Performance Based Contracts & Politics

Right now I’m in Rwanda and it seems as if the government has performance based contracts with every possible institution. But central government ministries aren’t the only ones that have to sign contracts, a local government initiative has built on performance contracts with an idea they call ‘IMIHIGO’.

IMIHIGO is when a local government official publicly declares which initiatives he wants to pursue and makes a declaration that he will indeed complete these tasks. All initiatives must be accompanied by clear performance indicators. The connotations of IMIHIGO are meddled with pre-existing cultural traditions of Rwandan warriors staking a claim.

I have to say, I enjoy the obvious benefits of performance based contracts. On a good day (assuming the contract is based on tangible results and the means for implementation are accessible) real change and accountability should happen.

That got me thinking. In situations where politics impeded innovative leaders from separating shall we say the wheat from the chaff. Maybe, instead of sacking Ministers for corruption you have everyone sign results based performance contracts with an implicit understanding that in order to achieve results, corruption or elite capture will have to be curtailed or rerouted. Does anyone know of a situation were performance based contracts were used in countries where shadow governments and elite capture were high?


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