2 September 2014

Gambia: Consultative Meeting On Page Mid-Term Evaluation Held in CRR

Crr — The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs(MoFEA) on Friday held a daylong consultation meeting for the people of Central River Region (CRR) on the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) mid-term evaluation in Janjangbureh, CRR.

The consultative meeting brought together youth and women groups, community leaders, NGOs, CSOs, private sector and others.

The purpose of the evaluation is to review and evaluate the extent to which planned activities, outputs and outcomes of the PAGE have been realised.

In his opening statement, Alhaji Omar Kha, the regional governor of CRR, said PAGE is the main interface between the government and The Gambia's development partners and fully aligned with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He posited that PAGE aimed to accelerate pro-poor growth, improve development levels, per capita income, and human development and significantly reduce poverty level in the country.

Governor Khan pointed out that after two years of implementation, it is time they take stock of the progress registered, as well as the challenges encountered. He further stated that the mid-term evaluation is intended to achieve this, noting that the evaluation will be very participatory and consultative.

According to him, it will give stakeholders the opportunity to share views on various aspects of PAGE implementation. "Today's gathering therefore, marks an important milestone in the mid-term evaluation," he stated.

The regional governor thus informed the participants that the meeting aims to create a platform for discussion between the consultant and key stakeholders on the achievements registered in the implementation of PAGE, as well as the challenges encountered at the community level. He then called on the participants to actively participate in the forum.

The director, development of planning at the MoFEA Alhagie Fadera disclosed that in 2011, the government of The Gambia, in collaboration with development partners and various stakeholders formulated the PAGE.

Noting that PAGE 2012-2015 is a programme, based on Vision 2020, he said, it is consistent with the Paris Declarations Resolutions on aid effectiveness and the ownership of development.

Fadera reiterated that during the formulation of the PAGE, stakeholders at the grassroots level were consulted, so as to incorporate key intervention areas at the community level in the development plan.

He said the purpose of the grassroots consultation in the formulation phase was to ensure that projects and programmes most needed to change livelihoods are incorporated in the national development plan. According to him, this empowers stakeholders and ensures that people at the grassroots level take ownership of development.

The deputy governor of the region, Alhaji Malang Saibo Camara, chaired the programme.

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