With National Development Planning coming back firmly to Uganda’s planning space in 2010, a set of processes, policies and practices referred to as New National Development Planning (NNDP) are being championed just like in other developing countries, to guide growth.

According to Corti Paul Lakuma, a Research Fellow with the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), Uganda’s NNDP has attracted limited research interest resulting to limited evidence on its events, process and outcomes.

In this regard, EPRC organized consultative workshops on February 22 and 23, 2018 at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala to highlight key capacity imperatives that have enabled or constrained national development planning.

While opening the two consultative workshops, Ibrahim Kasirye the Principal Research Fellow EPRC noted that Uganda halved extreme poverty earlier than 2015, a landmark that was opined in the Millennium Development Goals. This growth he said did not create jobs and was not inclusive.

He added that while the deterioration in social service delivery may be due to population growth, slow progress has been made in critical areas like tax base expansion, reducing the informal sector and streamlining tax exemptions.

Lakuma in his presentation on the retrospect and prospect of national development planning in Uganda described the current planning process as a contemporary situation marked with institutional rivalries in terms of roles, functions and mandates.

For instance, the National Planning Authority and Ministry of Finance have contradicting budget functions. The former further rivals the Office of the Prime Minister on monitoring and evaluation of national development projects.

Lakuma observes that during NDP1, some sectors failed to submit sector investment plans and those who did failed to align strategies to NDP1 targets. The outcomes yielded were meager compared to those of the Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) 1997-2010.

Numerous contributions during the workshop pointed out that Uganda’s development planners plan for people whose needs they do not understand. Stakeholders also called for fostering of community participation in the NNDP.

New NDP Website

Participants warned that national needs must supersede individual needs in national planning. They recommended that a keen focus on health, education and agriculture would help spur production for export; harmonizing institutions would ease planning and curb wastage of resources.

Furthermore, tapping on local government roles and the rising population dividends will lead to a better NNDP process that promotes ownership and accountability hence better national outcomes.

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