to become a leading national and regional institute in customer driven management development. 

The KIA mission as stipulated in current Strategic Plan (2001-2006) is  

“To offer, training, research  and consultancy services which will have a positive impact on the management of the public, private and other sectors in Kenya and the East African region” 

The Institute’s activities have evolved over time. Review committees that have had a fundamental impact on the Institute’s activities include the Adu Committee, 1964, Wamalwa Commitee, 1971-1974 and the Wamalwa Committee 1978-1979. The Review Committees recognized the K.I.A as the country’s premier training institution in public administration and management.  

The Institute’s activities are undertaken by multi-disciplinary teams comprising members with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in different areas of specialization.  

TRAINING AND RESEARCH PROGRAMS 

Training 

The Institute is expected to become a vehicle of training by developing knowledge, skills and positive attitudes among the public servants. A wide range of training programmes is provided by the Institute, which is geared towards performance improvement and also to contribute to the bulk of revenue generated.  

Previously only senior and middle level government officers trained at KIA. However, in the recent past the individual applicants, private sector and Non-Governmental Organizations participated in the Institute's activities. Training is conducted by a faculty of staff from different professional backgrounds who design the curriculum and facilitate training. This ensures maximum utilization of the multi-disciplinary knowledge, skills and experience.  

The training programs fall under the following teaching departments: 

In addition to running regular programs, the institute has the capacity to respond to customer-driven training demands from single clients. Requests for tailor-made single-client, in-house training programs have increased over the last five years. 

Research 

The Institute has the capacity to respond to research and consultancy requests by the clients. Research activities are undertaken using modern scientific research methodologies appropriate to the client needs. On completion, clients are encouraged to disseminate findings and make appropriate policy actions where applicable.  

Research projects recently undertaken have focused on Training Needs Assessment (TNA), Training Impact assessment, Baseline Survey of the Management of Population Projects in Kenya and Computer Use in Population Projects. Action research is carried out in collaboration with client organizations.  The most recent research undertaken by the Institute was a Training Needs Assessment  carried out for Kenyatta National Hospital. This culminated in the design of a well-focused training program for Senior Managers. 

The course participants for both the Advanced Public Administration Course and the Computer-Based courses carry out research in areas that address problems of local, national and global concern. Student research papers form an important component of these courses. 

POLITICAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONCERNS 

Issues of global, regional and national concern are incorporated in the activities of the Institute. Some of these issues are included as modules in the programs run at the Institute.  The topical issues identified in consultation with stakeholders which are included in the training programmes are as follows: 

     i.            HIV/AIDS Pandemic

     ii.            Poverty Alleviation

    iii.            Good Governance and Integrity in the Civil Service (e.g. Ethics and Professionalism)Policy analysis

    iv.            Civil Service Reform Initiative

     v.            Performance Improvement and Strategic Management

   vi.            Information Technology

   vii.            Gender Issues

  viii.            Conflict Resolution (e.g. Community Policing)

    ix.            Democracy and Human rights

     x.            Public Relations

The Institute provides opportunities for staff training, research, and attachments to stakeholder organizations to ensure relevance in areas that require political, social and economic reforms. KIA has developed staff capacity to handle most of these areas. Mechanisms have been developed to ensure that training delivery reflects State-of-the-Art approaches that are relevant to needs of specific target groups.  

NETWORKING  

Currently, KIA collaborates with government departments, civil societies, local and international organizations and the private sector to develop programs in different areas such as; human rights, community policing, conflict management, and project management.  Some organizations that have worked in collaboration with KIA include International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); Safer-world-Kenya and Britain; Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS); and the National AIDS Control Council.  

Local and international organizations have assisted KIA to acquire skills, material and moral support.  Some local and international organizations that have assisted KIA are: DFID, UNFP, GTZ, Bradford University, University of Alberta, British Civil Service College, INTAN - Malaysia and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. The Institute has strategic alliances locally but there is need to establish more strategic linkages in the African region and even internationally.  

QUALITY ASSURANCE STRATEGIES 

Training materials and manuals are developed using collaborative approaches that involve the clients. Action oriented cross-functional teams are established to develop curricula.  Specific strategies developed by the Institute to ensure quality in training and research include: 

Steering Committee in Curriculum Development: This provides a more rigorous and continuous way of coordinating activities across the institute to ensure product initiation, quality and standardization of procedures and materials. 

Staff Development: Professional staff members attend training in emerging areas of concern to enhance training, research and  consultancy skills. New lecturers attend a comprehensive Training of Trainers Course to ensure a good understanding of adult training methodology. A monthly staff forum is organised to enhance the quality of research through the papers presented for discussion. Staff participation in task forces involves consultations with stakeholders.  

For example, staff participation in technical committees at Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), KASNEB and KNEC enables the Institute to keep abreast with changing demands of quality service delivery. Guest lecturers are also invited when the need arises. Additionally, KIA Staff participate in developing the institute’s strategic and operational plans. 

State- of-the–Art Equipment and Facilities:  

The Institute has invested in physical infrastructure such as modern seminar rooms, new hostels and a courtesy bus to ensure student comfort. In response to the demand for information technology training, KIA has updated its training equipment to include computer laboratories, video machines, LCD and overhead projectors.

Evaluation of Programs:  

This is carried out continuously and at the end of every training program to determine if the training delivery, resources and facilities successfully meet client needs. Clients are encouraged to engage in proactive training by conducting systematic training which involves an evaluation of program impact. Formative evaluation tools are used to provide feedback on trainee reactions and learning experiences.  

Action Planning, end-of-event forms and follow-ups provide data on the extent to which acquired skills will affect on-the-job behaviour. Training needs assessments are conducted to evaluate long-term results of training. Informal consultations and monthly reviews of departmental activities are also used enrich the evaluation process. 

PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES  

The changing environment in which institutions operate and the new corporate status have brought serious challenges.  The following are some of the challenges that the KIA as a body corporate faces: 

Action Plan 

The Institute plans to undertake the following activities geared towards making KIA a centre of excellence:

The Institute has prepared a comprehensive Strategic Plan (2001 - 2006 with proposals make the Institute, more market oriented. The plan also provides strategies for developing capacity in research and consultancy. 

CONCLUSION

 The KIA is expected to be a centre of excellence not only in its product offering, but also in exhibiting good management practices to enable the participants to learn by observing how the Institution is run. 

KIA has a national duty and commitment to develop an efficient human resource in all sectors to enable it become more efficient in service delivery to Kenyans.  It is the institute’s hope that Kenyans will find the services offered by KIA useful and relevant to their human resource develop requirements.

Back