Anas Sani Anka
Making public the names of the transition committee for the incoming government of Dauda Lawal Dare in Zamfara has continued to generate mixed reactions from the citizens of Zamfara.
One most important area of confusion I personally noticed is that majority of those trying to say their minds about the committee have the limited knowledge of what the work of a transition committee looks like.
If you read from their major submissions on the social media, you will begin to notice that the basic understanding majority of them demonstrated is that a committee is set up consisting of personalities who can grasp gray areas of the faults of the outgoing government and may be relate it to the government for something shody.
Beyond that, it is significant for people to understand that a successful transition committee has a responsibility of getting the data from the outgoing government and using it to define the best sense of direction for the incoming government.
I remember reading an essay authored by some partners namely Anusha Dhasarathy, Navjot Singh and Sarah Tucker-Ray both of them from Chicago, Boston, and Washington DC. They have successfully written about six most successful steps that ensures smooth transition of power from outgoing to incoming government.
I believe the essay will help my numerous readers about what constitute a transition committee and it’s expectations beyond what is trending now on social media about the Zamfara transition committee set up by the incoming administration of Dauda Lawal Dare.
BEST PRACTICES FOR A SUCCESSFUL GOVERNMENT TRANSITION.
We have identified a set of core principles that drive success in government transitions:
• Start planning before the election. Identify a transition head, set up the team, and have a plan by inauguration.
• Set a bold vision. Translate campaign promises into “top 10” strategic goals and initiatives.
• Start risk mitigation now. Identify a broad range of risks (for example, cybersecurity, public safety, natural disasters) and develop incident-response and crisis-management plans.
• Design the organization to deliver. Consider how best to set up the new administration’s organization for success based on priorities. If goals crosscut agencies, then it is key to fill roles such as COO, chief customer officer, and chief information officer.
• Professionalize personnel selection. Identify the top 20 to 30 posts to be filled early, develop a rigorous vetting process and team quickly, and match appointees based on skills and needs.
• Look beyond current benches. Several key positions will need the right skill sets, and private-sector organizations can be a great talent pool to tap.
• Establish clear decision rights for policymaking. Draw distinct lines to efficiently reconcile any discrepancies between the transition policy team and incoming political appointees.
• Don’t ignore personal goals and aspirations. Consider personal priorities, and make time for them.
These core principles for success have informed a six-step approach to support an effective transition, consisting of ASPIRE, MANAGE, ORGANIZE, PLAN, DE-RISK, and DELIVER.
Within each of these six steps there are key actions that elected officials could take, deliverables for which they are responsible, standard considerations that their peers face, and important milestones for progress.
The essay added, “yet surprisingly often, the tendency of many newly elected officials is to rush through these steps and fail to consider the best possible approach to accomplish even the most basic tasks”
“For example, a key aspect of the “aspire” step is to translate their campaign promises into the vision that will under gird their time in office”.
Therefore, it is significant for a transition committee to help an incoming government translate its campaign promises into action plans that will lead to the transformation of the lives of the citizens considering the mistakes of the previous government and what it has failed to address while in power.
Most importantly is for the transition committee to assist the incoming government on how to manage the crises of resources constraint, political demands, as well as the best way to accomplish a better result.
On the component of “MANAGE” the essay stated “A key component of the “manage” step is to identify their transition head, which tends to proceed in one of two ways: a formal recruitment process in which party members tap their networks of experienced personnel or an informal process in which a candidate reaches out to personal networks. Both options have advantages and drawbacks”.
From what I can see in the transition committee of the incoming government of Dauda Lawal is that it has explored both the two options that is the option of pulling out from the party top experience persons and on personal baseline because I can see the inclusion of experience people like Prof. Kabiru Mato and rest majority of whom are not from Zamfara state.
The Question is can the committee members connect from the first step of “aspire” and also help the incoming government translate its campaign promises into genuine goals looking at the calibre of the persons set up in the committee? this is a one million naira question.
The social media outburst by the members of the PDP is really showing that there is serious disconnect between the first two steps.
Risk management is also another important component step to be handled by a successful transition committee.
The risk management may involve natural or man-made disaster which may likely occurred during and how best it can be prevented from occurring or best be managed.
Every successful incoming administration must be able to understand its risk factors and how best to address them. The transition committee must be able to map out these risk factors and possible ways to mitigate them and also convert them to success.
The essay I read stated “While it is impossible to create an exhaustive list of risks, there is a set of common uncertainties that new administrations can consider and plan to mitigate. Once potential risks are identified, the transition team can categorize each risk in terms of likelihood of occurrence and severity of impact.
Another step for the transition committee is to guide the incoming government is the best way to identify priorities and how best to achieve them.
Many a times, transition committees do not bother about limiting the priorities of the incoming government based on the genuine economic strengths of the outgoing government and instead allow for more and more demands to over power the scarce resources and that form the basis of the confusion.
While an incoming government wants to achieve more, it should also be guided on the numbers in terms of income and possible expenditure that will help minimize priorities and manage resources for a better result.
“Many governments tend to suffer from a set of common pitfalls, including over-prioritizing operational metrics. Excessive focus on numbers can lead to overlooking the underlying story of what resident needs are. Instead, newly elected officials can work to go beyond quantitative surveys and rely on design research to develop real empathy for residents and understand pain points”.
It is essential for people to understand that the work of a successful transition committee is not about interfacing with the outgoing government and getting rid of the data of what is available but most importantly is for the committee of the interim government to read from the story of the past and caution the incoming government on what it’s actual priorities shall be and strategize how best to achieve them.
Profile and personality is not mostly relevant when it comes to transition but what matters is understanding where the government came and what the genuine direction shall be and that required the combination of technocrats, politicians with focus and professionals.
May Allah help Zamfara state