May 7, 2009, 5:28 AM
A meeting of partners and stakeholders associated with the implementation of UNDP's development assistance in The Gambia was held yesterday at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, to review the UNDP Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP) 2007-2011 between UNDP and the government of The Gambia.
The UNDP and the government of The Gambia had signed an agreement, marking the start of a 5-year Country Programme Cycle. And as agreed with the government at the time of signing the CPAP, the sides are expected to conduct a Mid-Term Review (MTR) in order to determine the progress made towards the achievement of the CPAP outcomes and identify areas of the programme circle that would require adjustments.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Abdoulie Sallah, the Secretary-General and Head of the Civil Service maintained that the meeting is significant for, as he put it, they have this year come midway into the implementation of a five-year Country Programme Document (2007-2011).
He said the programme was jointly approved by the UNDP and the government of The Gambia as a framework for directing UNDP's assistance in support of Vision 2020, the MDGs and PRSP-II goals and objectives.
"Consequently, having come this far, it is crucial that we gather around the table to take stock of our achievements and failures in so far as the Country Programme goals and outcomes are concerned. The review is an important opportunity to recognise the new and add measures or adjustments that would be necessary to help us achieve on time, visible outcomes and results in line with the Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP)," he said.
"It is clearly the case that with the assistance of UNDP, the UN agencies and the rest of our partners, we in The Gambia have succeeded in mainstreaming MDGs into our PRSP-II and in all our medium and on term development frameworks," he added.
"Despite the relative achievements registered by the programme to date, I note with grave concern the low 10% rate of physical implementation and programme delivery reported in 2009. Of similar magnitude is the concern that mid-way into the implementation of the programme, the rate of expenditure is 46%, which means that unless we do more to improve delivery in 2009 to the end of the cycle, we would fall short of achieving the desired outcomes and targets, with all the implications this would pose to our future resource mobilisation efforts.
"I therefore wish to call on all the implementing partner institutions to consider seriously the ramifications of low delivery rates, and redouble their efforts at achieving higher performance outcomes. The urgency for changed outcomes and commitment to score higher is as applicable to the partners as it is for UNDP," he remarked.
"The Country Programme is one such framework that clearly articulates the MDGs and PRSP agenda in addition to issues of governance and human rights. The attainment of the objectives of the Country Programme is therefore critically linked to the attainment of our poverty reduction, and other MDC goals and we are extremely pleased with UNDP for supporting this agenda," he stated.
For her part, Mrs., Chinwe Dike, UNDP Resident Representative underscored the importance of the meeting, noting that it will avail both the government of the Gambia and the UNDP to review the Mid-Term Country Programme and Action Plan.