Resource allocation for road maintenance funds in the ministry of public works and housing: the application of "hard"and soft operations research
We discuss the application of Peter Checkland's Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) to Road Maintenance Management in Kenya. This is in view of funds generated by the taxes, Fuel Levy and Transit tolls specifically for road maintenance. We look at whether the Roads Department has the capacity to absorb these funds effectively and if not what needs and can be done about it. In the same vein, funds allocation methods used are analyzed and a Goal Programming model is suggested. We find that the Roads Department needs to increase its commitment to planning and control functions as an integral part of all its activities. This is possible because certain donor funded units have such systems manned by ministry personnel. The suggested changes were obtained co-operatively and are not solely the researchers findings. Chances of implementation are enhanced if followed up. It is appreciated that termination of the study was arbitrary as all SSM studies are hence participants could follow up on the suggested course of action. The GP model could not be tested due to lack of reasonable and sensible up to date data. Time and money did not allow us to obtain grassroots information for the model. The approach used has specific benefits of a developing country especially the learning achieved by participation, innovative solutions and creates moment for change in institutions with high inertia.