Nairobi — In a bid to help improve the effectiveness of national planning systems in Africa, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is working with partners and governments in five pilot countries to strengthen their capacities for integrating accountability in development planning.
Case studies and workshops have been conducted in these countries which are part of the pilot project on Strengthening the Capacity of African Governments for Integrating Accountability in National Development which aims, among other objectives, to address capacity challenges in national planning institutions and national statistics offices in Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya and Zambia.
This week the ECA is in Nairobi for a six-day training workshop targeting high level planning and statistical officers as part of the project.
In remarks at the beginning of the workshop that began Monday, ECA's Principal Regional Advisor, Sylvain Boko, said States that decide to put into practice an approach to policy-making which is inclusive and based on good governance are likely to earn the legitimacy needed to mobilize all stakeholders around nationally-owned development agendas.
However, he said, governments often face challenges in measuring progress in achieving their national development goals, and monitoring and evaluating achievements.
"The effectiveness of national planning systems hinges largely upon the availability of quality and relevant data, including essential statistics related to important developmental benchmarks such as economic growth, poverty, taxes, trade, births, deaths, which in the end, remain fundamental to the design and implementation of development planning processes that are economically transformative and sustainable," said Mr. Boko.
He said achieving national development goals in an inclusive and transparent manner required strong mechanisms for accountability.
"This is the underpinning reason and essence of this project which seeks to establish and strengthen the interlinkages between statistics and national planning as a means of enhancing transparency and accountability within the context of national development policy framework," Mr. Boko added.
He said the evidence-based and data-driven policy-making approach was important if development planning is to deliver on governments' promises to citizens.
"This requires a strong system for the generation, processing, analysis and dissemination of information in a transparent and enabling manner," said Mr. Boko.
He added: "Our expectation at the end of this project, is that Kenya, as one of only five pilot countries, will be able to contribute to elevating and strengthening accountability in African countries through showcasing its own national best practices."
For his part, NEPAD/APRM Kenya's Acting CEO, Mr. Daniel Osiemo, hailed the ECA for working with partners to strengthen the capacities of Kenya's planning and statistical officials.
"Our economy is facing serious challenges and the space of planning becomes critical in sorting out these challenges as we push to get the economy to being competitive again. We need to think out of the box so we can continue on an upward trajectory in terms of economic performance," said Mr. Osiemo.
He said the successful implementation of Agendas 2030, 2063 & Kenya's Vision 2030 lay in strengthened planning and statistics systems that promote accountability and sustainable development.
The training workshop, which is being attended by 50 senior planners and statisticians as well representatives from partner organisations and civil society, seeks to enhance their technical capacity in implementing national strategies for integrating accountability in national planning.