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Training Module For Public Administration sample essay

Introduction

Training in public administration is the most important aspect any government, organization or agency must embrace and use so that its officers can be trained on new ideas / knowledge which they will apply in their jobs. This is the role played by the Public Service Commission in conjunction with the Directorate of Personnel Management. Public administrators are the most important officers in any government. They are the government representatives from the national level to the community level. They preside over, manage and implement activities / projects on behalf of the government. They need to be thoroughly trained on public administration so that they can be able to understand and know what entails in their jobs.

Many governments spend a lot of resources to train its officers with hopes that they will be able to deliver services in a more improved way in the ever changing world of advanced technology. Public administration is a key sector in any government as is the backbone of the government structure. This can only be strengthened only if there is political will between the politicians because public administration cannot be separated from politics and politicians. Their contribution towards it will result to positive or negative impact.

Objectives of Public Administration Training

The training will be guided by the following objective
To define key concepts in public administration, relating them to their work experiences.
To acquire and develop new skills in programme management, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
To train administrators and managers to become trainers and efficient managers of their work.

Public Administration Concept

Public administration has several definitions as follows;
Refers to administration in the government as opposed to a private business. It includes administration in local government authorities, public enterprise such as nationalized industries, state corporations, special agencies, and many other government bodies as well as the central government departments OR
Is a cooperative group effort in a public setting that covers all three arms of the government- executive, legislature and the judiciary. It has an important role in the formulation of public policy and thus a part of the political process. It is different in significant ways from private administration and is closely associated with numerous private groups and individuals in providing services to the community OR

In general Public Administration is defined as decision making, planning work to be done, formulating objectives and goals, establishing and reviewing organizations, directing and supervising employees, exercising controls and other functions performed by government executives and supervisors. It is the action part of the government, the means by which the purposes and goals of government are realized. Public administration thus is basically the administrative side of the government as opposed to the legislative and judicial sides.

Characteristics of Public Administration
Is concerned with all aspects of the government i.e. the three arms of the government; the executive, legislature and the judiciary and all types of public concern within these branches.
It operates at all levels, from the humble routine jobs to the highest positions in the government.
It plays an important role in policy formulation and is therefore part of the political process.
The greater of public administration is involved in the implementation of policy and in the creation and maintenance of the administrative system, the machinery for carrying out implementation.
The administrative system is a part of a much larger political and social system and is therefore closely involved with private groups and individuals serving the public.

Understanding the arms of the government

One approach is to identify public administration as it relates with the three arms of the government i.e. the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. In this conception, administration is executive that is, carrying out the laws passed by the legislature. There is a clear distinction between legislative and administrative powers. The legislature possesses the former, but when it passes laws what the executive branch does with what law becomes administration. Although the legislative and executive branches are not completely separate entities, still it is the latter that has the administrative power, so it follows that public administration is what the executive does.

The judiciary stands apart from administration, deciding which cases between private parties but also restraining the public administrators from unconstitutional, illegal, and arbitrary acts. The judiciary is a powerful force in shaping public administration. When the courts pass upon the constitutionality of legislative enactments and administrative acts, they are determining what kinds of public service can be rendered and under what conditions. The administrators must fully understand the full function of the three arms of the government because they are part of it and will from time to time consult all of the when making administrative decisions.

Functions/ Roles of a public administrator
To represent the government in whatever assignment assigned.
To implement the government plans and policies as per the government plans
To assist the government in budgeting and making of a plan of action
Making administrative decisions in line with their area of work
Making reports to the government concerning their area of work
To teach and explain to the public about the government policies on behalf of the government

Qualities of a good administrator
Must be a good listener. He/she must listen to all people without any hindrance or influence
Must be a good facilitatator and implementor of the projects assigned to him within the appropriate time.
Must be a good decision maker. Decision made should not favour one side but for the benefit of all
Must be a consultative person. He/she must make wider consultations with all stakeholders before a decision made
Must be impartial in making important decisions. The administrator must not favour one side or listen to few individuals who might mislead him/her
Must work with deadlines in order to finish work as planned
Must be accessible to all people at all times. There shouldn’t be obstacles hindering the public from seeing him.
Must be a good speaker and motivator especially when explaining the government policies to the people.
Must be time-conscious. He must keep time not to keep people waiting especially when there is a meeting which he is supposed to attend.
Must be a person who is wiling and ready to face challenges and opposition in the course of carrying his duties.

Contemporary issues in pubic administration for administrators

Public administrators need to acquint themselves with various aspects, which will contribute to the success of their programmes and make their administrative work much easier. These aspects should not be assumed because they contribute to the national development of a country. These include the following;
Budgeting-it is a summary reflecting all resources needed, their value and the total cost of having the resources for the project. The officers must know how to do budgeting for their departments because they understand their financial needs. It should be all inclusive to avoid under and overestimation. The budget estimates should be realistic, keeping in mind that it is a forecast rather than a definitive statement of costs and prices.
Planning– it is the initial process of arranging activities on how they will be carried out ( when, what, where and who to be involved) in a systematic way within a specified time frame, specifying the goals, objectives, strategies and activities. Without proper planning, nothing will take place. The administrators must have skills in planning so that they can be able to a plan of action as required by the government objectives. The plans sometimes are made quarterly or annual basis.
Human resources development-the administrators must be ready to go for more trains in order to gain new experience. They should facilitate the other staff below them to go for trainings so that they can improve their administrative skills. Some money should be allocated for training during the budget allocations.
Public relations– the administrators must have good relations with the general public. They must have all skills of dealing with all issues presented to them. They should be very careful on the language, tone and words they are using when attending to the public. Poor public relations will hinder their work as there will be no good will from the public.
Monitoring-is the continuous follow-up of activities so as to ascertain whether the activities are taking place as planned. The administrators need to be on the ground to monitor the other junior officers to find out whether work is going on as planned.
Report writing-the administrators must make reports always on the performance of their work, projects and their staff. This is the only way they can be evaluated whether they are performing or not. The reports should be submitted to them from all departments so that they can be able to also make theirs to the government.
Staff appraisals– is the process of rating an employee not on his personality traits but on his job performance. It is undoubtedly an educational process for superior and subordinate to identify the job components and to agree on the performance standards. The performance standard is the minimum acceptable level of performance by the employee on each task, measured in terms of both quantity and quality of work. The administrators must appraise their juniors once in a year to determine their performance and gaps to be filled.
Improving staff–line relationships-the administrators must make sure that there is good working relationship between them and the other staff below or above them. Mistrust among them will derail in implementation of the government projects. They should create an open door policy instead of using emissaries who at many times the whole information. The officers should make clearly to staff and line subordinates the exact nature of their responsibilities.
Embracing of technological changes-the officers must be able to be flexible to the technological advances. The changes include e.g. the use of the computer in office, mobile phones, the internet as a media of communication and many more. They need to be trained on these new changes and should be ready for change at all times.
Evaluation-is the assessment of whether a programme has achieved its objectives. It is usually carried out after some specified time. The administrators should be able to evaluate their projects to determine whether it’s a success or a failure. Evaluation can be carried internally i.e. by the staff members or by the external evaluator.

Conclusion

The answer to poor training is not more, but better training. The emphasis should be on quality, not quantity. The expansion of training is often recommended, and not only by those with a vested interest in the training business. The argument that training has not produced observable results because it is insufficient avoids the need for a critical examination, which could be unpleasant for some. More training often results in lowering of standards. It probably means having to recruit and train more trainers, larger classes, a greater strain on management, and, most important of all, releasing more public servants to attend courses. The governments must take a leading role in training its administrators for the efficient management of the public and government affairs.

EVALUATION TOOL FOR TRAINING PARTICIPANTS

Kindly answer the following questions in relation to the training you have just attended. Give your answers to the best of your knowledge as your suggestions will give us the way forward on what needs to be improved, added or done away with.

Were the course objectives in line with the training? If YES or NO Explain………

………………………………………………………………………………………
Which topics did you enjoy most and why?……………………………………………………..

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Which topics didn’t you enjoy or were difficult to you to understand and why?……

………………………………………………………………………………………
Was the training facilitated well? If NO Explain……………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………
Was the course duration enough? If NO Explain…………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………
Is the training relevant to your profession? If NO Explain…………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………
Which new ideas have learnt from the training?……………………………………………….

………………………………………………………………………………………
Did you like training venue, food and accommodation/ If NO Explain……………

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Which changes could you recommend to be made in the next trainings in future?..

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Did you enjoy learning and working wit your course mates?……………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………
Any general comment about the training……………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

REFERENCES

Felix A. Nigro, (1970), Modern Public Administration, 2nd Edition, New York.

Wyn Reilly (1979), Training Administrators for Development, London.

Robert L. (1976), Training and Development Handbook, A guide to Human

Resource Development, 2nd Edition, New York.

Joseph R. Starr, (1966), Handbook of training in the Pubic Service, New York.

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