Thesis submitted in fulfilment ofthe requirements for the award of the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy (Library and Information Science) of the University of
Zululand, 2006. / A study based in Uganda, examining and evaluating the theoretical and practical challenges in establishing a management information system (MIS) for public administration. The study focused on the information system at the Ministry of Health (MOH), and Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development (MFPED) in the case of Central Government; and that of local administration of five districts, namely, Arua, Bushenyi, Kampala, Masaka, and Mbale.
The study involved administration of a survey questionnaire to 530 respondents as well as conducting face to face interviews with 53 respondents. This was on top of the review of the literature that included journal publications, monographs, institutional reports, and conference proceedings. Data collected was analysed using SPSS, Excel, and Epinfo software programs and was later interpreted accordingly.
The findings of the study reveal that introduction of new public management, in particular, result oriented management trigger off the desire for the introduction of MIS public administration. Initial efforts towards MIS in public administration proved faulty due to lack of coordination. The effort also resulted in MIS programmes which are limited in scope as they are designed mainly for planning purposes. The steps towards review of the MIS program in 2002 aimed at establishing an integrated MIS program. The leading information needs of public administration were identified as financial management, capacity building, national policy, central government policy, economic conditions and HIV/AIDS. Despite the claim of having an MIS, the information system in place is said to be considerably lacking in the ability to supply adequate, well processed, timely, and easy to use data. The system was found to be lacking in the supply of grey literature, and value added data. Websites suffer from inadequate scope and limited currency. In-house databases by the established information system are non¬existent. The system suffers from the lack of a LAN system, meaning non-availability of online access for most people. It also surfers from undeveloped CD-ROM, and flash disk technology, meaning that information from databases is only accessible in printed form
or on diskettes. The MIS programme also suffers from excessive donor dependence, resulting in the development of incompatible systems. Local governments in particular suffer from inadequate computer stock. Public administration, as a whole, suffers from inadequate computer accessories, a problem aggravated by lack of a LAN system to support resource sharing. It also suffers from inadequate computer literacy by both information resource personnel, and public administrators which then results in the under-utilisation of computer resources. To most respondents, the productivity of the MIS program is less that 30 percent of its potential.
There is a need to; a) strengthen training in information management, including information gathering, knowledge management, indexing and abstracting service, information analysis and consolidation, and information repackaging; b) establish sectoral information analysis centres with legal deposit rights on government and non¬government publications, to assume management of the national websites and online databases; c) create a Ministry of Information and Communication Technology to elevate the information resource to a ministerial status; d) effect greater investment in group decision support systems as opposed to decision support systems; e) invest in information sharing networks as opposed executive information systems; f) emphasise information reporting and communication as opposed to production of decision models; g) increase government active participation in MIS programs demonstrated through independent budget lines in the national budget and lastly there is a need to integrate the various information systems into a public administration management information network (PAMIN).
In conclusion, MIS for public administration is the only way to activate the critical role of information in public administration. Bearing in mind that MIS is computer based, and that the ICT industry is ever changing, the Uganda Government is faced with an uphill task of making MIS a success.
|Ocholla, D.N., Adigun, M.O.
|South African National ETD Portal
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