Deputy Permanent Secretaries seen as Key Players in innovative National Human Resource Development Programme
Deputy Permanent Secretaries across the civil service are being seen as key agents of change in an innovative programme to build a well-coordinated, national human resource development system to realise the potential of all Barbadians.
This from Maureen Pollard, Project Coordinator for the Human Resource Development (HRD) Strategy. Ms. Pollard was addressing a Knowledge Management workshop attended by over 25 Deputy Permanent Secretaries and Senior Technical Officers recently at the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development.
The Project Coordinator explained that the objective of the innovative Human Resource Development (HRD) Strategy is to support the Barbados government in its efforts to increase competitiveness, promote sustainable growth, and reduce poverty. “We are doing this through a number of activities and interventions across different sectors. And it is important to note that the strategy is not just for the public sector but will allow for the aspirations of all Barbadians to be realised by improving their employability and productivity.”
Barbados to become a knowledge economy
With regard to knowledge management, Ms. Pollard noted that that the island’s Medium-Term Growth and Development Strategy spoke to Barbados becoming a knowledge economy. She said that Peter Drucker, management consultant in 2005 inferred that “in the 20th century, management was focused on increased productivity through the manual worker while in the 21st century, the focus is on knowledge work and the knowledge worker.”
Quoting the Knowledge Management Institute, Ms. Pollard added that the secret to “knowledge management success” was the passionate, innovative worker who was fully engaged and understood what was expected of him or her.
Emphasising the importance of knowledge management to Barbados, Ms. Pollard said it would impact on the delivery of the entire HRD strategy.
“Advancements in knowledge management fall under Pillar 4 of the strategy which seeks to make systems more efficient and improve access to information. And they are crucial to the successful implementation of the other pillars of the HRD strategy which all depend on research, efficient use of knowledge, and informed decision making,” she explained.
“As a result we want to make sure we have a well-planned and executed strategy. We want to ensure that there’s easier access to information and knowledge; that we improve the efficiency of our organisations through the use of knowledge, and we want to facilitate greater collaboration.”
The workshop was facilitated by Knowledge Management expert, Yacine Khelladi along with consultants, Suzanne Joachim, Carlos Leão, and Dr.Cherri-Ann Beckles.
Connecting people for better collaboration
An efficient knowledge management system, Mr. Khelladi explained, was “concerned with how we connect people to the information and knowledge they need at the time they need it, to plan and make decisions in a more efficient way. We are talking about connecting people to people, so there is more collaboration, more knowledge exchange, and exchange of best practices. Overall, an improvement in organisations and their processes.”
“The flows of information within and between agencies were mapped and analysed. We also looked at how these institutions were capturing, processing and storing knowledge. A workshop was held last January where some of the findings were validated and the system is now in the design phase.”
After the workshop participants said they looked forward to the impact a knowledge management system would have on their ministries. Betty Alleyne-Headley, DPS (Ag.), Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs noted: “I can see efficiency and effectiveness being an outcome. For a long time I’ve wanted a system where you can adequately retrieve and share information, both internal and external. For this reason I’m really looking forward to a system for the registry and personnel functions so that when we want to export information to the Personnel Administration Division and the Ministry of the Civil Service that we can easily have inflows and outflows without waiting an inordinately long time.”
The Human Resource Development Strategy is a Ministry of Labour, Social Society, and Human Resource Development programme being implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation and is being funded by a grant from the European Union (EU).