Rapid results initiative: a strategy implementation tool by the National Social Security Fund-Kenya
Managing for Development Results is an emerging, and increasingly important concept, which focuses on monitoring of results and outcomes in the development process, rather than inputs. In this direction, many developing countries. have introduced Results-based Management (RBM) in several key sectors and sub-sectors. The strategies devised and problems identified for implementation in public sector have mainly focused on outputs Iresults and not on inputs or processes has its been the case. It is because of this that the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) decided to use Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) as a RBM tool in order to achieve the much needed results. The study had two objectives: To assess the management's perception of RRI as a strategy implementation tool at NSSF and; to find out the challenges that NSSF faced during RRI implementation. T;) achieve these objectives, the study was carried out through interviews using an interview guide in which senior managers at the Operations Department in NSSF were targeted. Secondary data was also obtained from relevant materials from the department like reports and strategic plan. The data was analysed through content analysis. The findings generally indicate that strategy implementation in the public sector is slow, characterized by long processes, ineffective and inefficient. This was attributed to a number of factors like: bureaucracy, poor planning and coordination, poor leadership, lack of commitment to formulated strategies and rigid government structures. Strategy implementation in NSSr was also described by the aforesaid characteristics it being a public corporation operating under the Ministry of Labour. According to the study, NSSF has previously used other implementation strategies like performance contracting, decentralization, formation (')1' compliance monitoring unit (eMU) and reforms strategies. These only irnproved compliance, coverage, member registration and contributions collected by a small percentage. RRI as a RBM tool was implemented in NSSF in a bid to fast track implementation of the top-up strategy in the Operations Department. Being a government initiative, the Fund wanted to test it and of course improve on its results. There was a need to create urgency in implementation which is usually lacking in bureaucratic organizations such as this one. Senior managers in the department felt that RRI led to: the improvement of general compliance, growth in member registrations and a significant growth of contribution collected by about 13.7 %. The organization faced some challenged during RRI implementation which included: Inadequate resources, inadequate support from top management, change resistance, lack of enough technical support and poor planning. They however responded to some of these challenges by training staff and improvising some resources. The study recommends that Government's commitment should remain at the core of RBM initiatives because most public corporations including NSSF because they fast track implementation thus eliminating long rigid processes of implementation. The study also recommends that the national social security fund should strive to maintain and sustain results based management initiatives as opposed to the process oriented ones. As improved compliance, increased coverage, growth in member registrations and increase in contributions continues, the organization should keep on focusing on results oriented initiatives like RRI in order to continue serving its members effectively and efficiently.