The Manifesto Implementation Unit (MIU) of the office of the president has embarked on a drive to monitor and validate government programmes in Eastern Uganda.
According to the MIU Director Willis Bashaasha, the field tours are in line with the unit’s plan for FY 2022/2022 which is largely anchored on continuous monitoring, validation and popularization of the manifesto achievements.
Bashaasha noted that key among these programmes is the Parish Development Model (PDM) given its strategic importance as the core vehicle for accelerating wealth and job creation as well as improvement of service delivery to the Ugandan citizenry.
“The NRM Manifesto 2021-26 emphasizes that the PDM is the vehicle for accelerating wealth and job creation and improving service delivery at the parish level. Therefore, as we monitor the progress of the manifesto commitments and ongoing government programmes, we (MIU) are also paying specifically crucial attention to the PDM with a view to popularize it further, monitor and validate its progress as well as readiness of the beneficiaries to participate in it for their socioeconomic development,” Bashaasha said.
The MIU is officially mandated by law to track the progress of the manifesto commitments made by government while seeking leadership mandate during election campaigns. This task, therefore, calls for strict accuracy in identifying all these programmes since the manifesto is a social contract between government and the wananchi in the entire country. To achieve this accuracy, the unit has over the years built tested and proven scientific statistical models and data collection structures which are used to effectively capture data concerning all these promised government projects throughout the country.
Using such structures, the unit collects crucial data about the state of progress of the various programme with a view to identify enabling factors, challenges as well as value for money parameters, among others. This information is then analysed and submitted to the relevant MDA’s and other stakeholders to inform the necessary follow-ups and related implementation action.
“We chose a scientific approach because ours is a technical unit whose output is designed to benefit every Ugandan regardless of political affiliation. We are conscious of the fact that government programmes are mostly communal in nature and therefore benefit every citizen without looking at age, religion, tribe or political affiliation; that’s why there’s no yellow road or green school or blue hospital etc,” Bashaasha said.
The MIU Director however added that in their monitoring duties, they are guided by the president’s 23 strategic guidelines as well as the 5 service delivery characteristics including faultless service delivery, service with patriotism and zero tolerance to corruption among others.
The Professional Touch/Team
To achieve its desired results, the MIU has dispatched to Eastern Uganda a team of technical officers including a Senior Economist and two economists whose work is to guide local field staff in the eastern region on how to gather valuable data from which a scientific progress report will be drawn for dissemination to the relevant stakeholders.
According to MIU’s plan, the current monitoring and validation exercise/tours which began last week will last 15 days (two weeks), at the tail end of which a final report and accountability will be ready for submission within 12 days.
For better liaison, the MIU does the local coordination with a team of local Government Leaders including the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), District (LC5) Chairperson and/or Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the district under review.
Bashaasha however added that to get comprehensive and unadulterated progress reports on particular projects, the MIU is also meeting individual project managers to explain their challenges or any other reasons for delays in projects completion, among other key aspects.
“Like I said, this is a monitoring and validation exercise; meaning that we want to get information which is as accurate as possible so as to inform proper government planning and communication on the same programmes. We do not want scenarios where the centre reports on a programme on the basis of what we submitted but then the locals have a different picture of what is exactly on the ground. This is why we have this robust team of professionals to ensure that everything is done in a strictly scientific and objective manner,” Bashaasha said.
The current leg of manifesto monitoring tours covers 15 districts of eastern Uganda divided into 3 teams. Team 1 comprises the Bukedi districts of Busia, Tororo, Butaleja, Kibuku and Budaka. Team 2 covers Teso sub-region I.e. Soroti, Katakwi, Amuria, Kaberamaido and Kalaki. Meanwhile, team 3 also covers Teso’s Pallisa, Kumi, Bukedea, Ngora and Butebo districts. From eastern Uganda, the monitoring tours will cover other parts of the country.