I fully understand that the existing failures in Pakistan’s civil services direly need reform at various levels. My personal experience has shown me that the failure in performance assessment leads to a major malfunction in the system. This is true for all service delivery sectors including health, education and social welfare where absence of performance indicators and sector plans contribute to failed plans, unrealistic objectives and absence of progress. The core cause is and has been a bureaucratic dysfunction and low capacity that contribute to undermining governance of all sectors. This means that actual performance of social services delivery and perception of public regarding quality of services is rarely related to performance reports of civil servants. This also means that the annual performance evaluation reports largely remains a subjective measure of performance and based on personal relations and rapport with supervisors.
The course content in the civil services academy also needs effective review for improvement. Albeit this environment, the exposure to contemporary knowledge is seen very positively in the civil services of Pakistan, which is reflected by the fact that high profile civil servants continually strive to avail exposure to training opportunities abroad. This study will help me promote myself as a capable professional able to take on challenging and multifaceted tasks. This would mean promotion as well as career growth within the government ranks, which will enable promotion of the reform that the civil services so direly need.
As I complete the course in UK, I will promote quantitative performance measurement systems and reviews in the departments I lead. Based on specific goals and indicators, I will start review performances on the basis of annual goals that are derived from the department objectives that I would have framed upon joining the department.
This will involve working with each of the departments that I am posted in, to develop their sector plans, departmental mission and vision statements, as well as capacity development plans, depending on sectoral situations. The capacity development plans will take-stock of individual, organizational and institutional gaps and strategies, and will dovetail capacity development with sector plans and individual performances therein.
As this change process is ensued, other departments will also see benefits and try to replicate. I will support the reform at local level through capacity development and being equipped with knowledge. This process will also need political buy-in and I will strive to build relations with media and civil society to promote the need to change. I will also work with and use the Chevening alumni network and relevant forums so as to promote, talk about and support the reform process.