Evaluation of the effectiveness of the Annual Performance Appraisal System(APAS)in selected Ministries of the Zambia Civil Service
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In 1997, the Government of Zambia introduced the Annual Performance Appraisal System (APAS) which was an integral part of the Performance Management Package (PMP) with the principal objective of introducing a culture of work planning and target setting in Government Ministries and Other Spending Agencies. The objectives were to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the Public Service in the performance of its functions and put in place an effective personnel appraisal instrument in making vital personnel decision. The main concern of this study was that for the past 19 years of the existence of the APAS, performance in the Civil Service has not improved in any way. There was still poor service delivery resulting from under performance by most of the Civil Servants. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the APAS in improving performance in selected Ministries of the Zambian Civil Service. Specific objectives included: (i) to determine the implementation of performance planning and monitoring among Civil Servants in selected Ministries (ii) to establish if the APAS was effectively used in appraising performance of Civil Servants in selected Ministries,(iii) to determine the extent of the utilization of the APAS in making Human Resource decisions in selected Ministries. Both primary and secondary methods of data collection were used. This study involved the use of questionnaires, semi-structured interview guide and other relevant documents. A mixture of stratified random and clustered sampling was used to draw a sample 126 respondent from three (3) restructured Ministries namely Education, Health and Agriculture. Quantitative data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel Computer Software Package. The study revealed that APAS was not effectively used in appraising performance in concerned Ministries. Departmental and Individual Work plans and target setting were not strictly adhered to in all the concerned Ministries. Furthermore, APAS was only used for the purposes of confirmation and substantive promotions in the Civil Service. The study also revealed that there were inconsistencies in implementing performance planning, monitoring and feedback provision in the concerned Ministries. It was futher revealed that the APAS was not effectively used in making critical human resource decision such as identifying officers who should be promoted. Finally, it was revealed that the APAS had not achieved almost all the objectives for which it was established.