As part of the implementation of National Partnership Policy,2013, Government of Uganda and the Development Partners adopted a National Partnership Dialogue Framework. Under this Framework, two annual events are held; the National Partnership Forum (NPF) chaired by the Prime Minister and the Technical National Partnership Forum chaired by the Head of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet.
This year’s Technical National Partnership Forum was held on the 29th August, 2017 at Protea Hotel chaired by the Head of Public Service and attended by Permanent secretaries, Heads of Corporations and Agencies, Senior Government officials and other representatives of Development partners.
The forum focused on the building consensus on how to strengthen Sector Working Groups (SWGs) and how government can improve Public Infrastructure Management (PIM)
Key issues raised were the limited capacity to identify, prepare and execute projects, poor appraisal and prioritization of projects, bureaucracy in the procurement process which delays implementation and execution of projects, Poor operation and maintenance of existing assets, and the weak Sector Working Groups (SWGs)
It was agreed that a strategy to build capacity will be developed in Sectors to prepare, negotiate funding and execute projects, that local contractors should be enabled to compete for project execution, ensuring that the projects that enter the Public Infrastructure Plan (PIP) are in line with the development objectives, reviewed and approval made by Cabinet, making procurement planning an integral part of planning and budgeting.
Concerned parties will make an effort to review the land law to make land acquisition for investments easy, Development Partners and /Or financiers should endeavour to grant no objection decisions and release of funds in a timely manner and that there was need to strike a balance between new projects and maintenance of existing assets, formulation of clear Terms of References for SWGs, Aligning Development Projects working groups with Government SWGs for joint planning and, Reconfigure SWGs in line with the Program Based System (PBS) and the NDP.
The chairperson of Local Development Partners’ Group expressed gratitude to the government for the effort put in strengthening the coordination mechanism for Sector Working Groups (SWGs) and public infrastructure management to foster efficiency and effectiveness in the utilization of government resources.
The meeting was concluded with remarks from the Head of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet who emphasized the need for strengthening SWGs, capacity building especially in the area of project selection and appraisal and the need for collective efforts from all concerned parties if the objectives of Public Infrastructure Management are to be achieved. He expressed his deep appreciation to the Development partners for their continued support towards the development of Uganda.