Environment and sustainable development an Ethiopian perspective

Wutet Tekor!

Posted by 4kilo on January 30, 2007

Wutet tekor (performance based management)

Today in Ethiopia wutet tekor performance based management(i am not sure for the translation),is a common word among government employee in nearly all public utility’s. It is kind of management theory the Ethiopian government is fall in love.However,on the other hand nearly all the worker’s supposedly to benefit from it, are against it.In all workshops or seminar’s held to convince the workers,officials faced fears opposition.Unfortunately they didn’t listen and i am not surprised,it is for the simple reason that they are ordered to do so.I don’t know how far these people are planning to implement by force what they think is ‘the only management theory for the countries development’ but i am sure it is a complete failure.It has in fact already failed.I personally believe it has failed due to the following reasons among others,

1.the workers supposedly to benefit from it,have opposed it from the start and no one asks why or is willing to listen and make arrangements may be bring another management theory

2.those people who brought this idea have little or no knowledge of the countries working conditions and personalities.Clearly people would like to get as much as their effort,off course with few exceptions but the fact on the ground doesn’t allow you to compete it will only allow you fight between workers to do specific job.I remember in one of organization i was working with, the number of workers needed on that specific section was three but there were 27 people! their job doesn’t require big skill, they were only recording incoming and outgoing letters.For which of these three people shall the work be assigned? what about the others? here comes the problem! now employee has to beg or even bribe to their closest boss to be assigned to do that job because it is the only way for promotion.To be honest most of government offices are more like charity organization where elder men and women in the name of ‘working’ get paid.The number of employee and the amount of job is not compatible,people hired or transferred to by somebody who want them to be there one way or the other way regardless of the amount of work actually existed.This is to show you just tip of the problem.I can give you another example, EEPCo one of Ethiopia’s biggest stated owned power corporation has a total number of employee close to 9000 may be more yet the company runs a total installed capacity of 700Mw let’s now compare it with one Europe power company,Statkraft which runs an installed capacity of more than 28,000Mw employe’s a total of 2000 professionals! here i realize the difference we have but just look the difference(40 times).Are they using wutet tekor? certainly not! The key here is for skilled person with his/her equipment or machinery(if any) it is known that standard amount of job will executed.In this case the system as whole is evaluated not only the person.Let’s put processionals in their respective position and evaluate the system as whole! for one professional it is well known how much it delivers for specific job.

3.It may work for some service providing small enterprises like what the government claims as successful in in capital .But this doesn’t mean it will work for government organization and services.Hence it is important to treat each kind of services and products separately.

There is still good chance to make things right,drop this wutet tekor! and don’t impose by force this obsolete management theory.


One Response to “Wutet Tekor!”

  1. I think the word came from a term used by the World Bank – you know they have this structural adjustments bla bla ..stuffs . . .they impose something – Top Down Something – including Top down vocabularies like result-focused (wutet tekor) . . . and they never work . . .By the way, William Easterly has written extensively about similar issues and failures in his book ‘ The White Man’s Burden’ explaining why aid strategy used in the last thirty years failed to work.

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