Human resource capacity building and retention : a challenge for the Rwandan public sector
Ingabire, Valerie N
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In Rwanda, there is a serious concern that the human resource capacities to formulate and implement policies and programmes and deliver quality services to meet the Government's development priorities are not only limited but are eroding as well, despite efforts to the contrary. The purpose of this study is to examine the challenges of Human Resource capacity building and retention in the Rwandan Public Sector. Specific objectives are (i) to identify the civil servants' perceived reasons that make them quit the public sector after acquiring the desired skills by their working institutions; (ii) to identify the civil servants' perceptions on the measures to improve capacity retention in Rwandan public sector; (iii) to review the capacity building and retention challenges facing the Rwandan public sector; (iv) to contextualize problems of capacity building and capacity retention within the broader literature; and (v) to make recommendations regarding the specific strategies the Rwandan Public Sector should adopt to retain civil servants. The study was carried out in Western Cape Province, at the Universities of University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), University of Cape Town (UCT) and University of Stellenbosch (US). The eligible study participants were postgraduate Rwandan students pursuing masters and doctoral studies in various fields. A descriptive quantitative study design was used to collect data on the participants' perceived reasons as to why, after training, civil servants are likely to quit the public sector, together with the measures participants feel the Rwanda Public sector could put in place to retain the employees after training, as well as the human resource challenges facing Rwandan public sector. All 40 Rwandan postgraduate students pursuing masters and doctoral studies at the selected universities (based on Rwandan Embassy Records for 2010) were the sample for this study, and there was a 100% response rate. A structured self-administered, close-ended and pre-coded questionnaire was used to collect data. Data was analysed using the SPSS software programeme, and descriptive statistics were used to describe various variables to answer the research questions. With regard to research ethics permission was granted by the Higher Degrees Committee of UWC and ethical clearance was obtained from the Research Grants and Study Leave Committee at UWC. Permission to conduct the study among Rwandanmasters and doctoral students on capacity building programmes supported by the Government of Rwanda was granted by the Rwandan Embassy. The purpose of the study was explained to the participants using the participants' information sheet. Signed informed consent both written and verbal was obtained from each individual participant. Participation was voluntary, anonymity of participants was assured, participants information was kept confidential and voluntary withdraw from the study at any time was guaranteed to participants. The findings demonstrate that 45% of the respondents do not intend to continue working in the Public Sector after training due to both financial considerations and workplace working conditions.The findings also indicate that 55% of the respondents intend to work in the public sector after training. The research recommends, amongst other things, that a larger survey be conducted among Rwandan students on study abroad programmes to ascertain if the reasons for quitting and perceived measures to remain in the public sector after training hold for all the civil servants on capacity building programmes.