Home    International Issues    Improving the practical organizational capacity of district-level leadership and management officials in Bokeo province, Laos
Monday, 13 February 2023 16:00
442 Lượt xem

Improving the practical organizational capacity of district-level leadership and management officials in Bokeo province, Laos

(PTOJ) - This article presents the concept of the practical organizational capacity of district-level leadership and management officials in Laos. Thereby, this article clarifies the requirements and actual situation in the field, as well as proposes some solutions to improve the practical organizational capacity of the district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province, Laos in the coming period.

Bokeo province, Laos - Photo: IT

Currently, there are 665 people working in leadership roles and as management officials at the district level in Bokeo province, accounting for 17.09% of the total number of leadership and management officials in the whole province. Among them, 155 leadership and management officials at the district level are female, accounting for 23.3%, while there are 510 male counterparts, accounting for 76.7%. In terms of age, the number of district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province between the ages of 30-40 years old is 259 people, accounting for 38.95%; between 40-50 years old is 278 people, accounting for 41.8%; and 50 years old and above is 128 people, accounting for 19.25%.

It can be seen that there is an imbalance in the age structure and gender structure of the leadership and management officials at the district level in Bokeo province, especially in regards to the low percentage of female officials (23.3%).

1. Requirements to improve the practical organizational capacity of leadership and management officials at the district level in Bokeo province

The practical organizational capacity of the district-level leadership and management officials is a specialized role and reflects on the ability to apply guidelines and policies through leadership and management decisions in the locality; to propagate and mobilize subordinate officials and the masses to organize the implementation of decisions; to inspect and supervise the implementation of decisions, to summarize the implementation of decisions, to prepare for new decision-making, thereby contributing to helping district-level leadership and management officials fulfill their set tasks and objectives. It can be understood that improving the practical organizational capacity of the district-level leadership and management officials is the process by which the subjects implement different methods in order to promote, develop and transform the elements of practical organizational capacity of district-level leadership and management officials in a direction to increase the goal of meeting the requirements and the performance of leadership and management tasks in local key areas in the new situation.

The need for the practical organizational capacity of the district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province result because of the following requirements:

Firstly, it results from the practical requirements that the officials’ work and the development of building the district-level leadership and management official of Bokeo province must ensure a sufficient number, commensurate structure, and suitability with real conditions of the districts towards the successful implementation of the objectives in the 9th Socio-Economic Development Plan for the period of 2021-2026 of the province.

Secondly, it results from the requirement to continue to improve the quality of district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province in the current period. In recent years, the district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province have developed somewhat in their quality. Specifically, the current number of district-level leadership and management officials at the advanced level in political theory is 96 officials, accounting for 14.44%; at the intermediate level of political theory is 211 officials, accounting for 31.73%; at the elementary level of political theory is 358 officials, accounting for 53.83%(1). Regarding professional qualifications, there are 15 officers possessing master’s degrees, accounting for 2.26%; 170 officials with bachelor’s degrees make up for 25.56%; 231 officials with college degrees account for 34.74%; 214 officials at the intermediate level accounting for 32.18%; 29 officials at the elementary level account for 4.36%; and the number of untrained officials with no expertise is 6 officers, accounting for 0.9%. Although the professional qualifications and political theory level of the district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province has improved, there are still certain limitations such as unequal capacity, few officials with graduate and post-graduate level degrees, inadequate ability to apply knowledge in practice, limited ability to use foreign languages and to work in an internationally intergrated environment, thus affecting the practical organizational capacity of the leadership and management officials.

Thirdly, it results from the development requirements of Bokeo province. In recent years, the province’s economic growth has averaged 7.7%, with a GDP reaching 2,956.79 billion kips, reaching a per capita 1,852 USD/person/year(2). Having common borders with many countries, Bokeo province is an important transshipment center for goods between special economic zones. Therefore, over recent time, Bokeo province has experienced many changes in every field, specifically in which the economic structure has changed dramatically with agriculture, industry, and services accounting for 37.31%, 20.36%, and 42.32% respectively. The economy grew rapidly in the direction of a focus on services. This requires the practical organizational capacity of the district-level leadership and management officials in the province to be improved to match the increasing socio-economic development requirements of the province.

Fourthly, it is based on the reform of the organization and apparatus of the agencies in the district-level political system of Bokeo province - a province with a strategic geo-political position in the development of Laos. Reform is a complex, long-term undertaking, so the process cannot be done in a short time with immediate success. This requires Bokeo province to take measures to improve the practical organizational capacity of district-level leadership and management officials to contribute to effective organizational and apparatus reform, meeting these practical requirements. At the same time, the strategic geo-political position (located in the triangle area of Laos - Myanmar - Thailand) requires district-level leadership and management officials with the commensurate capacity, qualifications, leadership ability and work style to formulate and issue decisions, to organize the implementation of decisions, to conduct inspection of the implementation of decisions, and to summarize and evaluate practical activities effectively.

2. Practical organizational capacity of the district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province

Firstly, the ability to apply guidelines and policies to issue leadership and management decisions in the locality

The number of directives and guidelines issued by agencies and departments advised and proposed by the districts in the period 2010-2020 number more than 2,000 documents, an average of more than 200 documents/year. This is a large number of documents and directives because Bokeo province has only 5 districts, which as of 2021, has 665 people in district-level leadership and management positions. The documents advised and proposed to be issued are very diverse and rich, meeting the development of the locality. The directives and guidelines are usually in the following fields: developing villages,  clusters of villages associated with sustainable new rural construction; urbanization associated with sustainable urban development; construction of traffic infrastructure, infrastructure for industrial development; hunger eradication and poverty reduction associated with social security of all classes of people; Party building and rectification. The directives, instructions, and resolutions were agreed upon by officials, and people from all walks of life who responded and implemented them. The effectiveness and efficiency are shown in the fact that the province has an annual GDP growth rate of 7.4%/year, the per capita income reached 20.5 million kip/year and the number of poor households within the whole province decreased to 22.6(3).

However, the direction, administration and state management in a number of fields is still confusing, not thorough, and lacks determination, leading to the occasional lack of synchronization and low levels of efficiency in work between branches, departments and units at the district level. Some officials have limited capacity to develop programs and action plans; plans in concretizing directives, resolutions, and conclusions of the Central Party Committee and provincial Party Committee in the locality. The ability to detect and handle conflicts lacks flexibility; organization and creativity are not commensurate with the requirements of socio-economic development in the new situation; The situation in some activities shows a lack of ability “to walking the talk”, poor practice capabilities, and weak diplomacy.

Secondly, the capacity to propagate and mobilize subordinates and the people to organize the implementation of decisions

In order for the implementation in the field of the documents, directives, guidelines, and resolutions issued, there is a need to go through a process of organization and implementation by the team of leaders and managers at all levels. The actual socio-economic development of Bokeo province over the past few years has proved the ability to propagate and mobilize subordinates and the people, to organize the implementation of decisions of the district-level leadership and management officials is constantly being raised. The 6th Provincial Party Congress (term of 2020-2025) affirmed that “the contingent of officials at all levels, especially the district officials, has had many changes in their working process, regularly following the grassroots, closely following the situation of all classes of people. Thereby, they have had a great impact on propagating and mobilizing grassroots officials and the people to effectively implement the province’s socio-economic development policies in the 2016-2020 period(4).

However, in addition to the above achievements, in the past period, the propaganda and mobilization of lower-level officials and the people to organize the implementation of decisions have had certain limitations, such as in the ability of the leadership to form plans, their implementation forms, their implementation process in practice still lacks creativity, their prediction ability is still limited, unchanged, and not yet able to apply flexible and practical methods. The district-level leadership and management officials have not been able to predict all the situations that have arisen, and the capacity and leadership of socio-economic development in the locality still have some weaknesses. There are still solutions that are not feasible, and have not brought into full play the resources for socio-economic development or the guarantee of national defense and security.

Thirdly, the capacity to inspect and supervise the implementation of decisions

Through inspection and supervision, the district-level leadership and management officials have promptly corrected problems and inappropriate actions of grassroots officials; effectively preventing violations, signs of negativity and corruption in the performance in the official duties done by grassroots officials. The assessment of the Organizing Committee of the Bokeo Provincial Party Committee showed that “in the 2016-2020 term, promoting the spirit of criticism and self-criticism of officials at all levels; maintaining orderly inspection and supervision of the activities of the officials, thereby effectively preventing mistakes, especially mistakes in large local economic projects”(5).

However, the 6th Congress of the Party Committee of Bokeo province also pointed out that “the inspection and supervision still have many backlogs, and problems have not been thoughtfully and thoroughly resolved”. Accordingly, in the province, nearly 25% of agencies and units have not met the requirements for inspection and supervision, of which the backlog is at grassroots and district levels. Ethics and responsibility in public service and in the inspection and supervision are not high, therefore there is a lack of the ability to actively coordinate to propose measures and plans close to the actual situation. There still persists the expectation that officials can rely on direction from superiors.

Fourthly, the capacity to summarize the implementation of decisions, and to prepare for making new decisions

Under the leadership and direction of a team of key leaders and managers at the district level of Bokeo province, each district, after a period of implementation, conducted a preliminary review, followed by a summary and evaluation to find conflicting issues between resolutions and policies of the Party, the State, the Provincial Party Committee, administration and district decisions and socio-economic development practices of each locality; problems arising from the field of practical organization. Evaluation of the capacity of the district-level leadership and management officials in this area of work, the 6th Congress of the Party Committee of Bokeo province clearly stated: preliminary review, summary, and lessons learned on public aspects of officials, Party members, and the political system in the province has been conducted regularly, with order and quality.

However, the preliminary review and summary of experiences of district-level leadership and management officials have not been focused, there are not many advanced models and examples that bring high efficiency from which to be learned and replicated, and in general is limited. The results of the survey and evaluation of district level work from provincial officials shows that the ability to organize, check and evaluate the implementation of the guidelines and directions and make preliminary reviews and summaries of 12% of leaders and managers of district level of the province are not good. Through the survey, district officials self-assessed that 14% of district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province have not yet been able to organize, inspect and evaluate the implementation of policies and guidelines as well as preliminary reviews, and summaries.

Achievements in improving the practical organizational capacity for district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province stems from the following reasons: Firstly, the positive impact of the renovation line under the leadership of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. This has affirmed the important role of the Party’s leadership capacity, the righteousness of Marxism - Leninism, the ideology of Kaysone Phomvihane, and the path to socialism in Laos. Secondly, the training and fostering activities, paying attention to building motivational factors to motivate district-level leadership and management officials to actively improve practical organizational capacity. Accordingly, provincial and district governments regularly pay attention to innovating mechanisms and policies in training, attracting, arranging, using, and fostering the practical organizational capacity combined with commensurate assessment and remuneration to leaders and managers. Thirdly, the relatively close coordination between the Party Committee and local authorities at the same level makes an important contribution to improving the practical organizational capacity of district-level leadership and management officials in Bokeo province. Fourthly, the district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province have regularly mastered the requirements of improving the practical organizational capacity of superior Party committees, agencies, units, and localities.

The causes of the limitations in improving practical organizational capacity for district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province include: Firstly, socio-economic conditions, the living and working environment, along with low level of intellectual training, leads to limits on the practical organizational capacity of district-level leadership and management officials. Secondly, the content and methods of training and fostering the contingent of district-level leadership and management officials have not been followed closely and have not kept up with the situation needed for performing the tasks of agencies and localities. Thirdly, negative influences and the impact from outdated customs and practices of society. Fourthly, problematic planning, arrangement, and use of officials leads to many limitations and shortcomings. Fifthly, some Party committees and heads of agencies and localities are not fully aware of the role of their position, or its significance for improving the practical organizational capacity of leaders and managers. Sixthly, there are still a number of district-level leadership and management officials with mediocre ideology, dependence, low self-esteem, and lack of diligence and passion in their work.

3. Some solutions

Firstly, raising the awareness among officials and Party members about the political system and its meaning, importance, content and the methods of improving practical organizational capacity. To do this, the provincial government is required to coordinate with the district committees in the province to open exchange classes, provide the information, as well as closely connect to the district-level leadership and management officials. Thereby, contributing to helping each official step by step reach a deeper level of awareness of oneself, the requirements from practice for capacity in general and practical organizational capacity in particular. Besides this, it is necessary to help the district-level leadership and management officials to understand that one needs to have practical organizational capacity for the process of leading and managing work and to understand the methods of improving practical organizational capacity including participation in training courses, fostering, self-training, learning from colleagues, and working practice.

Secondly, promoting the political positivity and initiative among the district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province will lead to the self-improvement of the practical organizational capacity. This will be of specific significance in the coming years. This action will contribute to helping each person focus on improving their understanding of the guidelines, viewpoints, directions, policies and laws and improve their qualifications and working style according to the practical requirements.

Thirdly, renovating the planning, use and rotation of district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province. In particular, focus on implementing substantive, public, fair, and democratic implementation so that each official can give their opinions and views. At the same time, creating conditions for young officials, female officials, as well as officials of ethnic minorities in the districts, who when meeting the criteria, will be included in the planning list and will have more opportunities to become district-level leadership and management officials of the province. In the current personnel organization work, the use of leaders and managers with the right capacity, forte, professional expertise, and strengths needs to be focused on. Importance should be attached to the rotation of district-level leadership and management officials for practical work at the grassroots level, especially in village clusters and villages in the district and in other districts.

Fourthly, innovating the method of improving practical organizational capacity for the district-level leadership and management officials. The district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province should be facilitated by the province to participate in practical activities and programs to learn, exchange, and draw experience from inside and outside the country, on local leadership and management practices of district-level leadership and management officials. In addition, Bokeo province needs to pay attention to directing the School of Politics and Administration of Bokeo province to develop teaching content associated with the practical organizational capacity of district-level leadership and management officials of the province and to renovate methods of teaching, research, and field trips in the training process.

Fifthly, finalizing policies on district-level leadership and management officials, contributing to creating fairness and equality of opportunities in sending source officials, leadership and management officials to attend training courses and professional training courses . In addition, there should be specific policies for district-level leadership and management officials to help create financial conditions as well as other material support policies during the training courses inside and outside the country. Along with that, there should be reward policies from the Provincial People’s Council and Bokeo provincial government agencies.

Sixthly, strengthening international cooperation in training and fostering district-level leadership and management officials. Bokeo province needs to have cooperation programs with academies, schools, for training and fostering centers abroad, especially in Vietnam, in China, as well as in developed countries in the region and the world. Thereby, experts could be invited to Bokeo province, or the district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province could be sent to other countries to participate in training and fostering courses, improving capacity and qualifications as well as having the opportunity to share experiences related to the practical organization of the officials in the process of performing their duties.

The current period has placed very high demands on the practical organizational capacity of the district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province. Therefore, in order to help the district-level leadership and management officials of Bokeo province have sufficient capacity and qualities, especially practical organizational capacity to fulfill their assigned responsibilities and tasks well, it is necessary to synchronously, seriously, and effectively perform the six basic solutions mentioned above.

__________________

Received: July 24, 2022; Revised: July 30, 2022; Approved for Publication: August 22, 2022.

 

Endnotes:

(1) Organization Department of Bokeo Provincial Party Committee: Summary report of 5 years from 2016-2021 on the personnel organization, HuayXai, 2021, p.4.

(2) Bokeo Provincial Statistical Center: Actual situation of socio-economic development in Bokeo province, HuayXai, 2021, p.27.

(3) Bokeo Provincial Statistics Office: Summary report on socio-economic development of Bokeo province in the period of 2016 - 2021, direction to 2025, HuayXai, 2022, p.46.

(4) Bokeo Provincial Party Committee: Document of the 6th Provincial Party Congress, term 2020-2025, HuayXai, 2021, p.55.

(5) Organization Committee of Bokeo Provincial Party Committee: Summary report on inspection and supervision for the term 2016-2020, HuayXai, 2020, p.11.

SAIPHONE PHETBOUNMY

PhD Student at Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

Related Articles

Contact us

Links