By Alfred Wandera
The donors have expressed concerns with the manner in which implementation of Government projects is undertaken, calling for more and new strategies to spur successful execution of the second National Development Plan (NDP).
President Yoweri Museveni launched the second NDP on June 11, the very day the 2015/16 national budget was read by Finance minister, Matia Kasaija.
NDP is a Government blue print outlining strategies for Uganda to achieve middle income status by 2020 at a cost of sh185 trillion through strengthening the country’s competitiveness for sustainable wealth creation, employment and inclusive growth.
Speaking on Tuesday during the Second National Partnership Forum at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala, the chair of the Local Development Partners’ Group (LDPG), Ahunna Eziakonwa, said implementation performance of key government projects has been – and still is – a challenge.
“This was one of the key findings in the mid-term review of the first National Development Plan and it represents an issue we are all interested in addressing in order to enhance development outcomes and improve service delivery,” Eziakonwa said.
She added: “It is clear that something different, and possibly something more, will need to be done in order to successfully implement the second National Development Plan and deliver the transformation envisaged in Vision 2040. We therefore welcome Government’s focus on removing implementation bottlenecks and fast-tracking implementation of core projects and key sector results.”
Some of Uganda’s development partners at the Second National Partnership Forum at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala on July 7, 2015.
The Forum was attended by key Cabinet ministers, ministers of state, Permanent Secretaries, heads of key Government agencies as well as ambassadors and heads of mission representing development partners.
Eziakonwa reiterated the development partners’ commitment to work with the Government at all levels to support its new efforts in removing implementation bottlenecks.
Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, who chaired the forum, said if Uganda is to achieve its targets, the Government has to deliberately guide, monitor and follow-up implementation of set strategies.
Rugunda said the Government has created a Delivery Unit (DU) in the Office of the Prime Minister to stem poor and sluggishness in delivery and implementation of prioritized initiatives.
“Some implementation experts have coined a concept called the ‘science of delivery’ which entails focusing more on processes, contexts, and determinants of the delivery of public goods and services. This is achieved through generation and utilization of real-time monitoring data; making mid-term modifications; and routinely reviewing performance and ensuring prompt decision-making. The Delivery Unit should help in this endeavour,” Rugunda explained.
Rugunda said during the first National Partnership Forum held last December, five priority areas of infrastructure, population, accountability, human capital development and inclusive growth and employment were agreed upon to be the focal point in the implementation of the second NDP.
(L-R) The Minister of Public Service Henry Kajura, German Ambassador Peter Blomeyer,United Nations Resident Coordinator and chairperson of Local Partners group, Ahuuna Ezianakonwa, Minister of Karamoja Janet Museveni, Prime Minister Rukakana Rugunda and State Minister in the Prime Minister’s office, Tarsis Kabwegyere in a group photo with Uganda’s development partners.
He noted that the National Partnership Forum’s task force, its technical arm, has agreed on the actions and performance indicators on all the five priorities.
The Prime Minister explained that in the area of financial management and accountability, the Government has enacted the Public Finance Management Act and work on the development of the attendant regulations is in advanced stages.
The law provides for stringent sanctions to accounting officers who flout prudent accounting and financial management. One of such sanctions is non-renewal of appointments for accounting officers who do not fully comply with the recommendations of the Internal Auditor General.
“The Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, has started sanctioning errant accounting officers in accordance with the law. We shall implement all measures possible and permissible in the law to enforce high accountability standards,” Rugunda said.
Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Christine Guwatudde-Kintu, decried procurement delays in the public sector that she said has hampered service delivery.
She said procurement in Government is characterized by stiff competition where the losing bidders pull down the winning bidders, delaying the exercise by nine to 12 months.
Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, the director of Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office (PPDARO), said Uganda needs to check its population growth rate now standing at 3% and fertility rate standing at 6.2, if it is to reap population dividends, adding that there is no country that has transformed from low income to middle income without handling the fertility rate.
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