Establish the Effects of Communication on Service Delivery in Jinja District Local Government

CHAPTER ONE:

INTRODUCTION

1.0 Overview

This chapter provides the background to the study, the problem statement, purpose of the study, specific objectives, research questions, theoretical framework, scope and limitations of the study, and significance of the study.

1.1. Background of the study

Communication refers to the process by which people seek to share meaning via transmission of symbolic messages, Bandura,[2009]. According to Keith, [1975], communication is the transfer of information and understanding from one person to another. Communication is also a process by which information is exchanged and understood by two or more people, usually with the intent to influence behavior and invoke a response, (draft, 1995).communication is the major function of management because it is  after  management making itself properly understood  throughout the undertakings that organizational  effectiveness and efficiency could be attained,(Keith 1977).

Effective Communication means organizational members being able to express themselves both verbally and non verbally in ways that are appropriate to our cultures and situations. This means being able to express our opinions and desires, but also our needs and fears and to ask for advice and help (Kathy Walker eta l,2000). Effective communication means that the information should be concise in nature, concrete, clear, complete and correct so as to help group members build trust and respect, foster learning and accomplish goals. In a group of people who share ideas, feelings and commitments but perhaps see things from a variety of perspectives, effective communication is the way this diverse group of people will be able to understand the issues and make decisions for effective service delivery and development of the organization, (William king 2002).

Service delivery on the other hand refers to a system or set of components that provides public basic needs, [Berry,2009]. Service delivery is also about delivering services as effectively as possible to the satisfaction and delight of the clients. Improved service delivery refers to an act of multiphase interactive action carried out by staff of an organization in one moment or situation, which meets the established standards of the consumers, [Hiidenhovi eta l, 2002]. This simply means delivering the services effectively and efficiently to the client.

Service delivery in local governments

Service delivery in local governments in Uganda is based currently on the district as a unit under which there are other local governments and administrative units.

The      District Council is the major decision making body consisting of the chairperson who is the political head elected by all people of adult suffrage in the district, (Section 17 Local Government Act 1997), speaker and deputy speaker elected from among the councilors, directly elected councilors representing sub counties, women councilors, two youth councilors; male and female, and councilors representing people with disabilities. Each Local Government Council is by law obliged to appoint an executive committee which is chaired by the chairperson the council. It is thus the responsibility of the executive committee to initiate and formulate policies for approval by council, monitor and oversee the implementation of policies and programs and recommend to council persons to be appointed members of statutory commissions, boards and standing committees. Local councils have standing committees that make detailed consideration of proposals and recommendations.  The council executes its duties with technical team headed by the chief administrative officer and heads of departments and here the political wing formulates policies which are implemented by the technical team and the technical team reports to the political wing regarding progress on service delivery   taking place in the district.

Communication and service delivery in local governments have a strong relationship; indeed they are inseparable for effective organizational functioning and development. Communication is the most important aspect of service delivery management because it is the responsibility of service providers to communicate with management and project managers and most important the clients.

Consistent and effective communication with stakeholders is a critical aspect of the functioning of any institution whose clients are broad  as it helps to keep pace with public expectations as part of a process of repositioning itself as a more client centered institution. Communication can offer a framework of stakeholders and community involvement which improves service and public accountability.

Communication is essential for internal functioning of the organization, because it integrates all the managerial functions through establishing and disseminating the goals of the organization, developing plans, organizing human and non human resources in the most effective and efficient way, selecting, developing and appraising members of the organization, leading, directing, motivating and controlling performance,(komunda,2006).

It is through information exchange that managers become aware of the needs of the clients, government regulations and the concerns of the community thus making an organization an open system interacting with its environment.  Communication can be done verbally where exchanges of words are involved and non verbal where exchange does not use words at all. It takes place into two forms; formal communication this form of communication is the officially sanctioned flow of information and it moves in accordance with the established lines of authority and structural boundaries within the organization. However, within the formal network, is unofficial and informal communication system referred to as grapevine. According Jablin, (1982), there are two common types of informal network; the gossip chain where one spreads a message to as many others as possible and cluster chain where one person spreads information to a few other individuals

Local governments are sub-units of government controlled by a local council which is authorized by the Central Government to pass ordinances, having a local application, levy taxes and plan for the people within the limit specified by the Central Government, (Maddick, 1963).

The 1995 Constitution (article 176), states that the system of local government shall be based on the district under which there shall be such lower Local Governments and Administrative units. These local governments were created in order to ease governance and communication problems of that time characterized by poor time management, poor service delivery, rampart corruption and a civil service that was non customer friendly among others. It was based on principles of ensuring people’s participation and democratic control in decision making, oversee performance of all people employed by the government to provide services in their areas and to monitor the provision of government services or the implementation of projects in their areas, plan, initiate and execute policies in respect of all the matters affecting the people within their jurisdictions through a bottom up planning approach among others.

In Jinja District Local Government, communication is done in three directions: first, upward communication, this involves communication from the citizens stipulating their priority projects to parish development committees which are later taken to sub county and later to district through the district councilors, secondly, downward communication is carried out  from district to sub counties through provision of policy guidelines,  borehole construction , roads rehabilitation, drugs  in health centers, UPE grants, teachers ,health workers and NAADS program  among others,(Section 97and 98, Local Government Act 1997),Thirdly, Lateral communication and this involves communication of local government officials at the same rank i.e. heads of departments during meetings and budget  conferences and also reporting progress on policy implementation. This is done through various channels of communication including meetings, radio announcements, phone calls, budget conferences, radio talk shows, memos, and letters among others.

JDLG is located in part of former Industrial district of Uganda. It is located in Eastern Uganda. It currently consists of four counties Butembe and Kagoma,Jinja municipality East and West, with 11 sub counties and one Municipal Council. It is bordered by Buikwe district in the west, Kamuli District in the east, River Nile in the north and Mayuge in the south. According to the November 2007 birth and registration campaign, Jinja has a population of 675,566 people with 321976 being males and 353590 being females, with 756 villages and 79 parishes.

 
N
S
LEGEND Major town     
District boundary
County boundary
Sub County
 

JDLG has a total of 7 departments which include; general Administration, Police and Prisons, Treasury, Environment, Agriculture and Production, works and engineering, community development and culture, and health.

Much as Communication in JDLG is done through all the directions i.e. upward, downward and horizontally across all the stakeholders through various channels, the state of quality services in the District  is characterized by poor road network, dismal performance in the education sector with many failures in UPE schools, high school dropout and irregular attendance, poor health services with many patients in the district  referral hospital being treated on floor without beds, darkness at  night resulting  from failure to use the generator whenever there is load shedding, shortage of drugs and blood in hospital among others, and the failure of the NAADS program to improve people’s livelihoods despite huge funding.

This has resulted into underdevelopment and escalating poverty levels in the district, thus the councilors of Jinja District local government in one of the council sessions noted with dismay that “Communication was poorly done by the heads of departments”. In addition, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) emphasized the need for effective use of notice boards at the district headquarters in recognition of the important role of communication towards organizational fulfillment of objectives. According to the Jinja Municipal Council residents, this has been attributed among other things to poor communication between the heads of departments leading to late planning, late implementation and poor service delivery.

1.2       The Research Problem Statement

The 1995 Constitution (article 176), states that the system of local government shall be based on the district under which there shall be such lower Local Governments and Administrative units. These local governments were created in order to ease governance and communication problems of that time; this appears to fall short in Jinja district local government. The councilors of Jinja District local government in one of the council sessions noted with dismay that “Communication was poorly done by the heads of departments”. In addition According to the Jinja Municipal Council residents, this has been attributed among other things to poor communication between the heads of departments leading to late planning, late implementation and poor service delivery.

Based on the discussion above, the researcher decided to investigate the type of   communication problems which exist in JDLG, How they affect service delivery and what can be done to rectify such an undesirable situation in order to improve on the quality of the service delivery in the area.

1.3       Purpose of the study

To establish the effects of communication on service delivery in Jinja District Local Government.

1.4  Specific objectives

  • To identify the communication channels used in Jinja District LocalGovernment.
  • To investigate factors that prevents effective communication in the delivery of services in Jinja District Local Government.
  • To establish measures that can be put in place   to significantly reduce the Communication problems in order to improve the quality of service delivery in Jinja District Local Government.

1.5       Research questions

  • What   communication channels are being used in Jinja District Local government?
  • What factors prevents effective communication in the delivery of services in Jinja  District Local Government?
  • What measures can be put in place to eliminate the communication problems in order to improve quality service delivery in JDLG?

1.6 The scope of the study

The study was conducted in Jinja District Local Government and it covered all the 11 sub counties in the District and it focused on the period between 2015-July 2016 involving senior management, community leaders, and community members among others.

1.7 The significance of the study

It is expected that the study will be of significance to all stakeholders in service delivery in Jinja District Local Government namely: the Local Government Authorities, the community, the academia, the NGOs among others as explained below.

Local Government Authorities as it may benefit as the study will provide new ways so as to improve on the communication methods, get new ideas and opinions, and also disseminate information between different levels of management for improved service delivery.

The   community members may also benefit as the study will enable smooth flow of community demands to the Local Government Authorities and to influence decision making in public financial management and budget expenditure. This will help   society to participate in deciding where money should be allocated, checking whether the money reaches its intended target and in holding government accountable and demanding change in the services where necessary.

The study may be of great value to the NGOs in Jinja district as it will help to identify areas needed to assist local governments especially capacity building in communication skills and also community sensitization regarding Government programs for development.

To the academia, the study may help future researchers as reference material in the area of communication and service delivery. This would help in the extension of knowledge frontiers to the new generations which are relevant for socio-economic development.

1.8 The conceptual framework

Independent variable                                                  Dependent variable

       Communication channels    Letters   Notice boards   Telephone   E-mails      
   Factors that affect Communication   Corruption   Physical barriers     Individual linguistic ability                    Telephone tag      
            Measures Feedback   Availability   Regular reports              

                                                            Intervening variables

From the above conceptual framework, the most commonly used communication channels include letters, notice boards-mail and telephone; these however are affected by factors such as corruption, physical barriers and language barrier. All can be put right through message feedback, availability and regular reports.

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0          Overview

Under this chapter, the researcher presents the conceptual framework, reviews both published and unpublished literature related to the study objectives, and a conclusion.

2.1       Communication channels used in Jinja District Local Government.

Today, with the help of media richness theory, it has been realized   that the appropriate choice of communication channel (medium) contributes significantly, to the success of a message in Local Governments. Appropriate choice helps senders communicate clearly, saves   time and money, (Lengel and Daft 1998). Therefore, examining the various communication channels to understand their appropriate use is important as discussed below.

Letters

These are   formal written organizational documents used in Local Governments. They are relevant communication channels in service delivery especially if one wants to convey important information for example invitation for meetings, appointments such as job offers or refusals, promotions, awards and honors, and other kinds of special announcements. Also, they are an appropriate channel for certain attempts at persuasion, such as soliciting contributions to a special cause, asking someone to speak to a group, or proposing the acceptance of an idea.

E-Mail Message

E-mail is another communication channel used by employees in service delivery. it is    instantaneous and is available to anyone with a computer terminal via the website. In Local Governments, it is useful for example   when an employee who has a great idea, but who is afraid a superior may take credit for it, can send the CEO a message on the corporation’s web site.  Some corporations even encourage their computer-literate customers to e-mail comments and complaints about the quality of services directly to the people at the top.

Telephone

Today with the coming into place of mobile telephones, a telephone has become the richest communication   channel in Local Governments. Most of the people own mobile phones this helps in improving service delivery as people can easily call policy makers and service providers and inquire about the progress of services being provided. For example a concerned citizen can make a telephone call to the district chairman concerning the poor state of the road in the village. It transmits sound rather than printed words and sound can enrich the message’s words with emphasis and emotion. It also allows for immediate feedback, qualifying it as a richer channel one would use to get important, immediate responses. The choice of this channel to transmit a message is highly contextual. Others view the telephone as an important way of doing things accurately. These receivers often carry cell phones or pagers so they can get important messages wherever they go, Lengel, Robert H., and Daft, Richard L. (1988).

Meetings

Meetings are ranked as the top of the richest communication channel used in Local Governments. The District Council meeting is the major decision making body in  the District whose resolutions are a basis upon which service delivery is based,(Local Government  Act, section 97 and98).  Meetings   allow complete use of all senses and continuous feedback.  Meetings are a good choice for non routine business, such as planning, analyzing, negotiating issues, and solving or resolving problems. Additionally, the face-to-face meetings of teams often provide a synergistic effect that improves the outcome of their actions. The collaboration efforts face-to-face meetings evoke are often worth the time and expense of using this channel,   McLuhan eta l, (1967).

News papers and magazines

These are media channels   used by the Local Governments in their areas of jurisdiction. These channels are specifically used for example to display job adverts and tenders available to the general public. They are effective in improving quality services in a way that it allows the organization to reach a huge number of people in a given geographic area, as there is flexibility in deciding the size and placement within the newspaper and magazine. It is also effective as exposure is not limited; readers can go back to your message again and again if so desired, (komunda, 2006).

Financial reports to employees

Financial reports published for shareholders & general public with all the technical accounting language & its terminologies, do not serve any purpose for the employees. So, some organizations publish financial reports specifically for employees with details on expenses, income, profits and distribution of income, which gives the idea about financial standing of the organization to the employ. In Local Governments the financial committee always presents financial reports to the district council for approval. This could be in form of incomes and expenditure of different departments in the district,(minute 44/12/IDLC/2011).

Brochures

According   to Charles François, (2004), brochures provide information about the service. While often used for persuasive purposes, they are usually presented as routine informational documents. Writers lay out the information carefully, often designing the visual layout as carefully as they compose the text of the content. In Local Governments this   channel works effectively when one-way communication in a visual medium is needed. It useful in eliminating any extraneous information a richer source might include in order keeping the content of the message clear and focused.

Posters

Local Governments also use Posters as a channel of communication to display topics related with health and safety in the District, tenders awarded and other issues related to public and civic education. Posters contain pictorial diagrams, charts, and photographs to explain the topic in a simple way.

Notice Boards

Notice boards are usually placed on the front walls of the organization. In Local Governments, notice boards are used to display notices, memos and circulars issued by the management for administrative purposes, circulars related with hours of work, labor laws, any new rules and regulations, new employees among others are pinned on notice boards where everyone can be in position to read.

Suggestion system

Some Local Governments use suggestion system to provide an opportunity for a working communication with the management. Employees can use this system to give positive proposals for improvement in machines, devices, techniques and procedures or to express their dissatisfaction with existing facilities or particulars.

Memos   
Memos are business letters but used within an organization and only for employees.  In Local Governments, Memos are used to give information to employees such as changes in some procedures or rules, policy change or for specific purpose like request to attend a meeting needed to improve service delivery.

Television and radio

Television and radio are   channels of the mass media, which are effective means of broadcasting information to many people at once. These channels are relevant in making   creating   public awareness   about   service delivery. This is done in form of radio talk shows and advertisements among others.   Television and radio is an effective means of broadcasting information to many people at once.

Web-based Communication

Most organizations of any size and thousands of individuals have websites which consist of one or more pages of information. Local Governments also have web sites, which helps in linking to various organizations in the global village. On addition, on web information   can be prepared quickly or carefully, depending on the purpose of and audience for the message. It can also allow for immediate feedback by providing email addresses or special forms for feedback on specific topics. Web sites can be designed for access by anyone with an Internet connection or for a limited audience of an organization.

Informal communication channels

Informal methods of communication, such as rumors and the company “grapevine” can be out of the company’s control. The grapevine is a bottom-up form of communication, in which employees try to understand what is happening around them when there is no official word from management. When management is silent, employees fill the void with verbal guesses about what is happening. It may start when the grave yard shifts loading dock worker a better are laid of because better production scheduling eliminates their jobs. The second shift loaders may interpret the loss of that shifts jobs as an economic signal that the company is in trouble. A telephone receptionist who field s calls for senior managers from competitors might conclude that the company is negotiating to buy out, or be bought out. She passes the word that something big is up. Junior who notice out of town consultants nosing around may smell “restructuring” in the wind, (Komunda, 2006).

Donabedian et al (1998), puts it that while these channels are not the only ones available, they clearly show that the sender of a message has range of choices from lean to rich. To help ensure successful communication, the sender needs to select the channel appropriate for the context. Additionally, in choosing an appropriate channel, one needs to consider not only richness but also other factors such as training and accessibility.

2.2 Factors that prevent effective communication in service delivery in Local Governments.

According to Komunda Mable, (2006), there are a number of factors that prevent effective communication in the delivery of services.

Physical barriers are often due to the nature of the environment, for example, the natural barrier which exists, because most   staff members are located in different buildings or on different sites in the District ie different sub counties prevents effective communication in the process of service delivery. Similarly   poor or outdated equipment, particularly the failure of management to introduce new technology, may also cause problems. Staff shortages are another factor which frequently causes communication difficulties for an organization and eventually affecting the quality of service delivery.

System design faults

These refer to problems with the structures or systems in place in an organization.  This might include an organizational structure which is unclear and therefore makes it confusing to know who to communicate with,   Other examples could be inefficient or inappropriate information systems, a lack of supervision or training, and a lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities which can lead to staff being uncertain about what is expected of them, Ludwig Von Bertalanfy, (1974).

Attitudinal barriers

In most Local government there has been a problem negative attitude among the staff in an organization. According to Michael Armstrong (2006), these may be brought about, by factors such as poor management, lack of consultation with employees, personality conflicts which can result in people delaying or refusing to communicate, the personal attitudes of individual employees which may be due to lack of motivation or dissatisfaction at work, brought about by insufficient training to enable them to carry out particular tasks, or just resistance to change due to entrenched attitudes and ideas. In most Local Governments most workers are not satisfied with the salaries given by Government that is why there have   been workers strikes especially among teachers and Health workers.

Psychological factors such as people’s state of mind. We all tend to feel happier and more receptive to information when the sun shines. Equally, if someone has personal problems like worries about their health or marriage, then this will probably affect them and consequently affect communication among workers   and even service delivery.

Individual linguistic ability

The use of difficult or inappropriate words in communication can prevent people from understanding the message. Poorly explained or misunderstood messages can also result in confusion. We can all think of situations where we have listened to something explained which we just could not grasp.

Lack of Sensitivity

Every receiver is unique and receives messages in a different way. The sender of the message needs to show sensitivity toward the receiver by adapting the method of sending the message. If the receiver is angry, the sender should wait until the receiver has calmed down before saying what needs to be said. If the receiver is young and lacks knowledge, the sender should explain things carefully, (Little John S.W 2001).

Lack of Skills

There is a certain level of skill needed to communicate a message. However, some people do not possess communication skills thus they are unable to form grammatically correct sentences, as well as be familiar with the terms they are saying. The receiver needs to be familiar with the sender’s language, as well as the terms being used. If a receiver and/or sender don’t have the basic skills needed, this prevents effective.

Lack of Knowledge

Not only does the receiver need a certain level of knowledge to understand a message, but the sender must have knowledge of the subject under discussion. If the sender gives false information on a particular subject, it leads to a confused receiver. Any type of confusion means the communication efforts were unsuccessful and   this brings about a mismatch in service providers hence poor quality services.

Overload

A message cannot be received if it contains too much information. Komunda Mable (2006) says that if a message is too long and contains too much information, the receiver will become overloaded. Overload of information causes the message’s receiver to shut down and stop receiving altogether. In Local Governments for example service providers are few in comparison to the number of people they are supposed to deliver services to.

Emotional Interference

Anger, joy, resentment and sadness are a few examples of emotions that can interfere with the person receiving a message (Komunda, 2006). In local governments people have problems related to delete from pay roll, corruption scandals, and the aging workers among workers such emotions   disturb people and they end up preventing effective communication in the process of service delivery.  This is because people   may be too sad to grasp the message that life goes on or things will get better. Anger is a particularly interfering emotion.

Organization Culture

Organizational culture is the term used to describe the shared beliefs, perceptions, and expectations of individuals in organizations. Keith Davis (1977), asserts that because of its shared nature and implicit understanding about organizational norms and values, culture can have a dramatic effect on efforts to change specific procedures or processes. For better or worse, organizational culture affects any effort to implement change. Characteristics of organizational culture have also been linked in the literature to various aspects of organizational performance: financial performance, customer and employee satisfaction, and innovation.

2.3 Measures that can be put in place to significantly reduce the communication Problems in order to improve Service delivery.

Availability

According to Gordon George (1969), this is the first step towards increasing and improving communication in the workplace.

The superiors or managers have to make themselves available so that those below them in the hierarchy can consult them at any given point. Many time, issues remained unsolved in an organization because the concerned person is not available. Only when one is available there can be exchange of information that helps decision-making and communication. Similarly, in Local Governments there is need   for organizing budget conferences so that all stake holders can discuss all necessary   input needed to produce quality service delivery.

Seminars

Local Governments should hold seminars and workshops after every few weeks. These also give a break from the everyday routine. In these seminars, different methods and ways to improve communication skills, presentation skills, and business writing skills can be taught to employees. This can improve upon the delivery of services. These skills are essential for success, and also help employees influence the perceptions of others in all personal and professional interactions. This has been so aptly put by John Powell, communication works for those who work at it, Sharon M., and Burns, William J, (1998).

Reviewing
Reviewing employee performance is essential for the growth of the company and the well-being of its employees as a whole. Local Government employees should be reviewed using staff performance appraisals and the progress should be discussed with him/her, accompanied with suggestions for improvement. If efforts are taken for improving the performance of an employee, those efforts will surely be reciprocated and the employees will surely appreciate the fact that efforts are being taken to help them improve their skills. This helps in building a positive approach and also helps in maintaining a healthy environment, which is necessary if proper communication needs to takes place. Remember, in the progress of an employee, lies the progress of the company.

Multiple channels

Lengel, Robert H., and Daft, Richard L. (1988), says that   using multiple channels also enhance the effectiveness of communication in an organization. Channels can include meetings, face-to-face communication, memos and emails. By using multiple channels, the importance of any given message is augmented through repeated notifications. In essence, repetition for emphasis. It is important not to rely on any single communication method, as this could be disrupted for some reason. If employees or team members are accustomed to multiple communication channels, then they will check and adhere to these channels more often.

Regular Reports

Lengel Robert eta l (1988), emphasizes the need to ensure that   employees write regular reports. It’s another method to enhancecommunication within an organization. Oftentimes, poor communication can be the result of uncertainty of protocol and what needs to be done. While employees must provide so-called upward, communication management and supervisors must constantly provide downward via regular communication reports. As both the upper and lower branches of an organization receive regular reports from each another, both sides will have a better understanding of what is going on and what needs to be done.

Assumptions

If you want to make a conscious effort and improve the communication in the workplace, stop judging people every now and then. Assumptions always lead to wrong conclusions and spread a negative aura in the workplace. Do not assume the character of a person and even if you do, don’t involve that with processes related to work. Don’t concentrate on the behavioral and personal traits of a person, rather focus on the skills that are necessary for the organization’s growth. Like Bo Bennett said, communication is about being effective, not always about being proper.

Body Language

Body language is one of the most interfering aspects when it comes to improving communication in the workplace. A person’s body language says a lot about what he/she thinks of another person. A simple smirk can make all the difference, just like a simple smile does but in a positive way. With improper body language, you feel as though you have already communicated a lot without even talking. Like George Bernard Shaw said, the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. This kind of communication doesn’t leave any place for effective communication. With a conscious effort, we all need to be pleasant and receptive even in terms of our body language.

Team work

In today’s world, where competition is so huge, teamwork is one of the most important aspects. To achieve this, the importance of communication has to be understood and instilled in the minds of all employees. One needs to take efforts to improve communication, it just doesn’t happen. Only when one is available there can be exchange of information that helps decision-making and communication.

Feedback

This is one of the most important aspects of effective communication in an organization. Employee feedbacks help the organization in more ways than one. First, the employees feel that their opinions and suggestions are valued and that their say is important for the progress of the company. Second, these feedbacks also help the organization in detecting errors and loopholes in policies, structures, and procedures, so that necessary changes can be made wherever necessary, thus improving the efficiency in the delivery of services. Third, meaningful feedback helps to make the job easier and more satisfying for the employees, Quentin, eta l (1967).

Establish Relevancy

Show how the subject of your conversation relates to your listeners. When they know       that the subject is relevant to them, your listeners will be more inclined to listen to you. Keep in mind how familiar your listeners are with the topic and their attitude toward the subject.

Open Door Policy

One communication technique is to maintain an open door policy. This method is effective in providing employees with a direct opportunity to communicate with management. Also, an open door policy indirectly promotes an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect.

Get Your Message Across

Jablin.f.m, (1982), says that after you listen and fully understand your communication partner, you must make sure you can get your message across in the exact way it is intended.  To do this,  there is need to speak openly and honestly, and be as straightforward as possible (i.e., no “beating around the bush”); speak inclusively and use terms that will be understood and respected by a diverse array of individuals; and check for understanding to make sure your message has been received accurately.

Handle Communication Problems

Finally, we must become more effective at managing the communication problems that will inevitably arise during human interaction.  Such problems include conflict, difficulty in resolving problems, misunderstandings, dealing with difficult people and managing cultural differences, McKinnon, (1998).

Conclusion

In respect to the review of related literature presented and discussed according to the different scholars, the information obtained gives a picture of what is on the ground related to the  of the study but not specifically Jinja District Local Government. Thus the researcher went ahead with the study so as to find out if actually what these scholars came up with is applicable in the context of the area where the study was carried out.

CHAPTER THREE:

METHODOLOGY

3.0   Introduction

This chapter describes the methodology which includes details of research design, research procedure that was adopted, study population and sample size, specific data collection instruments, validity and reliability of the research instruments, data collection procedure, data processing and analysis criteria, and the ethical principles followed.

3.1   Research design

A descriptive research design was used for quantitative data which enabled a good description of the state of affairs as it exists. This was   applied in order to achieve the study objectives.

3.2   Study Population

This study was conducted in Jinja District Local Government and it covered all the 11 sub counties in the District. The study involved senior management officials including the Chief Administrative Officer, Heads of Departments and Senior   Assistant Secretaries, because these are people at the centre of receiving and sending of information in the process of service delivery.

Community   members were also involved because they are the key recipients of the services from local governments thus any communication problems automatically affects service delivery. To this therefore, responsible literate community members were randomly involved in the study.

Departmental staff members such as Secretaries, Records officers, Office Messengers    were involved as they aid communication in the District through storing, receiving and delivery of information amongst all stakeholders.

District Councilors were also involved because they are the policy makers, peoples representatives of various categories in the district thus any communication breakdown directly affects their work schedules in the process of service delivery.

3.4 Sample size

The total sample size that was used out of   the   total of 120 is 56 from the four categories as illustrated below.

Table 3.1: Actual number of respondents selected

Categories of respondents Total population Actual number selected
Senior management 20 09
Community members 58 27
Departmental staff 20 09
Councilors 22 11
Total 120 56

3.5 Data collection instruments

The researcher   used   questionnaires for data collection.

This tool provided questions which were both structured and unstructured extracted from the objectives of the study to collect data from all respondents.

3.6 Validity and Reliability of the Research Instruments

To ensure validity and reliability of the data collection instruments, the researcher    pre-tested   the tools. This was done through collection of data from four respondents representing all the categories of the respondents; thus senior management, community members, departmental staff and councilors and after the pretest the ambiguous words were made clear and the loaded questions were neutralized for proper understanding of the questions.

3.7 Data collection procedure

The researcher   got an introduction letter from the university research unit, requesting the District Authorities to accept the student to carry out the study; this was followed by an acceptance letter which authorized the researcher to carry out the study.

3.7 Data Processing and analysis

Data processing and analysis was quantitative. Data was analyzed as from questionnaires to capture the actual opinions of the respondents.  After   data collection,   results were   tallied, frequencies produced, graphs and tables were also   drawn.

3.8 Ethical Considerations

The researcher obeyed the ethical principles that govern the study   including: informed consent were  the researcher informed the respondents of the importance of carrying out the study  and asked the respondents to participate out of their own will without force,  secondly, confidentiality  was also obeyed as  the researcher assured respondents that the information would not be  disclosed to anyone and that it would  be for academic purposes only, the respondents were also assured that the study would not cause any physical or psychological harm and finally, honest disclosure of results was also guaranteed to the respondents.

CHAPTER FOUR:

PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF RESEARCH FINDINGS

4.0 Introduction

This chapter presents Research findings, analysis and interpretation of the data gathered from respondents through questionnaires. The research questions specifically addressed by the various questionnaire items are addressed and analysis of responses to each item is shown.

4.1 Information on Respondents

Information related to the respondent’s back ground was obtained and the results showed the following.

4.1.1 Sex composition

The results showed that there were 56 respondents in total, 26 of the respondents were female while 30 were male. Male respondents accounted for 54% of the respondents higher than females who were 46% of the total respondents, (figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1: Respondents by sex.

4.1.2 Age Distribution of the respondents

The results showed that out of the 56 respondents, 20 were between 30-35 years, representing 36% of the total respondents, 30 were between 35-40 years representing 54% 0f the total respondents, 5 were between 40-45 years accounting 8% and 1 respondent was between 45 years and above accounting for 2% of the total respondents, (figure 4.2).

Figure4.2: The composition of the Respondents by Age

The results indicated on the figure above show that the respondents between 35-40 were higher by the percentage representation followed by ages 30-35, 40-45 and 45 years and above respectively, (source: primary data).

4.1.3 Educational levels

The respondents’ Educational Level ranged from certificate to post Graduate Diploma   Levels. Among the respondents, 25 had certificates representing 45% of the total respondents, 15 were diploma holders accounting for 27% of the total respondents, 13 were Degree holders representing 23% of the total respondents and 03 had post Graduate Diplomas accounting for 5% of the total respondents (figure 4.3).

Figure 4.3: Respondents composition by qualification.

The results presented on the figure above shows that respondents with certificate had the highest percentage representation, followed by Diploma holders, Degree and respondents with the lowest percentage representation were those with post Graduate Diplomas.

4.2       Findings Obtained About The Study Objectives

The study was about the effects of communication on   service delivery: A case study of Jinja District Local Government. The purpose of the study was to establish the effects of communication on service delivery in in Jinja District Local Government. Therefore in order to obtain appropriate findings to answer the purpose of the study, three specific objectives were set and the following is the report of the results obtained about the objectives as they appear chronologically.

4.2.1    Communication channels used in Jinja District Local Government.

The researcher asked various questions related to the communication channels used by Jinja District Local Government in the process of service delivery as indicated in table 4.2 below.

Table 4.2: Responses on communication channels

No. Attributes Agree Disagree Not Sure
1. In Jinja District Local government Letters are used to convey important information in the process of service delivery 89% 11% 00%
2. Communication on new arrangements, job offers, promotions, health, safety and hygiene are displayed on Jinja District Local Government notice boards 79% 21% 00%
3 There is a forum through which proposals are given to top management 27% 55% 18%
4 Management uses memos to communicate to employees within the District Local Government 71% 29% 00
5 Mobile phones are mainly used to communicate to people in far areas. 62% 36% 2%
6 Before council and management meetings the agenda is given in advance 71% 18% 11%
7 Employees try to understand what is happening within an organization without official word from management 11% 89% 00
8 News paper and magazines are used to run adverts for Jinja District Local Government 66% 23% 11%
9 Radios are used to convey information to many people at once. 70% 30% 00
10 Some information come to Jinja District Local Government administration via Email 9% 71% 20%
  Total 566 383 51%
  Average 57% 38.3% 5.1%

The table above indicates that 89% of the respondents agreed that letters are used to convey important information for service delivery in Jinja District Local Government, while 11% disagreed, On use of Notice boards to display new arrangements, job offers and promotions, 79% 0f the respondents agreed while 21% disagreed, on whether there is a forum through which proposals are given to top management, 27% of the respondents agreed while 55% disagreed and 18% of the respondents were not sure. 71% of the respondents also   agreed that management uses memos to communicate to employees in the Local Governments, while 29% disagreed.

Respondents were also asked if mobile phones are used to communicate to people in far areas and in response 62% agreed, while 36% disagreed and 2% were not sure. On whether the Agenda is given before council and management meetings, 71% of the respondents agreed, while 18% disagreed and 11% were not sure, asked whether employees understand what is happening within an organization without any official word from management, Results indicates that 11% agreed while 89% disagreed.

Results also indicate that 66% of the respondents agreed that News papers and magazines are used to run adverts for Jinja District Local Government, however, 23% disagreed and 11% were not sure, on whether Radios are used to convey information to many people at once, 70% of the respondents agreed while 30% disagreed. Finally, the results also indicate that 9% of the respondents agreed that some information is received via Email while 71% disagreed and 20% were not sure.

On average, the results revealed that 57% of the respondents agreed that channels of communication as described by the indicators are used in the process of service Delivery in Jinja District Local Government while 38.3% disagreed and 5.1% were not sure.

4.2.2 Factors that prevents effective communication in the process   of service Delivery

The respondents were given chance to establish the other factors that prevents effective communication in service delivery in JDLG, and the results are indicated on figure 4.5 below.

Figure 4.4:  Factors that prevents effective communication.

From the figure above, findings  show that out of the total respondents’ responses about the other factors that prevents effective communication in service delivery, the largest proportion of 89% said corruption prevents effective communication in the process of service delivery, 88%said personality conflicts, 84% believe it is poor communication skills while 77% cites un clear communication policy as also an obstacle to service delivery in Local Governments and  Results also indicate that language barrier prevents effective communication accounting for 36% of the total respondents.

4.2.3    Measures that can be put in place to reduce communication problems.

A number of options were presented as measures on what can be done to reduce communication problems in order to improve service delivery in Jinja District Local Government, (Table 4.3).

Table 4.3: Responses on measures that can be put in place to Reduce Communication problems

No. Attributes Agree Disagree Not sure
1 Managers should make themselves available for consultation 77% 18% 5%
2 There is need to organize budget conferences for all stake holders in service delivery 100% 00% 00%
3 Capacity building workshops and seminars should be organized to improve communication skills. 98% 2% 00%
4 There is need to review performance of employees using staff performance Appraisals 86% 14% 00%
5 Communication should be done using multiple channels 100% 00% 00%
6 Regular report writing should be emphasized by top management 54% 37% 09%
7 Open door policy should be adopted to clear way for communication flow 64% 23% 13%
8 Team work should be emphasized at work place 98% 02% 00%
9 Communication  problems should be handled as soon as they are realized 91% 9% 00%
10 Strong message feedback channels between management and staff should be put in place 88% 12% 00%
  Total 856% 117% 27%
  Average 85.6% 11.7% 2.7%

The results from the table above indicate that 77% of the respondents agreed that managers should make themselves available for consultation, while 18% disagreed and 5% of the respondents were not sure; on the need to organize budget conferences for all stake holders in service delivery, all respondents agreed accounting for 100% of the respondents; on the issue of organizing capacity building workshops and seminars to help in improving communication skills, 98% of the respondents agreed while 2% disagreed; asked whether performance of employees should be reviewed using staff performance appraisals, 86% of the respondents agreed while 14% disagreed.100% of the respondents also agreed that there is need to communicate using multiple channels, on whether there should be regular Report writing by employees, 54% of the total respondents agreed while 37% disagreed and 9% were not sure, 64% of the respondents also agreed that an open door policy should be adopted to clear way for communication flow while 23% disagreed and 13% of the respondents were not sure.

On whether team work should be emphasized at work place, 98% of the respondents agreed while 2% disagreed. As for communication problems being handled as soon as they are realized, 91% of the respondents agreed while 9% disagreed and finally, majority Respondents agreed that strong message feedback channels between management and staff should be put in place, accounting for 88% of the respondents while 12% disagreed.

CHAPTER FIVE:

DISCUSSIONS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.

5.1 Overview

This chapter deals with the researcher’s discussions, conclusions, recommendations and suggestions on areas of further research in line with the findings out lined in chapter four of data presentation, analysis and interpretation. The discussions were done according to the findings chronologically.

5.1.1 Communication channels used in Jinja District Local Government.

A number of findings were obtained pertaining to the existence of communication channels in Jinja District. Communication channels are net works through which information reaches the recipient in the process of service delivery. On average, the results revealed that 57% of the respondents agreed that there are channels of communication used in the process of service delivery in Jinja District Local government while 38.3% disagreed that of the existence of communication channels and 5.1% of the respondents were not sure of their existence.

This implies that communication channels such as letters, Notice boards, memos, mobile phones, Radios and news papers among others were seen as existing in JDLG by the majority of the respondents. As there are respondents who disagreed, it implies that there is a gap in information flow within the organization.

Some Respondents could not tell about the existence of communication channels, this implies that they are not aware or have no access to these channels that prove their existence.

5.1.2 Factors that prevents effective communication

Results on other factors that prevents effective communication in the process of service delivery according to respondents revealed that the biggest proportion of respondents said corruption accounting for 89% of the total respondents, followed by conflicts represented by 88%, poor communication skills follows suit accounting for 84% of the respondents, un clear communication policy representing 77% and language barrier accounting for 36%of the respondents.

This revelation therefore implies that corruption is too much in the District that is why there is no effective communication as people fear to disclose even important information for fear of the negative consequences this automatically is detrimental to the quality of service delivery.

Regarding conflicts, these disagreements affect human relations which in the end limit effective communication and consequently the quality of service delivery.

As regards poor communication skills, as revealed by the findings the implication is that there are short comings in communication arising from the sender’s in ability to design and communicate effectively to all stake holders in service delivery, this affect service delivery.

With un clear communication policy, it implies absence of clear channels upon which the information is received and the way it is sent back this leaves service delivery in balance as people may not tell if the tasks are accomplished or not.

With language barrier, the implication is that some people are not acquainted with the language used for communication this affects the quality of services delivered.

5.1.3 Measures that can be put in place to improve communication in the process of service Delivery in Jinja  District Local Government.

The findings on the measures, revealed that on average 85.6% agreed that managers should make themselves available for consultation, there is need to organize budget conferences, capacity building workshops and seminars, use multiple channels, regular report writing, about activities putting in place strong message feedback channels between management and staff; However, 11.7% disagreed and 2% of the respondents were not sure.

The fact that majority respondents agreed with the measures proposed implies that there is a gap in communication flow as recognized by the respondents which makes it to necessity to put in place measures to improve the quality of service delivery through effective communication.

5.2       CONCLUSIONS

Basing on the results of this study, it can be concluded that there was a positive relationship between effective communication and service delivery in Jinja District Local Government.

The following conclusions were made concerning specific objectives.

Objective 1: To establish the communication channels used in Jinja District Local        Government

The major components that were weak and needs improving are the communication channels because they work as a conduit to improved service delivery for example effective use of letters, notice boards, and minutes of council and management meetings among others that clearly guides action in the process of service delivery.

However, most communication channels were generally seen to be in place for improved service delivery although there is need to bring all employees on board.

It can therefore be concluded that communication channels needed are in place though they are not effectively used and this has brought about the communication problems which has affected the quality of service delivery in the District.

Objective 2: To investigate factors which prevent effective communication in service delivery in Jinja District Local Government.

As regards other factors that prevent effective communication, corruption, conflicts, poor communication skills, unclear communication policy, inadequate staff and language barrier were noted by respondents as factors causing threat to quality service delivery.

It can be concluded that the existence of such factors affects the effective communication aspect which consequently cause detrimental effect on the quality of services delivered   in JDLG

Objective 3: To identify the measures that can be put in place to significantly reduce communication problems in order to improve service delivery in local governments.

On measures that can be put in place, majority respondents agreed with the measures proposed including managers making themselves available for consultation, organizing budget conferences, capacity building workshops, reviewing performance of employees, use of multiple channels, regular report writing, open door policy among  others.

Based on that, It can be concluded that if such measures are undertaken there will be effective communication which will definitely improve service delivery in the District.

5.3 RECOMMENDATIONS

The researcher has therefore come up with the following recommendations in order to guide in improving Communication for effective service delivery in Jinja District Local Government.

  1. The available communication channels in Jinja District Local Government should be used effectively involving all stakeholders including community members, local leaders and service providers   so as to improve on quality service delivery.
  2. There is need to strengthen accountability and anti-corruption fight so as to reduce the rampart cases of corruption which prevents effective communication in the process of service delivery.
  3. Multiple channels of communication should be applied to various categories of people so as to effectively reach all stake holders in JDLG for improved service delivery.

5.4 Areas of further research

The researcher   was not able to explore the under mentioned issues and therefore recommends that these areas be taken up for further investigation by other interested researchers.

  1. The relationship between communication and organizational effectiveness towards effective service delivery in Local Governments.
  2. The impact of communication on worker’s performance in NGOs
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