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The dialectics of monitoring and developing

Apr 03,2021 - Last updated at Apr 03,2021

We hear a lot these days about monitoring and accountability and hardly hear anything about development.

Our society is on the edge, and the culture of wrath has prevailed as a result of the deterioration of the performance of several public institutions, though the performance of several others has improved noticeably over the years.

Decades ago, the public sector was, overall, outstanding in its performance, efficient, and just about right in terms of the number of personnel working in it. It performed its duties ably, and provided quality services.

Over the years, however, and for widely-known reasons, its performance noticeably deteriorated; and it started to be burdensome, instead of being an asset and a plus.

What do we do regarding this unpleasant situation?

We essentially do two things.

The first is to complain, feel unlucky, curse darkness, instead of seeking solutions and lighting candles.

And this is the easiest thing to do. It is easier, much easier, to complain, to criticise, and to blame others, rather than facing reality, taking the initiative and searching for practical solutions.

Words are easier than deeds.

The second is to call for surveillance, accountability, and punishment.

And this also is easier than confronting matters and putting together plans for addressing challenges and problems.

One does not want to sound like belittling monitoring, accountability, or even punishment, for these are important measures, and it is natural for societies to resort to them.

Nevertheless, being confined to blaming others, being critical, and resorting to the stick, does not solve problems; for prior or parallel to these measures, there need to be confronting and addressing of issues, via anticipatory, remedial, and developmental actions.

As a matter of fact, everything in this world needs development and sustainability.

One erects a building, builds a road, establishes a factory, and puts together a system; and then finds the building, road, factory, and system needing maintenance, rehabilitation, development, and upgrade.

This is a fact of life.

One of the main problems in our society stems from the fact that we build, erect, and open vital projects of sorts, but we neglect the matter of maintenance, rehabilitation and sustainability of these projects.

Such projects, as a result, begin to slacken and then deteriorate; and then we start to complain, criticize, and speak aggressively, calling for stricter monitoring, accountability, and punishment, without thinking of any reform or development plan.

This is not wise; this is not correct.

Any project or scheme begins, after a while, to regress and deteriorate, if there are no meticulous maintenance, development, and sustainability plans, built in from the start.

What we need most at this point in time are plans for amelioration, reform and development; instead of, or parallel to, the calls for monitoring, accountability, and punishment.

If we do not do that, we will be either doing half of what is expected to be done, or, worse, discouraging those concerned from exerting the right efforts to bring about the desired change we all anticipate and cherish.

Jeremiads can only discourage and scare positive action off.

We need to monitor but we also, simultaneously, need to develop.

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