Francisco Alar PhD thesis

Francisco Alar PhD thesis:
The thesis investigates police performance management in Maputo, which is the capital
city of Mozambique. To conduct the analysis, it applies a multi-angle and multi-factor
framework that enables examination of core values and indicators of governance while
taking into account the influencing factors within and around the Police of the Republic of
Mozambique (PRM). The thesis sets the stage for the investigation with an historical analysis
of changes in socioeconomic and political factors over time, as well as an institutional
analysis of the public sector context in which the police have been operating and a
stakeholder analysis encompassing the courts, donors and urban communities. It evaluates
organisational systems and dimensions in terms of patterns of human and material resources,
management styles, and organisational cultures that have characterised the PRM from the
one-party socialist regime adopted after independence in 1975 to multiparty democracy and
open market system introduced through the Constitution in 1990.
The analytical framework of the thesis combines capacity building, strategic management
concepts and governance perspectives. In addition, literature on informality is used to
interpret the reality observed in the field.
The study’s relevance and importance lie in its unique approach. Instead of analysing
police performance in the usual way through crime statistics and public opinion, it provides
insights into the organisation and surrounding factors that shape the PRM performance
management style. It goes beyond performance measurement and tries to understand
whether and how the police manage their performance, by assessing the availability and
usage of the systems, including vital databases, that are necessary for internal and external
performance management and monitoring.
In terms of background and context, also referred to in the thesis as action environment,
three interconnected aspects are considered: economic, political and social factors. One
important area of investigation is the PRM’s history and evolution.
The first wave of economic reforms under the structural adjustment programme in
Mozambique was initiated in 1987. However, it was the 1990 Constitution that ushered in
more political and economic changes, with total abandonment of central planning and oneparty rule, which were replaced by a market economy and multiparty political system. In that
new context, institutions such as the police were supposed to radically change their
managerial and operational style. However, the basic police organisational culture,
particularly the military style and selectivity in complying with the rule of law, has not
The history of Mozambique is marked by violent conflict, a 10-year liberation struggle
being followed by another 16 years of civil war, fostered and sustained by Rhodesia and
South Africa, after independence. The country has not yet recovered from the operational
culture generated by that threat to its independence, which shaped the way the police are
organised and managed. Moreover, the work and management of the police have also been
affected by Mozambique’s low literacy rate, which remains below 50 per cent, and high
unemployment rate ranging from18.7 per cent (country) and 40 per cent (city of Maputo).
This situation limits the availability of skilled human resources and increases the incidence of
crime, thus challenging police capacity.
Maputo, as the capital of the country, poses specific policing challenges. It is where main
industries and business centres are concentrated. Its economic and geographic linkage to
South Africa makes it prone to organised and trans-border crime. While the country as a
whole has one of the highest Human Poverty Index levels in the world (ranging from 55.9
per cent to 48.9 per cent between 1997 and 2003), Maputo is an outlier as its poverty index
level ranged from 17 per cent to 18 per cent between 1997 and 2003 (UNDP 2006). Because
wealth is concentrated in Maputo, the city appears to require more policing to protect
property than any other city in the country.
Despite the strengths of rational choice policy-making, which postulates the use of
strategic management approaches (Dutta and Manzoni 1999; Halachmi 2004) and to which
many governments claim to be committed, the findings of this research indicate that
governance in Mozambique is characterised by a mixed system. There are positive as well as
negative features. Formal and established institutions with norms, regulations and experience
do exist now. Economic and social recovery from the destruction caused by the long war is
evident. Mozambique is a good example of success in consolidating peace after war. Training
institutions are increasing at all levels. However, it cannot be denied that there is potential
for improvement in the PRM. The capacity to ensure public security exists, as is
conspicuously manifest during special events such as Christmas festivities and during the
electoral period, when a zero tolerance policy is applied to ensure safety and tranquillity.
There are also some good examples of committed officers who resist corruption. These are
bases on which further change can be achieved.
With regard to the structure of the police force in Mozambique and its adjustment to the
socioeconomic and political changes since independence, only the form has changed. At
independence in 1975, the country adopted a socialist and central-planning system in which
only one party was allowed to rule. The defence and security sector acted under military
command, with the police almost subordinated to the army. There were no clear boundaries
between civil responsibilities (such as law and order and public security maintenance) and
war efforts. The army and the police, backed by popular and informal vigilance and security
organisations, were actors in both, the war and the fight against crime in urban areas. The
general police organisational culture of the socialist era was typically military.
The main negative aspect currently is that not only the police, but the entire public sector,
is generally dominated by a culture of organisational informality. Informality in Mozambique
consists of non-enforcement of formal procedures and even encouragement to violate
norms; differences between proposed procedures, strategies and policies and the actual
practice; personalisation and politicisation of management, so that a change in managers
results in policy discontinuity and sometimes in backsliding.
Nevertheless, by comparing two main periods – the socialist one from 1975 to approval
of the 1990 Constitution, and the multiparty system and market-oriented economy
consolidated by the first multiparty elections in 1994 – the most significant findings are that
the socialist era had a more rigorous and systematic organisational and personnel
performance management system. It entailed popular and multi-system oversight and
monitoring mechanisms as well as rewards for good performance not found in the postsocialist era.
The thesis concludes that performance management is not part of the public
administration system in Mozambique. Governance in Mozambique is characterised by a
dichotomy between, on the one hand, formal plans and strategies such as the donorsupported public sector reforms, of which the police strategic plan is one component, and
on the other hand, the actual governance reality characterised by informal, personalised and
arbitrary practices. Mozambique is presently implementing reforms that require all public
institutions to enhance efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability, by, among
other measures, enabling public participation in decision-making while internally adopting
performance-oriented human resource management. While these requirements are replicated
in the police strategic plan, available evidence indicates that the initiatives exist only on
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