An Assessment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Utilization Status in Sustaining Public Sector Reforms in Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia

Nigussie Daba Anteneh Tilahun


The study investigated information and communication technology (ICT) accessibility and utilization of regional bureaus for sustaining public sector reform programs in Oromia Regional State. To examine the status of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) utilization to modernize the civil service, and sustain the reforms currently being implemented, the relevant data were collected both from primary and secondary sources. Instruments such as survey questionnaires, interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) were used to gather data for this study. The study sampled 160 public sector employees in selected regional sectors in Oromia regional state. Besides, interviews and FGDs were conducted with officials, employees and ICT officers in the sectors, and policy documents, reports, and relevant secondary sources were also reviewed. The collected data were analyzed using the descriptive statistics, while Chi square-test was used to test the association between different variables at 0.05 level of significance. The findings revealed that at regional/bureau level, more than shortage of ICT facilities, mismanagement of resources is found to be critical problem; the process of implementing the ICT in the region is negatively affected by shortage of technical experts, lack of access to and the skill to use the technology, lack of understanding the technical contribution of this technology by leadership from top down to the lower level managers, high turnover and mismanagement of IT professionals, misunderstanding or communication barrier between ICT professionals and the sector leaders, and weak professional ICT support for employees on how to effectively utilize ICTs, were the challenges identified by the study. The reform programs such as BPR and BSC which are currently being implemented in the region are not also properly supported by IT. Attention for ICT offices/processes on the part of organizational leaders, improving employees’ support on how to apply ICT on the part of IT officers, and designing mechanisms to reduce turnover of the ICT officers on the part of the government are among the recommendations of the study.

Keywords: ICT, public sector reform, utilization, accessibility, implementation, New Public Management

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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