WINDHOEK – Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM) executive director Maria Nangolo yesterday met with the head of Botswana’s equivalent institution to NIPAM, the Botswana Public Service College (BPSC). The executive director of BPSC, Botshelo Mathuba, is in Windhoek for three days to discuss matters of mutual interest and to build a mutually beneficial relationship with NIPAM as sister institutions.
“We both have a mandate to train and conduct operational research on public servants in their respective countries. We both have an internal centre which caters for capacity building of public servants at different stages of employment in the public service,” said Nangolo.
Mathuba thanked Nangolo for her prompt response to their request for the learning exchange visit.
“Your responsiveness has been noted with gratitude and for this I thank you. In fact this affirms the already existing cordial relationship between our two countries,” said Mathuba.
She also briefed Nangolo on the history and the role of BPSC saying that its transformation journey started in partnership with the Civil Service College of Singapore (CSCS).
Mathumba said the CSCS assisted them to kick-start a new suite of short-term programmes designed in response to identified leadership competencies and other performance deficiencies in the public service. Nangolo says it has been noted that in order to transform the public sector, specific targeted programmes and courses would be desirable to enhance productivity and capacity building initiatives at organisations such as NIPAM and BPSC.
Nangolo, who is the former chief executive officer of the Namibian Training Authority (NTA), said it is important that NIPAM occasionally gets access to international experts for improved best practices.
She said even though the institution has a dedicated team with varied experiences, it is important to have from time to time visiting teams of experts to supplement local expertise for cross-fertilisation of ideas and sharing experiences. She added that this will ensure public sector access to international trends in certain functional areas.
She said at NIPAM they have found that benchmarking against other institutions helps them overcome resistance to change, provides a structure for external evaluation, and creates new networks of communication between them and the benchmarked institution where valuable information and experiences are to be shared.
More than anything NIPAM sees benchmarking as a positive process, which provides objective measurements for baselining, goal-setting and improvement tracking, and which could ultimately lead to dramatic innovations.