Cover Image
close this bookTraining for Elected Leadership - The Councillor as Overseer (HABITAT, 1994, 16 p.)
close this folderPart I. Essay on the councillor as overseer
View the documentDefinition
View the documentSummary
View the documentReflection
View the documentConcepts and ideas
View the documentGeneral benchmarks and targets
View the documentOverseeing policy development
View the documentOverseeing implementing
View the documentOnce implementation is underway
View the documentKey points
View the documentReferences

Key points

· Most councillors are more interested in making policies and initiating new programmes than they are in overseeing them once they are in place.

· Efficiency and effectiveness are important benchmarks for determining performance.

· If you have to sacrifice one of them for the other, make sure its efficiency. Usually there is more than one way to be efficient. Being effective is more difficult.

· Policy outcomes are more important than programme outputs.

· Three factors should dominate your efforts to oversee your own policy making and programme planning activities:

- Does it meet a demonstrated need?
- Is it feasible to implement within our community's means?
- Who else could do it as well or better than we can?

· Overseeing implementation involves closing the implementation gap before it has a chance to gape.

· When you under-resource any programme or policy activity, you are unfair to everyone involved, including yourself

· It's usually a safe bet to wager money on a council's unwillingness to fund maintenance.

· It is wise to involve all those who will be significant in the implementation of any council initiative in the planning and development of that initiative.

· Staff and institutional development should be treated as a cost of doing business in local governments and factored into every new policy and programme initiative undertaken by a council.

· Develop a monitoring and evaluation system that meets your needs and no more.

· Get consensus on all of the key issues of your policy and programme on initiatives before your staff or contractors begin to implement them.

· Don't be an over-zealous overseer. You could lose your effectiveness just when you need it most.

Misfortunes always come in by a door that has been left open.
- Chez proverb