Burning passion to serve motivates Miaso
For Eric Bhele Kana Miaso, moving from the private sector into public service has been a rewarding transition.
The Rundu-bred Miaso started his professional career in the banking sector shortly after completing his first degree at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). However, he always had a passion and motivation to serve his country.
Miaso works as the monitoring and evaluation specialist under the Directorate of Planning and Business Development in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform in Windhoek.
“The government is home for me. I do have a passion for my beloved country in my heart. I joined the public service to add value and improve one or two things in the public service,” he said.
Before joining the government in 2014, Miaso worked as a repossession officer and later consumer analyst at First National Bank of Namibia in Windhoek.
Talking about his duties, Miaso explained that “Monitoring and evaluation is a key function that any organisation needs and it’s equivalent to internal auditing duties. My core responsibilities are to coordinate the performance management system function in the ministry. This includes the five-year strategic plan, annual plan and quarterly review which I consolidate and eventually submit to the Office of the Prime Minister.”
His other responsibilities are to ensure continuous improvement in agriculture, water, land reform and administration performance.
“My duties are not limited to improving productivity and enhancing efficiency in the ministry, but also for the effective implementation of the performance management system in the public service to manage performance and achieve the desired results according to the annual work plan,” he said.
What he finds most satisfying about his job is that his ministry is one of the government offices, ministries and agencies that are in the top five on the performance management system, which he coordinates.
“I love my job a lot as it gives me a chance to interact with anyone in the ministry and submit the report on behalf of the ministry to the Office of the Prime Minister.”
He added that “If you want to get the necessary exposure, then the government is the right place indeed.
“Travelling is what makes my job very interesting. As a monitoring and evaluation person, I like carrying out fieldwork that involves the monitoring and evaluation of ministerial projects to assess the effectiveness of various interventions performed on these projects that are geared towards improving the livelihoods of the masses. This exercise also helps identify challenges and suggest appropriate interventions.”
Miaso was born at Mupini, a former missionary station in the Kavango East. After completing his matric at Noordgrens Sekondere Skool at Rundu in 2005, he went on to enrol for his first degree in business administration at NUST.
This he followed up with an honours degree in internal auditing from the University of Namibia (Unam). In 2019, he completed a postgraduate honours degree in Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies in South Africa. Miaso is currently studying toward a masters degree in business administration, majoring in management strategy at Unam.
“My expertise in monitoring and evaluation is very much beneficial to the public service in terms of service delivery. Because the mandate of the ministry is to ensure that Namibia’s land resources are equitably allocated, efficiently managed, administered and sustainably used for the benefit of all Namibians, and to be productive in agricultural activities.
Therefore, my expertise is to monitor key projects within the ministry and evaluate its performance against its initial targeted plans and eventually identify the challenges and provide recommendations to the management for improvement,” said Miaso.
During the eight years he has been in government, Miaso had moments that made him proud as a civil servant.
“The ministry has successfully conducted a historical event, which is the land conference in October 2018 and I was part and parcel of the organising committee. I worked with leaders of traditional authorities and I was privileged to learn a few things about land and agriculture. I happened to meet both national and international leaders across the globe, up to date I do communicate with some and engage on land reform and agricultural issues.
Miaso was also part of the research team on National Study on Agricultural (Commercial) Land demand and Land Purchase in Namibia, during the 2018/2019 financial year.
“The purpose of this vital study was to establish the multiplicity of agricultural (commercial) land demand and to assist the government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform in addressing the question of land redistribution and tenure reform for agricultural (commercial) land,” he recalled.
Meanwhile, Miaso does not support the general sentiment that the public service attracts idlers.
“I have spent roughly eight years in the public service and I do not concur with such beliefs of the perception of public servants being unproductive and inefficient. There is a saying that seeing is believing. I do not blame them at all as they see things from a distance and from different angles. The reason we have peace and harmony is because the public servants on the ground are working hard with passion and integrity to serve the masses and improve service delivery daily,” Miaso said in defence.
As for how long he planned to work in government, Miaso declared, “I am here to stay with the grace of the almighty God, I would want to see myself retiring as a public servant and if I am still energetic, I will contribute to my government as a consultant in my own space.”