Training for productivity: Relaxing the constraints to management and productivity in the civil service

Project Active from to State

Ghana’s civil service invests major resources into training its officers, and providing training is its main opportunity to improve officers’ productivity and management skills. But do these trainings effectively teach officers how to be more productive? Do officers actually use the skills they learn once they are back in their organisations? How can the Office of the Head of Civil Service (OHCS) and the Civil Service Training Centre (CSTC) support officers once they leave training and return to their organisations?

The little evidence that exists suggests trainings can be valuable, but that there is significant room for improvement. A recent IGC study on civil service management and productivity, for example, showed that 89% of officers would like more trainings, yet only 59% reported that they find such trainings useful.

The project is, therefore, a first step to a bigger project, Training for Productivity (TFP), that aims to fill this gap by designing and implementing more useful applied training methods and rigorously evaluating them, based on:

  • The existing Scheme of Service trainings delivered by the CSTC.
  • The results of the Civil Service Management and Productivity Study.
  • Innovative approaches to improving management and productivity in public organisations.

Based partly on the findings from the IGC-funded project, this project will:

  1. Design and deliver innovative training modules on productivity and applied problem-solving.
  2. Follow-up and help randomly selected officers implement new practices from the modules.

The first component is aimed at improving the content of the trainings, by teaching productivity skills in a way that is applied, practical, and based on simple but innovative ideas that are already being used in Ghana’s civil service. The second component is aimed at improving the implementation of these skills, by providing a supplementary training where the officer is joined by his/her divisional colleagues so that learning and discussion as a team can occur.

The TFP project will be rigorously evaluated for: its impacts on the learning, skills, motivation, and performance of individual officers who participate; and its impacts on the productivity of the officer’s division. To do so, data will be collected through participant feedback surveys and exercises before, during, and after training; continued digitisation of output data from quarterly and annual reports; and an end line survey in early 2018. This will make it possible to understand whether the trainings and follow-ups are effective (and why).

Since the TFP project will be delivered primarily through the existing CSTC Scheme of Service trainings and by the same personnel, findings from the evaluation can easily be integrated into future Scheme of Service trainings, the work of OHCS and the Management Services Department, and even CSTC’s work with other country governments. Every effort will be made to involve civil servants in the execution of the project to ensure capacity building, ownership, and sustainability.