The government of Uganda has made significant progress in setting a foundation for the management of Sustainable Development Goals, according to Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda.

PM Rugunda arrives for the AFREA conference opening in company of the OPM PS Guwatudde(R) and minister of Nothern Uganda Grace Freedom(L) at Speke Resort Munyonyo (Photo by PMPU)

This has been through strengthening government planning, budgeting and accountability functions. Systems focusing on results as well as establishing a robust coordination, monitoring and evaluation mechanism at all government levels to strengthen accountability and delivery of services to the citizens, have also been established.

The Premier made these remarks during the opening of the 8th African Evaluation Association (AFREA) conference under the theme “Evaluation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Opportunities and Challenges for Africa”, which was held at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala.

The AFREA forum brings together a number of evaluation professionals, members of Parliament, donors, researchers, government officials and development partners to share experiences and reflect on the different methodologies for evaluating SDGs.

PM Rugunda in a group photo with the different country directors of Twende Mbele during its launch at the opening of the AFREA conference at Speke Resort Munyonyo (Photo by PMPU)

The SDGs were agreed upon after extensive consultations and deliberations informed by experience from the implementation of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and a comprehensive evaluation of efforts to eradicate poverty since 2000. The final deliberations were chaired by Uganda at the UN.

Rugunda was optimistic that the forum will enhance the participants’ capacity to build blocks that will enable the strengthening of national strategies and efforts to deal with poverty and development on the African continent.

He urged them to utilise the opportunities availed by the conference to interact and share knowledge so as to take stock of development efforts, culture and practices used in conducting business.

“The conference should bring out concrete ideas and measures to act as stimulus to more thoughtful and effective development approaches for improved service delivery to the citizens’, Rugunda said adding, ‘It must harness the best intellectual resources we have and link them to actual planning and program implementation’.

On behalf of Government, he expressed gratitude to all the partners for rendering support towards strengthening the work of African Evaluation Association.

The Permanent Secretary in the office of the Prime Minister, Christine Guwatudde Kintu said the conference marks a tremendous journey towards achieving institutional development in Africa through the exposure gained from various trainings.

Kintu noted that government through the Office of the Prime Minister has initiated a number of programmes including evaluation, to improve service delivery. Government approved a national policy on public sector monitoring and evaluation to address gaps that prevail in the legislation and administrative practices, with respect to tracking performance and evaluation of public polices and investments.

She added that the Government Evaluation Facility to operationalise the evaluation function was established with the aim of identifying gaps in its undertakings. Kintu expressed gratitude to all the partners for supporting and contributing towards the developing of the evaluation agenda in Uganda.

Kintu thanked government of Uganda for the support rendered to AFREA. During the conference, the Twende Mbele Programme aimed at creating collaboration and peer-learning amongst African governments to achieve better M&E systems, was launched.

Twende Mbele is a Swahili word meaning “Going Forward Together”. The programme was initiated 3 years ago by Uganda, South Africa and Benin. The member states were hopeful that more African countries will join the programme and benefit from it.

Others who attended the function was the 1st Deputy Prime Minister retired General Moses Ali and the Minister for Northern Uganda Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny.