What problems affect effective implementation of training and development in the public service: a gender perspective

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Tembo, Elizabeth Madalitso
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This research survey intended to identify the problems that affect effective implementation of training and development in the Public Service. With the Ministry of Energy and Water Development (MEWD) as the focal area of study, it was envisaged that the findings of the research would give a representative state of affairs for other areas that constitute the Public Service. The research constituted desk and field work. Desk work largely involved reviewing literature relevant to the study. Field work concentrated on collecting data from the respondents from the Ministry of Energy and Water Development and from the heads of training institutions and Human Resources Development Officers (HRDOS) from selected training institutions and Ministries respectively. A sample size of 110 respondents was used in the study comprising 100 from MEWD representing 43.1% percent of the population of 232 employees at Ministry Headquarters; 6 Human Resource Development Officers and 4 Managers from training institutions were interviewed.The study revealed that training and development of the Civil Servants was important. It was further established that the majority seventy percent (70%) that is, forty percent (40%) males and thirty percent (30%) females of the respondents, were able to implement what they learnt from the training and development programmes and that females were more often sent for training than their male counterparts.In addition, the research revealed that there were problems in the way the training and development needs assessment was carried out, for example, development needs assessment were not adequately conducted, there was negative attitude of officers responsible for training and development, funding was inadequate, Government interfered in the programmes and a number of gaps in the human resource development training guidelines existed.Further, this research revealed that males had higher qualifications than females. It was, therefore, proposed that there should be a deliberate policy to encourage the female employees to acquire higher qualifications. The training institutions should ensure that the selection committees are gender sensitive. Moreover, the Government and policy makers should ensure, among other things, that they encourage females to apply for courses which would enable them occupy key positions in MEWD and Government as a whole. Furthermore, the training institutions, policy makers and Government in general should introduce affirmative action initiatives to ensure gender balance in the implementation of training and development programmes for Public Service employees.Salient among the recommendations from the study to address the problems are:(i)Training and development should be implemented on grounds of the identified needs.(ii)There is also need for the Government to increase the allocation of funds for training and development of the Civil Servants.(iii)There should be a comprehensive and effective training plan in place so that officers could be given equal opportunities to be trained and developed. (iv)The training institutions, policy makers and the Government at large should seriously consider gender mainstreaming in all training and development activities as a major focus because there are linkages between gender equity and training and development if the delivery of services are to have a non discriminatory and positive impact on service delivery in the Public Service.
Civil Service , Employees--training of