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Course work for management and organizational behaviour

Key Definitions

An organization can be defined as a group of people who work interdependently toward some common purpose. It can as the collection of people working together to achieve a common purpose.

A system refers to a group of components or parts that interact with each other and are dependent on each other to serve a common goal.

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Organizational Behavior (OB) is the as the systematic study and application of knowledge about how individuals and groups act within the organizations where they work. It can also be defined as a study of the way people interact within groups in an attempt to create more efficient business organizations. It is a combination of responses to external and internal stimuli by a person as an individual or as a part of a group.

Management refers to the process of working with and through individuals and groups and other resources to accomplish organizational goals and objectives. It is a process of planning, organizing, coordinating, and controlling the efforts of organizational members and of using all other organizational resources to achieve stated goals.

Introduction and Rationale

African Prisons Project (APP) is a charity registered in UK. It is also registered as an NGO in Uganda (2011) and Kenya (2012). The African Prisons Project (APP) works to bring dignity and hope to men, women and children in prisons through education, access to justice and healthcare. APP interventions are strongly founded on its vision to ensure that prisons in Africa are places of positive transformation. In order to achieve its goals and objectives, APP operates in partnership with the Uganda Prisons Service, national and international organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit).

Mission

Our mission is to work with African prison services to make prisons places of positive transformation.

Goal

To make African prisons are places of positive transformation which based on a human rights approach and comprehensive rehabilitation.

Ethos

o APP was founded on Christian values but provides and promotes services to prisoners regardless of their religion, background, offence, sentence, race or gender.

o APP has a diverse group of staff and volunteers united by the desire to serve others. Our work environment is open, honest, supportive and fulfilling and our work is based on trust and respect. We take pride in working in a culturally sensitive way.

The following are the ways in which APP operates as an open system as described here below:

Legal Environment

Basically, APP mandate is to ensure legal protection and advocating for human rights in Africa. APP works with the justice, law and order sector including the high court, Supreme Court, magistrate’s courts and prisons to ensure there is legal redress for law offenders (inmates) under incarceration. APP pays allegiance to legal processes, laws, policies and regulations to run their services. APP enters legal and demonstrates legal obligation with UPS through the memoranda of understanding which are normally signed by both parties stipulating rules of engagement in delivering legal aid services to law offenders in African prison. APP operates within the legal structures of African countries by way of respecting the national Constitutions plus other legislative organs of law. APP was fully registered with the NGO board in 2011. APP has got a constitution and articles of association which act as legal documents for existence and compliance with the Ugandan law. APP normally has court cases to defend against its beneficiaries in the courts of judicature in search for justice.

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Political Environment

APP’s existence in Uganda has been characterized by several political upheavals in policy making on matters regarding law offenders. APP operates in a politically complex environment in which approvals for operations in prison require consent by the Uganda Prison Service which is the government entity that governs prison services in the country. UPS does not work alone but also with other entities in the justice, law and order sector such as Uganda Police Force, courts of judicature and other ministries. APP services in the Uganda are at the discretion of the government’s political will. APP’s work in Ugandan prisons as well as other parts of Africa entails political interaction with government processes, procedures and activities. In its efforts to expand its services across the Africa, APP has worked in partnership with governments and local governments to enlarge its scope as a strategy to enhance legal aid and protection for law offenders. APP maintains its political relations with government through Uganda Prison Service and the JLOS. This forms strategic direction backed by political support. Therefore, the APP works in respect of the political protocols and actions of African government.

Economic Environment

APP has two bank accounts with two banks including DFCU and Barclays Bank Uganda where its finances are kept. About 70% of its employees have bank accounts with Barclays Bank to make it easy to access their money. The fluctuating prices of products and services do affect APP. The economic environment surrounding APP entails its interacting with banking sector, donors and beneficiaries in monetary terms. APP procures project inputs from different suppliers such as Mosam Stationers, DVK Construction Company and KK security among others. Inflation in some African countries affects APP’s expenditure. Interaction with different donors engages APP to deal with different funders who have different requirements. APP ensures to pay its workers reasonable salaries and allowances. The organization makes electronic transfers of money both in the bank and using mobile money to some stakeholders such as KK security. Electronic fund transfers have made life easy due its reliability and efficiency in meeting the needs of both the organization and its stakeholders. APP transacts in banks and using simple payment forms like Beyonic fund transfer platform. APP support prison SACCOs for prison officers with some funding to support operations.

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Technological Environment

APP uses the latest laptops as well as routers for internet to conduct its day-to-day activities. APP has access to 4G network with a great capacity to support its internet activities such as teleconferencing with funders, UPS and other individuals. Using the same network, APP uses the internet connection for communication. There are cable telephones in Office. Also, APP gave each Welfare Officers in the prison under the program a smartphone installed with reporting templates and airtime to call the head office in case of emergency or need. APP deal with telecommunication companies especially MTN Uganda and Airtel Uganda for both internet and call options respectively. APP utilizes the new developments in technology such as Open Data Kit (ODK) which is used to support field officers in collating reports in prisons and transmitting it to the server at the head office. Newer computers are given to workers to support their job functions. Technological advancements have led to an improvement in service delivery at APP. APP has from time-to-time outsourced ICT companies to maintain its website and also service computers, printers and photocopiers. So, APP operates with the outside and inside technological environment to take advantage of the new advances in technology.

Social/Cultural Environment

In the social context, APP has interacts with the prison community including prison officers, inmates and their relatives. APP organizes prison projects like legal aid clinics, sports tournaments, library projects which involve a variety of individuals but specifically prisoners from different prison wards like women wing, boma or Murchison bay. APP support prison communities in African regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, tribe or nationality thus ensuring impartiality in their operations. APP therefore provides services to all individuals in prison setting although main focus is laid on inmates. Engagement in social engagements such as hygiene and sanitation rounds in prison wards has helped APP participate at grass-root level providing basic services to better inmates’ health standards. APP has got a fund for inmates with cancer and thus can only be accessed by those inmates at the maximum security prison in Luzira. APP has supported activities like volleyball, soccer, netball and athletics by buying equipment such as jerseys. APP runs a legal aid clinic in which it trains paralegals who offer legal advice to fellow inmates. There is a library in each prison supported by APP. Also, APP runs a 4-year diploma course in law supported by the University of London to equip inmates with legal knowledge. APP respects the cultural values and rights of all inmates and prison officers and works to promote and protect human rights as a core mandate.

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Physical Environment

APP head office is located along Circular Road in Mutungo in Kampala city. It is strategically located near Luzira Prison complex for purposes of easy access. The office premises are spacious enough for all staff. Similarly, APP has regional offices in the north-Apac, Karamoja-Namalu, eastern-Jinja, central in Mubende and in Ntungamo. APP has constructed 3 libraries to support the library program and University of London students. APP’s growing number of staff in Uganda is harbored in a spacious office premise in Mutungo head office. APP networked cable infrastructure in the head office. APP field officers are provided with motor bikes (Bajaj Boxer). At the head office, there is a vehicle used to run office operations such as taking staff to prisons to conduct program activities. The physical environment APP is located is quite conducive. So, in consideration the organization physical environment includes; buildings, server room, networked cables, vehicles, motor bikes etc.

Stakeholder interactions and dynamic requirements

APP tends to adapt to the dynamic trends of standards, procedures and practices deemed necessary by UPS such as timely submission of MoUs. APP sets benchmarks from its baseline evaluation to guide it in the course of project/programme implication in alignment with the national and international standards to maintain the quality trend of operations. Therefore, APP compares what works in one prison or country and endeavors to implement it in other prison settings. Lessons from Kenya are normally used as learning avenues for Ugandan prison projects. APP interaction with inmates gives them chance to assess the legal assistance required from each individual and thus solicit the required assistance in courts like the supreme, court of appeal, magistrate’s court.

Therefore, APP interacts with its beneficiaries, suppliers, UPS, donor, etc.

Conclusion

In characterizing open systems, organizational development can be fostered although there is some challenges organisations face in the course of operating as open systems. APP’s operations in the open systems environment helps in setting equilibrium in their environment to ensure uniformity, continuity and progress.

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