Maziwisa Global 

Global Development Advisors & Investors

STRENGTHENING OF THE CAPACITIES OF AFRICAN GOVERNMENTS FOR INTEGRATING ACCOUNTABILITY IN DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

 


UNITED NATIONS

ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR AFRICA (UNECA)

MACROECONOMICS AND GOVERNANCE DIVISION



Concept Note - Strengthening of the Capacities of African Governments for Integrating Accountability in Development Planning


Economic transformation in Africa requires that states employ a comprehensive development framework to articulate, plan and implement policies that produce optimum results, while utilizing the most efficient allocation of resources. Other attributes needed to achieve a transformative economy include institutional capacity, inter-sectoral collaboration as well as a transparent policy making processes that allow the total participation of key stakeholders, including the private sector and civic organizations. Crucially, states must practice good governance in order to earn the legitimacy needed to mobilize all stakeholders around a nationally owned development framework, including short and long-term national visions and development targets.

Here the essential challenge of planning is to find ways to promote the dual relationships of accountability—“downward” accountability of higher levels of government to respond to “local” needs, and “upward” accountability of lower levels of government to implement and monitor national development visions and targets. This starts with addressing existing challenges in National Planning Institutions (NPIs), specifically capacity challenges in fulfilling their mandates. Many NPIs in Africa today are encumbered with problems of capacity in planning and implementing development visions and targets, and developing effective monitoring and evaluation systems that feed back into policy-making processes.

Other notable challenges facing NPIs in Africa include limited inclusivity in national planning processes; lack of credible consultation processes; insufficient and unpredictable internal funding and external donor coordination; erroneous budgetary prioritization in line with development aspirations; and lack of quality and timely data essential for policymakers to track development performances and reform policymaking as needed. The effectiveness of national planning systems hinges largely on the quality and availability of data; and yet similar to NPIs, National Statistics Offices (NSOs) often have limited capacity to collect, compile, use, and publish data. The inadequate collection and dissemination of quality data in many African countries is further exacerbated by the lack of a clear framework for the collection of data and limited coordination among various stakeholders. Consequently, measuring, assessing, updating, and disaggregating fundamental statistics related to important developmental benchmarks such as economic growth, poverty, taxes, trade, births, deaths, etc. remains weak and ultimately hinders the  design and implementation of development planning processes that are economically transformative and sustainable.

A further challenge to the effectiveness of NSOs relates to the collection of accurate data in real time, which is critical for policymakers to prioritize and enact better policies and for citizens to hold their governments accountable for their actions. In this context ECA, under the 10th UN Development Account 10th Tranche Project funded by UN-DESA, has undertaken the project on “Strengthening the Capacity of African
Governments for Integrating Accountability in National Development,” which aims, among other objectives, to address capacity challenges in NPIs and NSOs in the following five pilot countries- Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya and Zambia as well as developing a toolkit for the preparation, implementation, monitoring and reporting and evaluation for all African Countries. 

The concept note was developed by Professor Sylvain BOKO, Principal Regional Advisor (Development Planning) at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA). 


Toolkit for the preparation, implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation 



The toolkit contains guidelines, instruments and mechanisms for monitoring and assessing the integration of accountability frameworks and evidence-based policy making in national planning processes.


Guidance for UNECA partners


The development and implementation of the integration of accountability frameworks and evidence-based policy making in national planning processes are both processes that require identifying the core problems a given country is facing, setting clear objectives and targets to address those problems, and translating these into specific actions. This Toolkit is designed for the preparation, implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation of the strategies for the integration of accountability frameworks and evidence-based policy making in national planning processes. It is designed to support governments, statistics and development planning institutions that are committed to meeting the targets of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16. SDG 16 relates to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provision of access to justice for all and the building of  effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.


The Toolkit provides practical insights and advice, as well as easy-to-use tools for those involved in the development and implementation of sector strategies. It was developed by gathering, reviewing and compiling lessons learned, recommendations, advice and tools developed and promoted by Chenjerai Victor Maziwsa, an International Strategy Consultant.


The Toolkit is comprised of 5 Sections namely:


  • Section 1: This Section describes the framework for prioritisation and the steps needed to assess, discuss, set the scope, prioritise and agree on the core issues of an envisaged set of strategies for the integration of accountability frameworks and evidence-based policy making in national planning processes.
  • Section 2: The list of indicators is intended to provide “food for thought” to the developers of strategies for integration of accountability frameworks and evidence-based policy making in national planning processes when they think about what indicators to use in connection with the envisaged objectives of their strategies.
  • Section 3: The purpose of this Section is to provide a knowledge and learning products, tools and templates for presenting the key actions of strategies for the integration of accountability frameworks and evidence-based policy making in national planning processes.
  • Section 4: Cost Tables – Calculation of costs of actions and activities
  • Section 5: The purpose of this Section is to provide templates related to the set-up and functioning of the monitoring, reporting and evaluation system for the presentation of key actions - strategies for the integration of accountability frameworks and evidence-based policy making in national planning processes.


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