Institutional Development Planning on Local Government Level (IDP Method)

Efficient and effective administration directly influences the improvement of citizen's quality of life. Thus important is the institutional potential, which can be used in this process in relation to competent officials, efficient organisation and decision making structures, mechanisms of resource use and finally partnership between local population and public affairs. Wherein this partnership cannot be related with nepotism or fake sloganicity leading to perceiving the public interest through individual instead of collective dimension. Thus individual entities of local government (mainly on the level of community) should look for self-assessment and planning tools, which would allow for governing the entity in an efficient, transparent and predictable instead of incidental way and implement them. The essence of local government is the “execution of power in a specified territory by its citizens through performing the tasks assigned by law by the state. The goal of local government is satisfying collective needs of population of a given territory and creating good conditions of its individual development” (Wytra˛z˙ek 2010). Thus a special role of local government should be based on such planning in decision making, which will satisfy three basic functions. Firstly engagement of active citizens, who will competently defend their society; secondly strengthening local societies in order to formulate the best solutions; thirdly establishing and maintaining partnership among citizens and public institutions on a given area (McWilliams 2013). However, what is meant here is an actual inclusion of the citizen's public opinion and not only social movements in consultation process as a part of planning, but before making the final decision. The latter, like e.g. opinions of scientists, should be listed as experts, as opposed to citizens, who are not such experts, but are able to present disinterested opinions from own point of view (Evans and Plows 2007) and problems they cope with on a daily basis.

One of such tools is the Institutional Development Planning method (IDP) for local community. In endeavours to provide high quality services in a given local government entity it should be a sequential set of repeatable actions, which include[1]:

(a) diagnosing current development level (of local government entity/ commune),

(b) planning and designing institutional changes (developing a real, but longterm plan of institutional development),

(c) practical realisation of the plan (implementation of appropriate development tools),

(d) audit of results—after each improvement cycle, which allows improving efficiency of the entity or commune,

IDP method is a kind of constructive criticism of management quality analysis in a given office or commune, which allows planning separate undertaking, sets scalable measurements and action standards. Its use can lead to change of organisational culture in a given office or commune (which is usually very difficult), introduces constant organisational optimisations resulting in improvement of performed work in public services.

The whole institutional analysis and its organisation consist of three basic actions, whose execution may guarantee achieving the commune's goals. They consist of formal and organisational actions before conducting the institutional analysis. A key point of the process is acceptance from managerial unit of a given local government entity initiating the IDP method implementation. Even more important is that the introduced method was not only a wishful thinking and formally imposed commune's actions which are not respected in practice. Thus the information about implemented method, its advantages and requirements should not only be communicated to the employees, but most of all engage each employee in established framework of its realisation. An average length of preparatory phase for institutional analysis is 2–8 days and requires 4–15 employees of a given local government administration entity. A real time needed for performing the institutional analysis is from a week to 3 weeks (Op. cit., s. 66–68).

In 2014 passed 10 years of full IDP method, which has already earned an actualisation. At the moment it consists of 19 management criteria divided in five essential areas, which are:

(a) leadership and strategy:

– leadership, i.e. participation and capabilities of community administration leaders in initiating actions, formulating visions, missions, strategies; client/stakeholders satisfaction surveying, dialogue and cooperation with external partners in planning process; in individual community units promoting pro-quality and team work within organisation culture; searching and using good practices of management and leadership,

– strategy within owned and implemented development strategies, constant dialogue with society—informing about actions taken, planning financial resources for strategy realisation in individual budgets, keeping operational plans for strategies and realising resulting tasks; periodical evaluation and actualisation of strategy and predicting socio-economic phenomena; searching and using the best practices in strategic management,

(b) resource management

– finance management i.e. on the basis of 5-year prognosis of financial trend analysis from 3 past years, updated with factors impossible to predict; multiannual investment plan congruent with multiannual financial prognosis; constant actualisation of multiannual financial prognosis on the basis of acquisition cost model analysis of repayable resources, and system of taxes and local fees,

– property management—based on set of properties constituting municipal property or coming from the rental as part of a unified and updated municipal property management procedures,

– spatial management—based on the local development plan, in accordance with the community spatial policy and vision; in space management included are also all management activities aimed at cultural heritage and natural environment—in a transparent visualization of Geographic Information System,

– IT management—enabling all employees to use personal e-mail accounts and implementation of electronic document management system—both for employees and stakeholders of the municipal organization),

– process management—by using detailed process description within e.g. implementing ISO 9001 quality management; process evaluation based on stakeholder satisfaction surveys,

(c) managing organisation's human resources:

– planning, recruitment and selection—key competences, position profiles, standardised recruitment and selection tools, employment plans,

– motivation, evaluation and promotion (evaluation on the basis of position profiles, surveys of employees' motivation level and professional qualification of people promoted or applying for promotion,

– professional improvement—e.g. training needs analysis and develop-

ment of annual training plans; constant dissemination of knowledge within the accepted procedures for converting data and information,

– ethics—e.g. transparency of decision making in the system of client/ stakeholder service; introducing action standards in public procurement; training for councillors and employees on corruption and its countermeasures, implementation of a code of ethics for local government employees and councillors; advice on resolving conflicts of interest; permanent training of managers in tactics and techniques of managing the situation of the risk of corruption,

(d) partnership:

– social communication and public and social partnership—exchange of information between given office and local environment—also in non-obligatory information; supporting civic initiatives and monitoring of social activity in the community; cross-sectoral working groups and public consultations,

– public partnership—within joint undertakings of local government of public finance sector entities—transparent exchange of information, establishing and maintaining contacts with local government units of other countries; joint organization of projects—both domestic and international,

– cooperation with entrepreneurs and public-private partnership—including entrepreneurs in cooperation for realisation of community tasks; supporting the idea of corporate social responsibility, having map and scope of local entrepreneurs and joint implementation of projects under the Act on public-private partnership (Ustawa z dnia 19 grudnia 2008)[2],

(e) managing public services:

– administrative services—within a catalogue, patterns and procedures of administrative services; basing the public service management on ISO quality management system or conducting alternative forms of evaluating office management on the basis of Common Assessment Framework—CAF or Institution Development Planning—IDP,

– social services—within known and in force standards of providing social services,

– technical services—provided within standards known to stakeholders and other recipients,

– supporting economic development—within various economic development policies included in community strategy and communicated to the local communities; cooperation with neighbouring local government units in order to harmonise the activities of the labour market and economic development (see: Planowanie rozwoju instytucjonalnego w samorza˛ dach lokalnych.. .).

The whole planning process should be based on the belief that the local government realises important public functions of service character, which can include:

(a) administrative services—related to issuing all documents: of general nature, licenses, permits, administrative decisions,

(b) social services—healthcare, public security, education, upbringing, physical culture and recreation, housing, social assistance and social services, culture,

(c) technical services—water and waste management, transport, cemeteries, public green, energy supply (Olesin´ski 2010).

Those functions have to fully, but within budget, satisfy the needs of local government community, namely the whole population of the area. Development planning without financing bases—both local and central and detachment from developmental cohesion of the region can in short time lead to unnecessary tensions and social conflicts. It can result in: outflow of investors, unfriendly attitude of the residents to each other or to the company and often a bad image on the outside.

  • [1] See: full description of the institutional development planning within the framework of the project “Improvement of the quality of offices and services for residents through the implementation of the revised method of IDP in the municipalities and counties.” Implementation of the project took place in the framework of Priority V Human Capital Operational Programme (Good Governance), Action 5.2.—Strengthen the capacity of local government, sub-measure 5.2.1. Modernization of management in local government administration); Institutional development planning in local government .. ., op. cit., pp. 8–9
  • [2] See: the subject of a public-private partnership, the essence of which is the joint execution of projects in the distribution of individual tasks and risks between public and private partners in the Act of 19 December 2008. on public-private partnership (Dz U z 2009 r. Nr 19, poz. 100)
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