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Unless we try, we`ll never do anything

18th September 2012
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The concept and practice of policy formulation, implementation and analysis are integral parts to any nation’s development. It is the nature and kind of policies developed and implemented that determine the way a country develops.

For instance, the National Land Policy 1995, defines the land tenure and enables proper management and allocation of land in urban and rural areas and provide a clear position on customary land tenure in light of profound economic and social reforms that have been happening in the county over the years.

Thus, the land policy was needed to accommodate changes in land use and increase in human population, control large stock population which increases demand for grazing land and creates serious land degradation, protect the environment from extension of cultivation to marginal areas and reduce conflicts in land use between agriculturalists, livestock keepers, forest areas, wildlife areas, water sources and miners.

Others are that the land policy provides for increased urbanization requiring lands for settlements, industries and commerce and preserving valuable agriculture land, facilitating prospective investors who require land as a result of liberalisation of the economy and investment promotion.

I have used the Land Policy of 1995 to show how policy formulation, implementation and analysis needs the political will to implement. It is not enough to have just a good policy the way Tanzania’s Land Policy of 1995 is but also that it should be implemented.

Tanzania faces many challenges not necessarily at the level of policy formulation and analysis but certainly at the level of implementation.

One reason could be lack of requisite skills and the other could be lack of the political power to translate it into best practices.

“In Tanzania we have almost what we need for development including resources but we lack the political will to put into practice what we plan. It is really very sad and this is what makes us remain behind in development,” says a Dar es Salaam resident and activist John Kasembe.

He notes that just having good policies without making them work for us will not take us to anywhere. Any nation that develops has good social arrangements and mechanisms of putting them into sustainable practice as best as practicable.

So, the practical nature of the policy process demands an approach that engages hands on learning and this is how the need is configured.

The Tanzania Global Learning Agency (TaGLA) and Kenya Institute of Administration (KIA) have on September 24 -28 organised a videoconference workshop on policy formulation, implementation and analysis. Nations that have made tremendous socio-economic and political progress across the world are guided by diligent policy initiatives.

The aim is to expose government employees to policy, policy-making, policy implementation and policy analysis. It equips participants with the knowledge to diagnose and identify public policy issues, possible problems that can arise in policy formulation and implementation and needs with regard to current situations.

One of the examples of a diligent policy is America’s Marshall Plan that turned around a bad economic situation because of inflation.

The workshop focuses on the importance of building capacities of senior government officials to acquire skills, capacities, aptitudes and competencies in the public policy process.

Contents include the concept of policy, steps in policy formulation, models of policy formulation and implementation, case studies in policy formulation in Africa, inter-sector policy formulation and implementation and policy implementation process.

Participants will be engaged through short interactive presentations, case studies, exercises and discussions. Each module will take three hours of interaction and feedback.
Target participants are managers in the public sector, central ministries and the regional administration, heads of administration or similar at district level, relevant personnel in civil and non-governmental organisations that are liable to contribute to policy formulation, implementation and analysis.

According to the public encyclopedia, “a policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol.

Policies are generally adopted by the board of or senior governance body within an organisation whereas procedures or protocols would be developed and adopted by senior executive officers”.

It further elaborates that policies can assist in both subjective and objective decision making and in subjective decision making would usually assist senior management with decisions that must consider the relative merits of a number of factors before making decisions and as a result are often hard to objectively test work-life balance policy.

TaGLA capacity building programmes are meant to inculcate knowledge and skills and at the same time impetus to make things work for us. It is always better to try to do something than to fail to try it. Unless we try we will never do anything.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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