Institute for Solidarity (ISA), Philippines | Admas Common Affairs Consultancy Association (Admas), Ethiopia

Institute for Solidarity (ISA), Philippines

The Performance Governance System

The problem:
ISA’s Performance Governance System (PGS) addresses two major problems in the Philippine public sector: (1) inability to translate development goals into concrete strategies that produce actual breakthrough results, and (2) corruption in government.

The practice:
Hinged on the Harvard Business School’s Balanced Scorecard technology, the PGS is a performance management framework that builds on potential. It allows public sector institutions to shape their future through strategies that allow them to achieve and sustain their goals. The PGS enables entire communities to channel their resources, activities, and opportunities into a long-term vision, in the process closing performance gaps and generating breakthroughs and transformations. PGS takes institutions through a four stage accreditation program called the Governance Pathway. It is built on the concepts of measurable performance and shared responsibility – two things that help ensure transparency, accountability, and respect for the rule of law in the public sector.

Since its inception in 2004, the PGS has helped sectoral institutions and national departments like the Philippine Navy and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and local government units like the City of Dipolog and Municipality of Bani. Two of its original dream cities – Iloilo and San Fernando Pampanga – have been inducted into the Palladium Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame for Executing Strategy. Today, over 50 PGS partners are traveling the Governance Pathway.

Why and how ISA developed this practice:
In the immediate wake of People Power II, it became clear that fighting corruption had to top the national agenda. ISA sought to answer the crying need for public sector reforms by making governance a shared responsibility. ISA Fellows from the business sector introduced the Kaplan-Norton Balanced Scorecard (BSC), a management framework used by over 150 private and public sector institutions worldwide. With a grant from the Center for International Private Enterprise and the Asia Foundation, ISA applied the BSC to local conditions, dividing its deliverables into a four-stage pathway, and providing a reward and recognition system for each stage.

Steps and tips for implementing the practice:
The PGS has four stages:
  • INITIATION: Using the Collins and Porras framework that capitalizes on the organization’s strengths, PGS Partners declare their Core Values, Mission, and Vision. Anchored on these, they develop a Strategy Map – a set of integrated, mutually-reinforcing objectives balanced across four major perspectives: social impact, process, learning and growth, and finance. They then translate these objectives into measurable performance indicators with stretched targets, and identify high-impact strategic initiatives that will close performance gaps. This participative process involves both internal and external stakeholders.
  • COMPLIANCE: PGS Partners must align the organization to the strategy by: bringing the strategy down to their second-level units, linking their budget to priority strategic initiatives, and communicating the strategy to all stakeholders. They are guided in formalizing a Multi-Sector Governance Coalition, composed of external stakeholders who serve as advocates and watchdogs of the organization’s strategy.
  • PROFICENCY: Partners must establish a fully functional Office of Strategy Management (OSM) whose task is to oversee strategy implementation. The OSM tracks, reviews, and reports performance in the scorecards and initiatives to internal and external stakeholders. It ensures organizational alignment to budget, human resource, and communication. PGS Partners undergo a strategy refresh, where strategic learning and opportunity thrusts are incorporated into the strategy.
  • INSTITUTIONALIZATION: In the final stage of PGS, Partners must evolve into strategy-focused organizations that deliver balanced breakthrough results that are attested by third-party audits. They must expand the governance advocacy through best-practice sharing in their sphere of influence.

Results of the practice and applications:
Two of ISA’s original dream cities have achieved global recognition for generating city-wide transformations:
  • ILOILO CITY: Iloilo draws a yearly deluge of visitors to its Dinagyang Festival, whose success is attributed to the increase in city hall committees that apply private-public partnership, a concept that is inherent in the design of the PGS. In order to cultivate a business-friendly environment, the city cut the number of steps for acquiring business permits by half and reducing processing time from 7 days to 1. Close collaboration with the private sector put Iloilo in the Philippine Billionaire’s Club after increasing its local income from Php825,290,385.32 to Php1,238,640,832.23 three years after its 2005 entry into the Governance Pathway.
  • CITY OF SAN FERNANDO PAMPANGA: San Fernando institutionalized the PGS in 2009 – a year that saw dramatic changes in the lives of its constituents: the poverty rate dropped from 10.5% to 3%, health beneficiaries increased from 1,001 to 11,374 and the number of education beneficiaries multiplied by 504%. Today, the city is home to the largest number of middle-income families, which comprise 43% of the local population.

Due to its success in transforming local government units, the PGS was applied to the six pilot cabinet departments assigned to deliver the basic societal services of health, education, transportation, infrastructure, peace and order, and revenue generation. The success of this initiative qualified the Philippines for a US$434-M grant from the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US foreign-aid agency whose mission is to fight poverty and corruption in developing nations.

Lessons from the experience:
PGS is a leading governance reform practice because of four major success factors:
  • COMMITMENT FROM THE EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP can move the PGS despite resistance to change and political differences within the organization.
  • A CLEAR CHANGE AGENDA is the remedy to an undefined strategy. The change agenda captures the organization’s transformation from its current state to its envisioned end state, and provides direction in times of difficulty.
  • INVOLVEMENT OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL STAKEHOLDERS allows the PGS to continue despite changes in leadership. An effective office of strategy management ensures successful strategy implementation, while an active multi-sector governance coalition can demand for the continuation of the PGS as a framework that enables the organization’s responsiveness to its constituents.
  • ORGANIZATIONAL ALIGNMENT is the key to successful strategy execution. No institution can succeed without ensuring that its members understand their roles in achieving the long-term Vision.

Multi-Sector Governance Council

The problem:
The term limits of elected and appointed officials pose a challenge to continuity and progress in many governance situations. By involving sector representatives in the implementation of development plans by partners in the Performance Governance System, the strategy can be sustained regardless of any changes in leadership.

The practice:
Once public sector partners (national government agencies, professional associations, and local government units) have set up the initial governance documents, they select and invite representatives from different community sectors - business, media, academe, youth groups, church, civic groups, uniformed personnel, and professional organizations - to be part of their multi-sector governance council (MSGC). Upon formalizations, the MSGC acts as an advisory board that upholds and monitors the proper implementation of the partner's development programs and projects. Members of the MSGC meet regularly with the partners to track the progress of their initiatives and identify potential problems and recommend possible solutions. As 'co-owners' of the development strategy, the MSGC also takes concrete steps to significantly contribute to the implementation of partners' strategies such as promoting the initiative to their respective sectors, and mobilizing them to work with the partners as well in advancing the governance agenda.

The expertise of the MSGC provides the partners a balanced mix of different perspectives, new insights and information, and creative ideas that will help sustain their development strategies. Moreover, they act as guardians of the strategy, keeping watch over transparency and accountability controls in the institution.

Why and How ISA developed this practice:
After two people power revolutions, we remain respectful of the lessons of history, aware that democracy is a necessary ingredient in the rise of nations. We have sought to bring leaders and citizens together from the very beginning, developing as part of our governance program, a mechanism that allows communities to participate in the creation of policies and programs that will transform lives. The MSGC is a governance mechanism that is driven by democracy. It encourages leaders and citizens to exchange ideas and determine sustainable solutions to critical issues, thereby making governance a shared responsibility.

Steps or tips for implementing the practice:
From the very beginning, we encourage our public sector partners to involve their stakeholders in the process of setting up long-term development plans. In this way, they are able to incorporate suggestions from the grassroots and build community ownership of development strategies.

Later on, national government agencies (NGAs) and local government unites (LGUs) invite sectoral representatives to become part of the MSGC. These people are chosen for their commitment, expertise, and integrity. After an orientation on the demands of civic participation, candidates elect to become part of the council on a purely voluntary basis. The members of the MSGC then elect their officers and set up committees (finance, media, etc.) in support of the development strategy. In some cases, the MSGC is renamed as the institution sees fit.

Public sector partners must choose their sectoral advisers wisely. Department heads and local chief executives are encouraged to look beyond political affiliation. In fact, those institutions that are in more need of an image reversal should take risks, calling not only on those who are friendly to the cause, but on those that must be convinced to join their governance campaigns.

Once the council is in place, the institution must do its best to exercise transparency and accountability, keeping in mind that the MSGC represents the interests of the people. Sectoral representatives must be invited to critique the institution's development plans.

The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) is currently undergoing a revival of its governance program under the watchful eyes of its Board of Visitors. The Philippine Navy Sail Plan 2020, PMA's strategy map, has raised up to 1 million pesos in funds through the Save your Navy Foundation and has survived uninterrupted under five (5) different Flag Officers. The Philippine Army has undergone a much needed media face-lift, thanks to the efforts of its Multi-Sector Advisory Board (MSAB), which is also currently raising funds for a good governance media campaign. The Army Transformation Roadmap has been adopted as an official transformation program by 4 Commanding Generals.

Institutions like the Civil Service Commission, Department of Health, and Department of Public Works and Highways have likewise been putting up citizen governance councils in the hopes of eliciting civilian support for their governance programs. So far, their efforts have been received very well by the public.

San Fernando Pampanga’s MSGC, which has undertaken a number of infrastructure restoration projects, has now evolved into the Center for Leadership Excellence and Responsibility (CLEAR), an office that will continue even after its founding political leaders have ended their terms. In Masbate, the City Advisory Board (CAB) has been given high-level access to records, documents, and proceedings, showing an increased level of transparency for the city.

The following government institutions have MSGCs:
  • Department of Health (DOH)
  • Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)
  • Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
  • Philippine Army
  • Philippine Military Academy
  • Philippine National Police
  • Philippine Navy
  • Iloilo City, Iloilo
  • San Fernando City, Pampanga
  • Balanga City, Bataan
  • Masbate City, Masbate
  • Naga City, Camarines Sur
  • Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte
  • Talisay City, Negros Occidental
  • Tagbilaran City, Bohol
  • Calbayog, Western Samar

Lessons learned and challenges faced:
The MSGC will only work for institutions that are open to genuine people participation. Government institutions on both the local and national levels should realize the importance of private sector support and strive to tighten their relationships with their communities. This is the only way governance can truly become a shared responsibility.

The MSGC must in turn realize that they have the power to hold the government accountable. They should be ready to work for the common good and call out any form of corruption. In some cases, where the public sector institution’s governance program has slowed down, the MSGC should fight to keep it alive.

Partners with more successful councils are really those that have taken risks in selecting expert, outspoken, sometimes high-profile leaders. Once they are won over to the cause of reform, they themselves spearhead the institution’s redemption, internally and externally.

Admas Common Affairs Consultancy Association (Admas), Ethiopia

Land Reform through Public-Private Dialogue

The Problem:
Among a number of problems observed in the city regarding urban development issues, the most critical are land regularization, illegal settlements, and municipality services. However, the local community had no method to bring their concerns to the government. To bridge the gap, the Admas Common Affairs Consultancy Association facilitated a public-private dialogue between community and government representatives.

The Practice:
Admas approached the deputy city manager and presented their case, briefing the official on the objective and demonstrating the importance of addressing the issues. In addition Admas presented a framework for the dialogue as to show its value as a tool for gathering feedback for future plans. After discussing general points with the deputy manager, Admas received an appointment for continued meetings. After several additional discussions, the city manager assigned a contact from the land administration office to liaise with Admas and organize a public-private dialogue.

How and Why Admas developed this practice:
While conducting various training sessions for individual organizations and government offices, Admas discovered there were large implementation gaps. After discussing with their current participants, the groups requested Admas to facilitate a dialogue on the issue in order to find the correct solutions. Understanding that such a dialogue creates a good opportunity for the community to claim their right to participate in government and for the administration to develop proper reforms, Admas embarked on the process of organizing the public-private dialogue.

Steps and Tips for implementing the practice:
  • On the first level, multiple dialogues were organized on the local level. In each of the 9 kebeles (districts) 50 community representatives including delegates from chambers of commerce and municipality sector offices met to discuss the issues. Prior to the meetings, each representative was provided with a copy of land and land related service regulations. Using this material as a starting point, community representatives raised their problems and questions while government officials responded in turn. This helped to clear misunderstandings and provided direction for later development.
  • After the local discussions, 5 representatives from each of the 9 kebeles met with the city manager and one adviser from each local meeting. Drawing on problems and questions not addressed at the local level, as a result, the community was able to obtain relevant answers when possible and government officials promised to improve policies and implementation where possible.

In addition to successfully organizing a public-private dialogue, which is very rare in the city, Admas was invited to a roundtable discussion in Addis Ababa where the program manager presented the results of the project. The municipality also invited Admas to present the outputs in an exhibition held in Mekele.

Lessons learned and challenges faced:
  • Commitment to the project and fast response to stakeholder needs are essential
  • Building consensus among the representatives and government officials as to what the major problems are and proper solutions is vitally important
  • To ensure participant involvement, fostering a sense of partnership and coordinating with them as opposed to dictating is effective
  • Good selection of representatives matters. It is important to have a cross section of the community but also ensure participants will be constructive
  • Maintaining a high level of transparency throughout the process is critical to maintaining its legitimacy.
  • It can be difficult to secure the participation of government officials and community representatives, however being lenient, persuasive, comprehensive, consultative, and all around amicable can elevate the chances for perseverance.

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