The challenges faced by public policy implementation in Rwanda

By The Rwandan Analyst

Introduction

Countries face a number of problems with regard to public policy implementation.  One of these challenges is the irony that there are excellent written public policies which have been identified as being comprehensive and progressive (Bradford, 2007) and most importantly are in accordance with the countries constitutions. The problem with these policies seems to be that although they describe the ‘what’, they do not explain the ‘how’. It is crucial for policy-makers to explain the ‘how’ because the primary focus of public policy implementation   is putting policy into effect. As such, there needs to be course of action put into place in terms of how to go about implementing policy.  For instance, the National Development Plan in Cambodia is a well-designed national policy formulated to eradicate social ills that have been plaguing the country; however, there is no course of action presented as to how to go about implementing these policies (Harris, 1990). The only item offered in the document are the goals that this particular policy aims to achieve, the duration that it should take to be correctly implemented and yield results, and a description of the stakeholders. 

With regards to the point made above, Clarke (2004) states that the thorny issue regarding public policy implementation is the fact that policymakers do not have the knowledge to carry out the policies drafted by them, and therefore they have to rely on bureaucrats to implement what they have drafted and Parliament has approved.  According to Sancton & Young (2009) public policy implementation is such a challenging, complex and complicated ‘social’ process because all the relevant stakeholders have to be taken into consideration. This argument is supported by Stephen (2011) who argues that when public policy is actualized, two issues frequently emanate. The first issue is that of ‘compliance’, and the second that of ‘non-compliance.’ Therefore, Anderson (2000) states that the root causes of compliance and non-compliance should not be ignored as they form a necessary component in attempting to grasp the grim work that comes with attempting to implement public policy. Turner & Hulme (1997) further maintain that policies should not be vague because this would be likely to increase non-compliance. 

Another challenge of public policy implementation is the fact that it is time-consuming and challenging to implement in such a manner that will gratify everyone involved (Bell, 1998), the relevant stakeholders, politicians and the general public. This might be one of the core reasons why public policy implementations fail in some countries. Asante (2003) suggests that for a policy to be successful, two components are necessary: local capacity, and the will of all concerned stakeholders. This means that there ought to be enough human capital with the necessary skills, experience and qualifications as well as the readiness by all relevant stakeholders to bring the intended policy to fruition. 

A further and related issue and challenge that Bradford (2007) raises with regards to public policy implementation countries tend to apply and adopt ‘Western’ solutions to their particular problems. Hoinville (1979) is of the opinion that it is not advisable to be implementing Western solutions in   developing countries, since the Western world has over 200 years’ experience of practicing democracy and therefore the Western worlds’ history is unlike that of developing countries.  The following core problems and challenges have emerged in relation to public policy implementation such as lack of participation, which comes about as a result of lack of consultation, lack of knowledge, skills, experience and expertise is a problem and a challenge while the absence of a common theory on PPI is a major obstacle to successful public policy implementation.

In spite of the several reported achievements made in democratic leadership, implementation of decentralization in Rwanda, the implementation of many public policies is still hampered by several challenges. The most significant challenge is that in our country notably in Bwishyura sector, people don’t have free access to suggesting or contributing in public policy making. They are not involved in decision-making and this can lead to low achievement of public policies. According to Green (2005), public policy implementation is such a challenging, complex and complicated ‘social’ process because all the relevant stakeholders have to be taken into consideration. This argument is supported by Anderson (2000) who argues that when public policy is actualized, two issues frequently emanate. In order to solve these problems as they might exist at given points in time, government need to address these problems as they arise, before they degenerate into uncontrollable stages with the society’s social-economic growth and development endangered. It is from the aforementioned problem that this study is being conducted in order to provide recommendations which can help to address or mitigate the challenges hindering public policy implementation in Rwanda.

The present study highlights the findings on the poor management of public policies and on the other side assess their rationale and consequences.

1.1. Factors driving public policies implementation

Capacities for the design, implementation, and learning of public policies are of paramount importance in securing the effective implementation of these polices (Honadle, 2001). With the objective of contributing to implementation of some policies, understanding of the capacities of states to improve the effectiveness of public interventions that promote development is then essential in this context. Makinde (2005) points out that an effective state requires capacities to design public policies, implement them effectively and efficiently, and generate learning throughout these processes. These capacities include a quality bureaucracy, a system for public purchases that facilitates obtaining key inputs for the effective execution of the programs, an active citizenship that strengthens the accountability process, and the institutionalization of monitoring and evaluation schemes that transform experiences in the management of public resources into knowledge and learning that is able to increase the effectiveness of the whole process. 

At the same time, Pressman & Wildavsky (1999) note that public policy is a complex and multifaceted process. It involves the interplay of many parties. This includes many businesses, interest groups, and individuals competing and collaborating to influence policymakers to act in a particular way and on a variety of policies. These individuals and groups use numerous tactics to advance their interests. The tactics can include lobbying, advocating their positions publicly, attempting to educate supporters and opponents, and mobilizing allies on a particular issue. Perfect policies rarely emerge from the political process. Most often policy outcomes involve compromises among interested parties. 

Stakeholders also contribute to the formulation and implementation of policies based on their interests in some policies. For instance, when a business considers which policy to support and advocate for, considerations include what is in their best interest which policy could help the business achieve the greatest profits (Pressman &Wildavsky, 1999). Other considerations include the policy’s political feasibility, whether a majority of others will support the policy, and also how cost effective and efficient the policy would be in achieving the desired outcome. For an example, the cost of a policy of zero carbon emissions would be prohibitive. While the benefits of zero carbon emissions might be high, it would be impossible to achieve without very high economic cost. In contrast, a phased, for example, 5 percent to 10 percent in five to ten years, reduction in carbon emissions from motor vehicles would be a more reasonable and cost effective policy (Egonmwan, 2004). Equity is another consideration; the policy needs to be fair, and the benefits from the policy need to be equitably distributed, while the costs of the policy need to be fairly shared.

According to Stephen (2011), implementation of public policies is also influenced by a variety of factors. These factors include public opinion, economic conditions, new scientific discoveries, technological change, interest groups, nongovernmental organizations, business lobbying, and other political activity. As a result of the wide variety of influencing factors that tend to pull and push policy in different directions, public policy change often happens slowly. Without   crisis, and sometimes even during a crisis, the influencing factors can tend to check and counteract each other, slowing the development and implementation of new policy and tending to lead to incremental rather than radical changes in public policy (Harris, 1990). And often, the influencing agents are more effective in blocking policy change than in having new policies adopted as has been the case with comprehensive climate change policy at the US federal level and resistance from some large energy companies.

Baron (2005) also states that public opinion and priorities have had strong influence on public policy implementation over time.  Issues in public policy implementation require increasing public concern about their significance and feasibility. This is influencing public policy through electoral politics, citizen rallies, and actions that affect governmental decision makers.  Economic conditions however, significantly affect the policy environment and operating context for implementation. Another factor concerns technology. Technology advancements often motivated by market and business opportunities also affect public policy. Technology is constantly changing and this affects the business environment directly and also indirectly as public policies change with technological inventions. New, lower-cost, and easier-to-use technologies can increase public support for many policies (Clarke, 2004).

The following factors also have a significant effect on public policies. According to Baron (2005), interest groups such as business and trade associations, professional organizations, labor unions, environmental advocacy organizations, and cause-oriented citizen groups and lobbies are presumed to contribute to the implementation of public policies. Green (2005) identifies that individuals and businesses also organize into associations and interest groups for other reasons than to try to influence government. This includes for promotional and educational efforts, to support specific activities that are relevant to members. Interests groups advocate for public policies that serve the desires of their members and further the mission of their organizations.

1.2. Challenges faced in public policy implementation in Africa

The need  for  enhancing  the  development process  in  Africa   is  ever  becoming  more  critical and urgent (Shah, 2004). The pace at which this can be realized is hinged essentially on the ability of  the  government  to  formulate  appropriate  policies  and very  importantly, on the  capability  of  the  public bureaucracy to  effectively  implement  the  formulated policies. Over the years in some countries in Africa for instance Nigeria and Burundi, numerous brilliant policies have been formulated and implemented.  Yet there is  no  apparent  and  significant development  to  show for  that as  evidenced by  the  fact  that   these countries   have  continued  to  remain  in  the  category  of  the  Least  Developed  Countries  of  the  world (Musoni, 2011).  This  suggests  that  mere  formulation  of  policies  should become not the major issue in  but rather their effective Implementation as it  is  only  effectively  implemented  policies  that  can  bring  about  national  development.

In developing nations, like Nigeria however, the bureaucracy appears to be obviously far from being such as its operations and activities is very much fraught with some challenges arising from the existence of certain negative factors and circumstances. Key among these factors includes the followings. Basically and very critical is that the bureaucracy operates under ineffective and corrupt political leadership (Green, 2005). The leadership corruption, and ineptitude, for instance, affects the content and quality of policy at formulation stage. For instance, policies are, more often than not, made for purposes of the selfish and egoistic interest of the political leaders and sometimes only to attract public acclaim and attention with less regard to their appropriateness in addressing given problems or the possibility of their effective practical implementation by the public bureaucracy.

Indeed, Baron (2005) posits that most policy making goals in Ghana Nigeria are subordinated to the personal rewards and interests of the political leaders and their colleagues with the result that a policy is judged more on its political merits with the real development need rarely factored into consideration. For these, most policies in Nigeria are either inappropriate or lack well defined objectives and programmers for their effective implementation. It is perhaps for this, that Asante (2003) states that implementation of policies in Ghana take the form of “learning process” or “trial and error”. In this context, policies or programmers are haphazardly implemented and even sometimes abandoned or dismantled midway because the basis for formulating the policy was not, in the first instance, predicated on existing data, realities or need.

Another factor that constitutes an obstacle for the bureaucracy in implementing policies is the over ambitions nature of some public policies in developing countries in Africa.  Some policies actually tend to be over ambitions, sweeping and overly fundamental in nature (Brynard, 2000). In most cases, the formulation of such over ambitions policies is not even borne out of genuine or sincere effort to bring about rapid and radical development but just to boast the ego of the political leaders. An example of such policies is policies having as their basic objectives the provision of free education or free health services to all the citizens or the total eradication of poverty amongst the citizens in Nigeria. For such policies, there are usually inadequate resources for the public bureaucracy to effectively implement them (Green, 2005). For instance, the policy of free education and free health services for all in some states in Nigeria have witnessed such very ineffective implementation resulting in deterioration in quality and standard of service that some people prefer to send their children to private primary and secondary schools and to seek medical services from private hospitals, even though their service fees are very high.

According to Brynard (2000), another critical factor inhibiting effective implementation of policies in Africa is that some agencies or institutions saddled with the responsibility of implementing given policies do not possess the requisite manpower and financial resources to effectively implement them. On the issue of inadequate resources, for instance, Governments, sometimes, do not budget adequately to enable the public bureaucracy properly implement formulated policies (Aliber, 2009). Indeed, to effectively implement policies, the implementing agency needs resources in adequate and timely manner to achieve desirable ends. Sometimes, though, governments give out sufficient fund but the corrupt activities within the public bureaucratic organizations do not allow for its judicious use to effectively execute policy programs. In any case, insufficient financial resources have resulted to situations where laws could not be enforced, services were not provided and reasonable regulation not developed and applied (Baron, 2005).

1.3. Challenges faced in public policy implementation in East Africa

In East African countries, challenges hindering the effective implementation of public policies are common and almost shared. For instance, the said countries vowed to implement the National Poverty Alleviation Policies and brilliantly articulated but yet to realize its essence due largely to inadequate fund or resources (Musoni, 2011). On the issue of inadequate human resources, the public bureaucracy in  Burundi, Tanzania,  Uganda a do not, indeed, have adequate staff in terms of overall numbers and more importantly in terms of specific areas of professional, technical or managerial competence and expertise. This is counterproductive as the capabilities of government leaders in terms of expertise and skill determine, to a large extent, policy implementation success or failure (Sancton & Young, 2009). Where abilities exist, policies could be confidently formulated with reasonable assurance of their effective implementation. Indeed, as Turner & Hulme (1997) note, development policies has, in contemporary times, assumed complex and sophisticated dimension that require highly skilled and experienced bureaucrats for their effective implementation. 

Again, the challenge of keeping away personal interest, prejudice and the influence of primordial values in the conduct of official business by bureaucrats is equally very critical such as developing countries. Usually, if the bureaucrats are not favorably disposed towards a policy, they may not approach its implementation with the enthusiasm and zeal that it’s effectively implementation may require. Green (2005) in this respect contends that the zeal with which bureaucrats in these countries implement policy depending on how they see the policy as effecting their personal, ethnic and organizational interest and aspirations. Positive effects will induce enthusiastic implementation while the contrary may mean that implementation may be resisted, thwarted and even sabotaged. The ultimate result of this is ineffective implementation of policies that makes the realization of their goals and objectives difficult (Aliber, 2009).

Another constraining factor to effective policy implementation in Kenya is undue pervasive political influence on the public bureaucracy. Usually, in Kenya, the political leaders formulate policies and as well control and direct the implementation activities of the policy. This situation is not proper as such control and directive are mostly motivated by selfish personal or political interests. Indeed, the bureaucracy cannot effectively implement policies and meaningfully contribute to national development if it is fettered, controlled and directed by political authorities (Anderson, 2000). This is more so as in extreme cases of such political control, in Kenya, the bureaucrats are not even allowed to take decisions or actions on basic routine administrative matters without consultation and the consent of relevant political authorities. In this process, much time and energy is wasted and prompt actions required for effective implementation of policies hampered (Bradford, 2007). Given this, one can posit that the extent to which politics influence the bureaucratic activities will continue to determine and shape the extent to which policies can be properly and effectively implemented by the public bureaucracy.

Very worrisome is the fact that the political influence or hold on the public bureaucracy is becoming tighter as promotion to the headship positions in some public bureaucratic organization is based on political patronage or loyalty and not on the basis of relevant or cognate experience and seniority. Bureaucrats promoted under such circumstance will be more morally bound to subject their official decisions and actions, substantially, to the wishes, preferences, control and endorsement of their political masters (Stephen, 2011).

Finally, abrogation of a policy effects their implementation by the public bureaucracy in some countries. It is observable that each new political leadership in is usually and primarily concerned with making its own impression on public programmers and projects. For this, certain policies or programmers which are already being effectively implemented are shelved by the succeeding administration (Bell, 1998). Presidents, ministers, governors, local government chairmen and heads of institutions exhibit the tendency to link their administration with distinct social and economic policies or programmers. Consequently, the policies of preceding administrations are rarely pursued by succeeding ones and such personality styles of administration help to explain why so little attention is paid to the issue of maintenance of projects or programmers created or initiated by preceding regimes. Indeed, succeeding regimes conceive the maintenance of existing programmers as not politically expedient as it does not bring direct personal glory or credit. In this circumstance, the public bureaucracies do not have the opportunity and time to effectively and conclusively implement policies (Aliber, 2009).

1,4. Challenges faced in public policy implementation in Rwanda

Good policies are needed in any democracy. Furthermore, the correct implementation of those policies is essential in a democracy. According to Turner & Hulme (1997), institutional and political constraints are also identified as the main challenges for local government in strategic planning or program design. Musoni (2011) identifies factors that influence the behavior of government officials. He cites the legal bases, government control processes, and resource allocation mechanisms as examples of legislative, structural, and financial barriers to strategic planning and policy implementation. The aspect of control is generally described as lacking at the local level, which in turn, affects local governments’ ability to “initiate or terminate actions, exchanges, or relationships.”

In addition, Sancton & Young (2009) mention that  key among the challenges facing the implement  of public policies  include: lack of enabling legislation, lack of capacity both human and financial, need to harness partnership with public and private sector and among the different tiers of government, lack of information accessibility and the role of media, lack of political will in some countries more than others, poor implementation: lack of indicators to measure issues of who monitors implementation and  who is involved and what are the criteria of selection,  lack of ownership of the process by the local capacity for poverty alleviation, etc (Stephen, 2011).

Rugamba (2012) also states another challenge of low level of income. Without a reasonable level of financial independence delegated from the central government to local governments, autonomous local activities, which are based on aspirations of local population, can rarely be carried out. The resource base of local governments is, however, very limited. On the other hand, the total amount of funds being transferred from central to local governments has steadily been increasing. For this purpose, financial support by the central government to local authorities, include conditional, unconditional and equalization grants (Bigirimana, 2017).

Finally, Bayat & Meyer (1994) argue that lack of strong leadership at all levels of decentralization, the absence of an authoritative responsibility centre for the decentralization process which plays the role of coordinating, overseeing and monitoring individual and collective efforts of stakeholders across government and to plan and implement decentralization related initiatives were also inhibiting factors. This has also led to a lack of an authoritative and common vision and plan for decentralization process. Poor coordination, cooperation, and lack of channels of communication also hinder the implementation of some public policies.

1.5. Challenges faced in public policy implementation in Bwishyura Sector

 Recognizing that the Rwanda’s accountability and service delivery systems to-date are dominated by the government, the Public Policy Information, Monitoring and Advocacy project has focused on strengthening civil society and empowering citizens to access and use public policy information to monitor the service delivery processes, and undertake advocacy to improve the services levels to their satisfaction. However, in a local context, in Bwishyura sector, challenges hindering effective implementation of public policy implementation are numerous including corruption, lack of the adequate resources and selfishness among some local leaders (Kayigire & Mbonaruza 2016).

Green (2005) notes that lack of knowledge about particular policies constitutes a challenge to their implementation. They are formulated but they do not explain the ‘how’. It is crucial for policy-makers to explain the ‘how’ because the primary focus of public policy implementation is putting policy into effect. As such, there needs to be course of action put into place in terms of how to go about implementing policy. This is associated with the challenges of low level of skills. In Bwishyura sector, inadequate fund or resources on the other side still hinder the implementation of public policy. On the issue of inadequate human resources, the this entity does  not have  adequate staff in terms of overall numbers and more importantly in terms of specific areas of professional, technical or managerial competence and expertise. Where abilities exist, policies could be confidently formulated with reasonable assurance of their effective implementation (Rugamba, 2012).

Nyiramana (2017) also identifies another challenge of leadership corruption, and ineptitude, for instance, affects the content and quality of policy at the formulation and implementation stage.  For instance, policies are, more often than not, made for purposes of the selfish and egoistic interest of the political leaders and sometimes only to attract public acclaim and attention with less regard to their appropriateness in addressing given problems or the possibility of their effective practical implementation by the public bureaucracy.

Concerning the challenges that impede the implementation of public policies, Bell (1998) states that some policymakers do not have the knowledge to carry out the policies drafted by them, and therefore they have to rely on bureaucrats to implement what they have drafted and parliament has approved.  Public policy implementation is such a challenging, complex and complicated ‘social’ process because all the relevant stakeholders have to be taken into consideration.  Stephen (2011) also argues that the root causes of compliance and non-compliance should not be ignored as they form a necessary component in attempting to grasp the grim work that comes with attempting to implement public policy. 

Bradford (2007) believes that the main reason for non-compliance of public policy is because all the relevant stakeholders are ‘often not activated until the implementation phase has begun. This failure then leads to a lack of support of that particular policy. However, in order to prevent this situation as far as humanly possible; Clarke (2004) advises that educating the ‘end-users’ or the public on the contents of the policy policies might perhaps lead to compliance of the policy.  The above argument is supported by Baron (2005) who explains that some of the challenges in implementing public policies are the result of systematic problems relating to the lack of consultation and participation around policy choices in all spheres of government including national, provincial and local government. Murwanashyaka (2017) also argues that the public are not engaged sufficiently and that policy decisions are taken unilaterally 2.2.2 Role of local citizens in public policy implementation

Harris (1990) contends that citizen participation is a process which provides private individuals an opportunity to influence public decisions and has long been a component of the democratic decision-making process. Citizen involvement therefore enables to ensure that citizens have a direct voice in public decisions. Citizen participation indicates a process through which citizens have a voice in public policy decisions. However, Ribot (2002) reveals that ‘citizen participation has its relationship to public decision-making have evolved without a general consensus regarding either its meaning or its consequences. Similarly, many agencies or individuals choose to exclude or minimize public participation in planning efforts claiming citizen participation is too expensive and time consuming. Yet, Sancton & Young (2009) argue that many citizen participation programs are initiated in response to public reaction to a proposed project or action. However, there are tangible benefits that can be derived from an effective citizen involvement program.

Bradford (2007) also identifies benefits of citizen participation to the planning process such as:  getting information and ideas on public issues; public support for planning decisions; avoidance of protracted conflicts and costly delays; reservoir of good will which can carry over to future decisions; and   spirit of cooperation and trust between the agency and the citizens. In discussing the theory of public participation, it is useful to review broad theories of decision-making structures. Hoinville (1979) explored the role of technology in public policy decisions. He concludes that public decisions are increasingly being influenced by technology. Two broad decision-making structures are defined and analyzed: the technocratic approach; and the democratic approach.

According   to Sancton & Young (2009), citizen participation is described as “the involvement of citizens in a wide range of activities that relate to the making and implementation of policy including the determination of levels of service, budget priorities, and the acceptability of physical construction projects in order to orient government programmers towards community needs, build support and encourage a sense of cohesiveness within society. In this thesis a citizen is referred to as a member of a municipal area. Clarke (2004) then finds that citizen participation involves purposeful activities in which citizens take part in government related activities. Officials of local government rely on citizen inputs to stay informed about public concerns as well as to gain insight into citizen preferences. 

In local government citizen participation in the making and implementation of policy can have benefits such as a diverse viewpoint on particular issues, generation of a sense of ownership of projects and feeling of civic pride. Citizen participation also prevents the abuse or misuse of administrative authority and political power. However, certain shortcomings are also associated with citizen participation, for instance, it is time-consuming, costly, and slow and it can evoke a negative reaction if citizen inputs are not taken into account. Despite the above, citizen participation is essential for promoting good governance in public institutions (Baker et al., 1975).

2.Analysis

2.1Main challenges faced during public policies implementation

Countries face a number of problems with regard to public policy implementation.  The problem with these policies seems to be that although they describe the ‘what’, they do not explain the ‘how’. It is crucial for policy-makers to explain the ‘how’ because the primary focus of public policy implementation   is putting policy into effect. As such, there needs to be course of action put into place in terms of how to go about implementing policy.  With regards to the point made above, Clarke (2004) states that the thorny issue regarding public policy implementation is the fact that policymakers do not have the knowledge to carry out the policies drafted by them, and therefore they have to rely on bureaucrats to implement what they have drafted and Parliament has approved. 

 According to Sancton & Young (2009) public policy implementation is such a challenging, complex and complicated ‘social’ process because all the relevant stakeholders have to be taken into consideration. This argument is supported by Stephen (2011) who argues that when public policy is actualised, two issues frequently emanate. The first issue is that of ‘compliance’, and the second that of ‘non-compliance.’ Therefore, Usengimana (2017) states that the root causes of compliance and non-compliance should not be ignored as they form a necessary component in attempting to grasp the grim work that comes with attempting to implement public policy. Turner & Hulme (1997) further maintain that policies should not be vague because this would be likely to increase non-compliance. 

Aliber (2009) believes that the main reason for non-compliance of public policy is because all the relevant stakeholders are ‘often not activated until the implementation phase has begun”. This failure then leads to a lack of support of that particular policy. However, in order to prevent this situation as far as humanly possible Sancton & Young (2009) advise that “educating the “end-users” or the public on the contents of the policies” might perhaps lead to compliance of the policy. This argument is supported by Baron (2005) who explains that some challenges in implementing public policies are the result of “systematic problems relating to the lack of consultation and participation around policy choices” in all spheres of government. He argues that the public are not engaged sufficiently and that policy decisions are taken unilaterally. This of cause creates another challenge to public policy implementation, which is that this type of decision-making does not take into account the poor, and may consequently lead to dissent and protests – of course, with dire consequences such as destabilizing democracy. 

Another challenge of public policy implementation is the fact that it is time-consuming and challenging to implement in such a manner that will gratify everyone involved (Bell, 1998), the relevant stakeholders, politicians and the general public. This might be one of the core reasons why public policy implementations fail in some countries. Makinde (2005) suggests that for a policy to be successful, two components are necessary: local capacity, and the will of all concerned stakeholders. This means that there ought to be enough human capital with the necessary skills, experience and qualifications as well as the readiness by all relevant stakeholders to bring the intended policy to fruition. 

A further and related issue and challenge that Bradford (2007) raises with regards to public policy implementation countries tend to apply and adopt ‘Western’ solutions to their particular problems. Hoinville (1979) is of the opinion that it is not advisable to be implementing Western solutions in   developing countries, since the Western world has over 200 years’ experience of practicing democracy and therefore the Western worlds’ history is unlike that of developing countries.  The following core problems and challenges have emerged in relation to public policy implementation such as lack of participation, which comes about as a result of lack of consultation, lack of knowledge, skills, experience and expertise is a problem and a challenge while the absence of a common theory on PPI is a major obstacle to successful public policy implementation.

Another factor that constitutes an obstacle for the bureaucracy in implementing policies is the over ambitions nature of some public policies in developing countries.  Some policies actually tend to be over ambitions, sweeping and overly fundamental in nature (Brynard, 2000). In most cases, the formulation of such over ambitions policies is not even borne out of genuine or sincere effort to bring about rapid and radical development but just to boast the ego of the political leaders. Another critical factor inhibiting effective implementation of policies is that some agencies or institutions saddled with the responsibility of implementing given policies do not possess the requisite manpower and financial resources to effectively implement them. On the issue of inadequate resources, for instance, Governments, sometimes, do not budget adequately to enable the public bureaucracy properly implement formulated policies (Aliber, 2009). Indeed, to effectively implement policies, the implementing agency needs resources in adequate and timely manner to achieve desirable ends. Sometimes, though, governments give out sufficient fund but the corrupt activities within the public bureaucratic organizations do not allow for its judicious use to effectively execute policy programs. In any case, insufficient financial resources have resulted to situations where laws could not be enforced, services were not provided and reasonable regulation not developed and applied (Niyibizi, 2017).

Again, the challenge of keeping away personal interest, prejudice and the influence of primordial values in the conduct of official business by bureaucrats is equally very critical such as developing countries. Usually, if the bureaucrats are not favorably disposed towards a policy, they may not approach its implementation with the enthusiasm and zeal that it’s effectively implementation may require. Green (2005) in this respect contends that the zeal with which bureaucrats in these countries implement policy depending on how they see the policy as effecting their personal, ethnic and organizational interest and aspirations. Positive effects will induce enthusiastic implementation while the contrary may mean that implementation may be resisted, thwarted and even sabotaged. The ultimate result of this is ineffective implementation of policies that makes the realization of their goals and objectives difficult (Aliber, 2009).

Another challenge to effective policy implementation in Kenya is undue pervasive political influence on the public bureaucracy. Usually, in Kenya, the political leaders formulate policies and as well control and direct the implementation activities of the policy. This situation is not proper as such control and directive are mostly motivated by selfish personal or political interests. Indeed, the bureaucracy cannot effectively implement policies and meaningfully contribute to national development if it is fettered, controlled and directed by political authorities (Anderson, 2000). This is more so as in extreme cases of such political control, in Kenya, the bureaucrats are not even allowed to take decisions or actions on basic routine administrative matters without consultation and the consent of relevant political authorities. In this process, much time and energy is wasted and prompt actions required for effective implementation of policies hampered (Bradford, 2007). Given this, one can posit that the extent to which politics influence the bureaucratic activities will continue to determine and shape the extent to which policies can be properly and effectively implemented by the public bureaucracy.

2.2.Effects of the challenges hindering the public policy implementation

The rising profile of poverty in some African countries is overly a result of the lack of effective public policy implementation. To this end, various policies and programmers have been formulated to no avail. A typical example is Nigeria.  For instance, Nigeria is ranked among poorest nations in the world (Honadle, 2001). This is embarrassing considering the enormous wealth of the nation both in human and natural resources. It was found that the policies and programmer   have failed to achieve the desired result due to high level of corruption, Top-bottom approach in tackling poverty, inadequate co-ordination of various programmers, politicization of poverty alleviation schemes as well as inconsistency in policies and programmers (Egonmwan, 2004).

Worried by the continued rise in poverty level, governments have not relented in formulating one policy or the other in order to tame the social malaise. But, the poverty level has continued to rise. The state of poverty in some countries with immense wealth endowed with human and material resources is also attributed to weak governance and inadequate implementation of poverty alleviation policies which lead to citizens’ persistence in abject poverty. Various programmers and schemes have been initiated by governments to tame this social malaise without success as records indicate  that poverty has continue to rise unabated (Shah, 2004).

According to Bradford (2007), the need for enhancing the development process in the development in Nigeria is ever becoming more crucial and urgent. The pace at which this can be realized is hinged on the ability of the government to formulate appropriate policies and very importantly on the capability of the leaders to effectively implement the formulated policies. Over the years in some countries   numerous brilliant policies have been formulated and implemented. Yet there is no apparent and significant development to show for as evidenced by the fact that countries have continued to remain in the category of the least developed countries of the world. 

To this regard, Honadle (2001) identifies that many countries presently are swimming in the ocean of abject poverty, absence of basic social amenities and excruciating under-development, not because there are no good policies to ameliorate the situation, but because policy implementation is unachievable. Brynard (2000) also identifies the problems associated with policy implementation as that of social builder who fails to build to specification and thus distort the beautiful blueprint. He equates policy with a building plan. To this, he said that implementation is the nemesis of designers; it conjures up images of plans gone awry and of social builder fails to build to specifications and thereby distort the beautiful blueprints for progress which were handed to them. It provokes memories of “good” ideas that did not work and places the blame on the second   member of the policy an administrative images.

On the other side, Makinde (2005) shows that no matter how beautiful the blueprint of a programmer is, a defective implementation of it will make nonsense of the whole programmer.  Unfortunately, the situation is what goes on in most developing countries. As stated by Egonmwam (1971), “implementation in these countries often turns out to be the graveyard of policy where intentions of the designers of the policies are often undermined by a constellation of powerful forces of politics and administration in cooperation with the people. Little attention is paid to the subject of policy implementation by policy decision makers while it is often taken that once a policy is adopted by government it must be implemented and the desired goal achieved. There is policy failure when there is a sizable gap between a policy decision and its implementation.  Such a gap is characterized, for instance, by the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer in spite of stated policy goals to the contrary. Implementation gap thus manifests in the “widening of the distance between stated policy goals and realization of such planned goals. 

Conclusion

 The main objective of this study was to examine the challenges faced during the implementation of public policy implementation in Rwanda specifically Bwishyura sector. It was conducted with four specific objectives namely: to evaluate the key factors driving public policies implementation in Bwishyura sector, to examine the role of local citizens in public policy implementation in Bwishyura sector, to assess the main challenges faced during public policies, and to examine the effect of the challenges hindering the public policy implementation in Bwishyura Sector  The results showed that a great number of the respondents were of the opinion that  stakeholders participation in public policy implementation such as citizens contributes to the public implementation in Bwishyura sector implying that the majority of the respondents really perceive the role  they play in with respect to public policies.  The study also found that local population participates in making decision about their local community needs as way of developing enhancing the feasibility of the implementation of public policies. The study showed that public policy implementation faces some shortcoming in some local entities based on insufficient resources, corruption, and incompetence of pubic bureaucrats, among others. The study also finds that participation of local citizen in public policy implementation facilitates the implementation of policy including the determination of levels of service and local community needs which has enabled them to address their problems because citizens show their inputs about their preferences. Finally, the effects of the challenges that hinder the implementation of public policies were examined such as underdevelopment, lack of trust towards public officials among others.

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