Uganda: Developments Plans Are Appraised Without Field Visits, Says State House Official

13 November 2019

Information in the office of president indicates that most development projects in the country are being appraised on the desk of government officers without field visit which results into poor performance of the various development projects.

Uganda's development partners have often pointed out that lack of proper visibility studies, poor project designs, implementation and slow procurement continues to see Uganda failing to reap from the heavy public investment projects it is making every financial year.

In a presentation, he made during an Apex Platform Breakfast on Wednesday in Kampala, a Mr Vincent Tumusiime, from the directorate of social Economic Monitoring and Research (DSEMR), in the office of the president said most development projects in Uganda are desk appraised and the initiators of development concepts rarely consult or involve the targeted beneficiaries in the project initiation process.

Mr Tumusiime said there is urgent need to create a model for justifying projects in relation to the values they offer to the citizenry and continuously subject performance reviews to "the theory of change concepts" to best link inputs to outs as well as outcomes.

"Clearly in Uganda, the roblem is not borrowing but how the borrowed funds have been managed and utilised! We have individually as researchers, academicians, research institutions , institutions of Government written about all this but we lack an effective fora where we can deliberate with authority and executive decisions taken to address the anormally," he said.

He said that investment projects which do not conform to a strict project management cycle fails to achieve their intended objectives and it becomes worse when borrowed funds involved since these loans have to be paid back at a cost.

Mr Tumusiime said the president has created an Apex platform which is brings people from the government institutions, academic institutions, research and NGOs to discuss matters affecting Uganda's development policy and provides solutions.

Mr Tumusiime said the Apex platform has already approved by the cabinet and its, objectives is holistic and collective stock-taking of performance, successes and failures of Government

"Take informed strategic decisions for improved implementation of Government Programmes. Enhance Communication to the citizens, on the status of government performance and enlist responses their input and views. Promote reforms needed to address identified challenges facing service delivery generally," he explained.

The executive director of the National Planning Authority, Dr Joseph Muvawala said the Apex platform is a welcome development because it is the president that has all the power to appoint and fire public officers holding big posts in government institutions.

"This concept works because it makes the president the president since all powers are with him. There is no duplication of services here as some people in this room think so," he said.

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